Little backtracks again

Radio NZ reported:

Mr Little has called the National-led government cowardly for refusing to accept the Children’s Commissioner’s challenge to reduce child poverty rates by ten percent by the end of next year.

He told Morning Report he accepted there were 150,000 children with material deprivation and said he was committed to tackling that.

He said most children would receive an extra $60 a week in their first year as part of Labour’s policy to end child poverty.

Seemed a pretty clear statement to me.

Then the next day:

Labour leader has had to clarify Labour’s child poverty policies after he appeared to recommit to the party’s 2014 policy of $60 a week payments for newborn babies.

Little was asked how Labour would address child poverty on Radio NZ and referred three times to the Best Start policy as an example of how Labour would lift incomes.

Asked whether Labour would increase benefits, Little said yes describing Best Start as “a benefit for children.”

He has since denied he was recommitting to the policy for 2017, saying those policies were yet to be announced.

“I haven’t committed to it, I committed to measures for poverty alleviation. I referred to our 2014 policy and said part of the package has to be income related policy, but I didn’t specifically say we were going to do Best Start all over again.”

Another backtrack. Says one thing to one audience and another thing later.

Labour’s best start policy is very expensive ($500 million a year) and would see taxpayers paying more in taxes so can be paid to families earning up to $150,000 a year. It is a hugely expensive middle class bribe, rather than something targeted at lower income working families.

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