CPAG: John Key mistaken on extent of child poverty in working families

Child Poverty Action Group says Prime Minister John Key made a serious mistake over poverty rates for children in working families in the leaders’ debate on TV3 last night.

Mr Key said of the 260,000 children defined as in poverty, 11 percent are in working families while 75 percent are in benefit-based families.’
Leaders tackle taxes, inequality in debate – TV3

These figures are completely wrong, says CPAG spokesperson Professor Innes Asher. The Ministry of Social Development’s Household Incomes Report key findings say:

Poverty rates for children in working families are on average much lower than for those in beneficiary families (11% and 75% respectively), but 2 out of 5 poor children come from families where at least one adult is in full-time work or is self-employed.

Innes Asher says, “David Cunliffe’s figures were correct. 100,000 children experiencing poverty are in working families – that is 40% of all poor children. John Key has muddled two figures which mean very different things to justify his narrow view that work is the only way out of poverty. While poverty rates for working families are lower overall, it is clear that for some families in low-paid work their income is not enough to lift them out of poverty so they can provide adequately for their children.”

—ENDS—

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