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Reserved Applause For Budget’s Focus On Children

Reserved Applause For Budget’s Focus On Children

Save the Children New Zealand has welcomed the Government’s efforts to honour the Agenda for Children in the Budget 2004, but today said further action was needed to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand.

“While the Working for Families package is a promising start, the Government must go one step further and commit to a date by which child poverty will be eliminated,” said Executive Director of Save the Children New Zealand John Bowis. “Article 27 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) states that every child has a right to a standard of living adequate for his or her physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.”

“Having adopted the UNCRC in 1993, the New Zealand Government has an obligation to implement this right for New Zealand children by providing material assistance and support programmes, particularly with regard to nutrition, clothing and housing. This budget is a step in the right direction.”

“On the basis of child’s rights and initial consideration, the key concerns for Save the Children New Zealand in relation to the Budget 2004 are:

The “work will pay” incentive does not recognise those parents that choose to stay at home for the best interests of their child. Children should not be made to suffer because their parents are not in work. The length of time it will take for these benefits to become tangible, e.g. the first increase for family support doesn’t take place until April 2005 and the new “in work” payment is not introduced until 2006. The long-term best interests of the child. How can we be confident that these initiatives are going to survive beyond 2007?”

“Nevertheless, Save the Children New Zealand is encouraged by this, the largest financial commitment to address child poverty to date.”

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