3 Jun 2012

Greens call for cross-party action on child poverty

5:08 pm on 3 June 2012

Green Party co-leader Metira Turei is calling for cross-party consensus on poverty saying there is a poverty chasm that the Government is making worse.

Ms Turei on Sunday delivered her keynote speech to the party's annual conference at Silverstream, north of Wellington.

Ms Turei says the Government has chosen to spend billions on tax cuts for the wealthy and roads that are not needed and she says different economic choices need to be made.

Ms Turei says while children of beneficiaries are amongst the poorest, two out of every five children are from homes where parents work, but in low paid jobs.

"I'm happy to work with other political parties, anybody across the parliamentary spectrum, to make better decisions about the economic choices that are being made, so that our kids are not the ones who suffer, they don't deserve to suffer, we can make a difference for them, we simply have to choose to and then find the mechanism that will work".

Ms Turei criticised the Government's Budget last month saying it has pumped millions of dollars into private and charter schools while increasing class sizes for public schools.