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Budget Contains Welcome News

The Budget Contains Welcome News For Community Agencies Providing Services For Children

“A number of the specific initiatives in today’s Budget are very welcome,” says Ian Calder, Chief Executive of Barnardos, New Zealand’s largest child focussed charity. Particularly important is the funding provided to implement the recommendations of Judge Mike Brown’s report, Care and Protection is about Adult Behaviour. Barnardos will be looking to actively work with the Government in implementing these recommendations.

“An injection of capital to fund anticipated significant growth in the demand for care services for at-risk children and young people will be welcome news for community providers of residential and foster care for young people. Dedicated funding to provide care for children with high and complex needs is another initiative which should be well received.

“Funding to increase work in the area of youth suicide prevention will hopefully reduce our appalling record in this respect. The additional funding for the Office of the Commissioner for Children is also something Barnardos supports. Acknowledgement of the importance of early childhood education with the increase in the early childhood subsidy is very good news.

“ What is a little disappointing, however, is the lack of measures in today’s Budget to address some of the underlying structural causes of child poverty in this country. We see nothing in the Budget that will in any fundamental way reduce the level of poverty and in particular the level of child poverty, in this country.

“Where is the commitment to ensure that the tax system doesn’t discriminate against the poor? Or a commitment to increase basic benefit levels to the point where a family can meet the cost of living? How about making childcare provisions, including before and after school care, more generous so that people with children are able to work if they wish to, knowing their children are being cared for.

“Unfortunately, none of the measures Barnardos drew to the attention of the Minister of Finance several weeks ago, as being necessary if the Government was serious about getting to grips with the underlying causes of child poverty, have made it into this Budget.

..ends...

How did the Budget Rate Against the Wish-list Barnardos Sent the Government?


Barnardos Recommendation: Raise the ceiling of the 15% tax rate from $9,500 to $12,000

The Budget :-(

Barnardos Recommendation: Increase basic benefits so that they are adequate for living costs

The Budget :-(

Barnardos Recommendation: Extend the Child Tax Credit of $15 per child per week to all low-income families and not just those families “independent” of the state

The Budget :-(

Barnardos Recommendation: Place an obligation on the IRD to ensure families access their tax credits

The Budget :-(

Barnardos Recommendation: Institute an amnesty on accumulated beneficiary debts from DWI

The Budget :-(

Barnardos Recommendation: Eradicate all aspects of the distinction between “deserving” and “undeserving” poor from taxation and income support policy

The Budget :-(

Barnardos Recommendation: Increase the money a beneficiary can earn before their benefit is abated from $80 per week to $130

The Budget :-(

Barnardos Recommendation: Make childcare provisions, including before and after school care, more generous

The Budget :-)Increasing the early childhood subsidy will help


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