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Ed Sheeran

Family lobby misreading poverty data

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The Greens' Maori spokesperson Marama Davidson is dismissing as nonsense a Family First report claiming marriage break-ups rather than unemployment of low wages is the cause of child poverty.

The latest report by social policy blogger Lindsay Mitchell says the correlation between rates of sole parenting and child poverty over the past 40 years is stronger than the correlation between unemployment and child poverty.

She blames greater acceptance of couples living together outside formal marriage, with just one in five Maori births to legally married parents.

Mrs Davidson says Family First is cherry-picking the data to bolster its argument.

"Why did we have a sudden rise in poverty when we started to see neuro-liberal policies come in I think in the eighties and we've had a massive increase in poverty and child poverty since then, was it because all of a sudden overnight, parents just got lazier and lazier? No I don't think so", says Marama.

Marama Davidson says child poverty includes working families who are living in their cars or squashed up in garages and last week's Budget failed to offer any solutions for those whanau.


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