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Crumbs under the Cabinet table for children

Crumbs under the Cabinet table for children

It looks like children will be the recipients of the crumbs left under the Cabinet table in Budget 2005 if recent pre-Budget announcements are anything to go by, says Every Child Counts.

“More meagre pickings for children make last year’s Working For Families package start to look like a one-off intervention,” noted Murray Edridge, Every Child Counts spokesperson commenting on the past week’s pre-budget announcements.

“We had hoped that Working For Families was part of a sustained strategy aimed at restoring children to the centre of policy and addressing the poor statistics relating to children in New Zealand, but that does not seem to be the case.

“For the past two weeks ministers have been announcing new spending planned in this year’s budget, of which only one small item was to support children. $12m was earmarked for child advocates assisting children who witness domestic violence.

“Last week ministers announced new spending of about $143.5 million on community TV and radio, Fulbright scholarships and clean water. These are all ‘worthy’ causes but all are reflective of a piecemeal approach to government spending that is not placing children at the centre. Few of these initiatives will ensure sustainable social and economic development for the nation the way that child-centred public policy would do,” concluded Mr Edridge.

Every Child Counts represents Barnardos New Zealand, Plunket, Save the Children, Unicef NZ and AUT’s Institute of Public Policy, supported by more than 170 other organisations and thousands of individual supporters. Every Child Counts issues a regular assessment of the previous week’s political announcements from a child-focussed perspective.

The public are invited to demonstrate their support for the nation’s children by adding their names to the Every Child Counts campaign at: www.everychildcounts.org.nz


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