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

Gordon Campbell: On The Budget

It may seem like Oliver to be so bold as to ask the Finance Minister for more gruel – but what the Dickens, Steven Joyce… is this Budget really as good as it gets?

Supposedly, the public was going to receive significant rewards – an election year lolly scramble no less – for the eight years of belt tightening that they’ve endured, and for the rundown of essential public services.

Well, what Budget 2017 delivered instead in Education and in Health were allocations barely sufficient to maintain the current levels of service delivery More>>

Scoop Full Coverage: of Budget Announcements & Reaction
Latest: Scoop Search

 
 

Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

ALSO:

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

ALSO:

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election