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Pre-election budget takes baby steps in the right direction

15 May 2014

Pre-election budget takes baby steps in the right direction

Plunket believes elements of this year’s budget acknowledge the need to invest in the early years, with a particular focus on increasing paid parental leave from 14 weeks to 18 weeks by 2016. Plunket welcomes the additional investment in families, with increasing parental tax credits and free GP visits and prescriptions for children up to the age of 13.

Plunket would still like to see paid parental leave increased to 26 weeks as a medium-term goal for future New Zealand families and Whānau.

Plunket CEO Jenny Prince says, “The real health gains in breastfeeding, attachment and bonding, community connectedness, family stability and economic security are evidenced where there is a longer period of time with a new baby”.

“This directly contributes to longer-term health outcomes for that child into adulthood”, says Mrs Prince.

All children have the right to a healthy start in life. The 2014 budget doesn’t provide a simple solution to address some of the health disparities suffered by those in poverty. However Plunket believes the $1.8 billion focus on health over four years has the potential to contribute to a reduction in diseases of poverty, thus resulting in improved health outcomes for children.

Poverty continues to hamper progress for all children. Plunket would like to see a coordinated plan to genuinely tackle child poverty using measureable child poverty targets.

ENDS

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Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

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