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:

Gordon Campbell: On D-Day For Dairy At The TPP

While New Zealand may feel flattered at being called “the Saudi Arabia of milk” it would be more accurate to regard us as the suicide bombers of free trade. More>>

ALSO:

Leaked Letter: Severe Restrictions on State Owned Enterprises

Even an SOE that exists to fulfil a public function neglected by the market or which is a natural monopoly would nevertheless be forced to act "on the basis of commercial considerations" and would be prohibited from discriminating in favour of local businesses in purchases and sales. Foreign companies would be given standing to sue SOEs in domestic courts for perceived departures from the strictures of the TPP... More>>

ALSO:

"Gutted" Safety Bill: Time To Listen To Workplace Victims’ Families

Labour has listened to the families of whose loved ones have been killed at work and calls on other political parties to back its proposals to make workplaces safer and prevent unnecessary deaths on the job. More>>

ALSO:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Cab Press Conference: Foreign Buyers Register, TPP And Serco

At a press conference today in Wellington, John Key discussed the foreign buyers register as well as the TPP and Serco. Key was questioned on whether a stamp tax might be used as a tool to deal with foreign buyers. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood Satire: Serco To Outsource Prison To Public Sector

In response to high-profile failings, multinational omnicorporation Serco will introduce public management in its prison system. Serco's New Zealand manager, speaking on condition of anonymity, has announced plans for managers from the Department of Corrections to run the Mt Eden Correctional Facility. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news