“Jacinda Ardern’s legacy will be more children growing up in welfare-dependent households with no significant reduction in child poverty,” says ACT’s Social Development spokesperson Karen Chhour.

“ACT has always said that passing a law and throwing more welfare at families wasn’t the answer to child poverty. We were the only party to vote against the Child Poverty Reduction Bill.

“Today’s child poverty data from Stats NZ shows it is plateauing and is set to get worse once the cost of living crisis is factored in.

“1 in 5 Māori children were living in material hardship. What they need are parents with good jobs in a growing economy. Labour has no answer for that. Its answer has always been more welfare. But welfare dependent households have worse social and economic outcomes, particularly for the children.

“Yesterday’s welfare data showed that young people currently receiving a benefit are estimated to spend 19.1 more years on the benefit in the future. That’s a severe indictment on this Government.

“Children in welfare-dependent homes face a bleaker future than children born to parents in work. They face worse outcomes on nearly every social indicator.

“ACT has always said you can’t solve child poverty by throwing more welfare at families, that’s why we voted against the Child Poverty Reduction Bill.

“These kids deserve a better future. What is needed are policies that will grow the economy and create good paying jobs for Kiwis.

“Rather than locking so many New Zealanders into a cycle of poverty, ACT will bring real change with policies designed to grow the economy and allow more Kiwis to find work and create a better future for their families.”

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