Hamish Rutherford at Stuff reports:
When David Cunliffe tried to hit home the message that many Kiwis were struggling this week, he chose a simple, heartbreaking example.
Not only was one in four living below the poverty line ‘‘one in five don’t even have two pairs of shoes to wear to school’’ the Labour leader said in his state of the nation speech in Auckland.
Later in the week Cunliffe was challenged by Prime Minister John Key in Parliament to quote the source of the claim (as had Right wing commentators), but he did not do so.
His office is now ignoring questions on whether he sticks by it, but the foundations are shaky.
Staff confirmed that it was based on the report last year of Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills, which said 17 per cent of children (which is one in six, not one in five) were exposed to ‘‘a range of economising behaviours’’.
These included having at least two pairs of shoes in good repair, but could also mean parents cut back on fresh fruit, limit heating or avoid going to the doctor to save cash.
The report this all comes from I blogged on last week. It clearly states that only one in 20 families can;t afford two pairs of shoes. Cunliffe’s figure was 400% higher.