Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Budget Needs to Focus on Children and Families

12 May 2014

Budget Needs to Focus on Children and Families

The Government’s Budget this Thursday (15 May) must prioritise investment in the youngest children and families living on very low incomes, to help protect the health and wellbeing of our most vulnerable citizens and reduce the impact on our economy resulting from poor child outcomes.

Deborah Morris-Travers, National Advocacy Manager at UNICEF NZ, said, “Government has an important role to play in helping create the conditions that enable families and communities to provide what children need.

“This is particularly important when babies and children are young, and when families are struggling to provide the basics like warm housing, nutritious food, educational opportunities and healthcare.

“The recent Health Select Committee report on preventing child abuse and improving the wellbeing of children pointed to the overwhelming evidence for supporting coordinated policy and investment in children.

“UNICEF NZ welcomes pre-Budget announcements aimed at improving health and education for children and young people, including cochlear implants for children with hearing loss, additional screening for rheumatic fever, nit-busting, and apprenticeships. These are all welcome initiatives that will assist children and young people but there are other fundamental areas requiring investment, too.”

Ms Morris Travers added, “The combined annual cost of poverty and child maltreatment is $8-$10 billion. Therefore, investment that improves the income and functioning of families will deliver social and economic dividends. Examples of the investments that would improve life for children and their families include:

• Additional assistance for families when new babies are born, such as extending paid parental leave and a universal baby bonus or child payment
• Increasing incomes for those on benefits and low wages
• Improving access to health services and prescriptions for all children
• Building more affordable housing, extending the Warm Up NZ insulation scheme and the Warrant-of-Fitness for housing
• Increasing accessibility of social service provision through initiatives such as community hubs
• Improving the literacy and education of young people and parents so that children are read to and are school-ready
• Supporting community-led development that builds connected, healthy neighbourhoods, and
• Continuing to improve participation in quality early childhood education

“UNICEF NZ recognises that the Government has been striving to balance the budget during the Global Financial Crisis and has borrowed to retain current social assistance. However, investment in children delivers a significant return and, in the face of high rates of poverty, disparities and infectious disease, there is a case for additional investment in children. Children must be the priority for any reprioritised spending and any new investment.

“In addition to the clear social and economic benefits of improving child health and education, New Zealand’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child require the Government to ensure that every child has a quality of life that supports the physical, mental, emotional and social development of the child, including through provision of income support. Failing our children is costly, especially when our aging society will depend on them in the future,” concluded Ms Morris-Travers.

About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org.nz

Follow UNICEF NZ on Twitter and Facebook

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

  • Week in Parliament 22-05-15
  • Saturday Sitting
  • House Rises At Midnight
  • Telco Levy Bill Passes
  • Telco Levy Bill Completes First Reading
  • Social Housing Bill Passes Under Urgency

  • TPPA: University Of Auckland Warns Of Negative TPP Impact

    The University of Auckland May 20, 2015 University of Auckland Warns of Negative TPP Impact With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation drawing to a close, the University of Auckland has expressed serious concerns about its potential implications. ... More>>

    NZ Flag: Flag Referendum Gets Hit Hard In New Poll

    The latest Campbell Live text poll confirms it is time for the Prime Minister to listen to the public and shelve his flag referendum, says the New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: The Government’s Belated Moves On Property Speculation

    Is it a property tax on capital gains or a capital gains tax on property? The Jesuitical distinctions in the government’s spin about its latest moves on property speculators are all about whether the government can claim that it jumped, or confess that it ... More>>

    Grant Robertson:
    Key Can’t Just Be Prime Minister For Parnell

    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In a ... More>>

    Labour Party: More Regional Jobs Go In Corrections Reshape

    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • NZ First - Prison Job Losses to Send Money Offshore
  • TPPA: ‘Team Obama’ Regroups On Fast Track, Still Not Deliverable

    ‘After yesterday’s stinging and unexpected defeat for the Obama administration’s attempt to advance Fast Track legislation in the US Senate, Senate leaders have worked up a compromise they think will get them past this blockage’, according to Auckland ... More>>

    NZ Government: 5,500 More Doctors And Nurses In Our Hospitals

    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a record number of doctors and nurses are working in District Health Boards across the country. More>>

    Controller and Auditor General: Katherine Rich Conflict of Interest Decision

    We are writing to you about a matter that has been raised with us by members of the public. More>>

    ALSO:


    Budget 2015: Andrew Little On The 2015 Budget

    Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, the Labour opposition leader attacked the government’s approach to economic issues facing New Zealand. He said they have been “more than reckless in their complacency” and “the next week’s budget will do nothing ... More>>

    Defence Force: NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel In Iraq

    NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel in Iraq The New Zealand Defence Force Building Partner Capacity training mission contingent is in place at Taji Military Complex in Iraq. The Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating says the ... More>>

    PM Press Conference: ACC Levy Cuts Announced

    In a press conference this afternoon in Wellington, ACC Minister Nikki Kaye proposed $500 million worth of ACC levy cuts. More>>

    Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

    Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

    For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

    ALSO:


    Gordon Campbell: On lessons for Labour from the UK election
    If the polls were right – and the pollsters kept telling us how accurate they’d been in 2010, and even Nate Silver was getting the same results – there seemed no way that the British Labour Party could lose last Thursday’s British election. With Labour predicted to win around 270 seats and the Scottish National Party batting around 55-60 seats, Labour seemed to be home free. But…as we now know, things didn’t turn out that way. Labour ended up with 232 seats and the Conservatives swept back to power with an outright majority, after winning only a little more than a third ( 36.9%) of the votes cast.MORE >>
    Also.

  • NZ PM John Key - PM congratulates David Cameron after UK election
  • The Nation IV Transcript - Hack Attack author Nick Davies
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news