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

 


Budget Investments for Children Warmly Welcomed

UNICEF NZ - Budget Investments for Children Warmly Welcomed

At first glance, today’s Budget announcement of a $500m support package for families and children is a welcome new investment in our youngest citizens and signals growing political acceptance of the need to do more to support families with young children.

Deborah Morris-Travers, National Advocacy Manager at UNICEF New Zealand, said, “The current 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.

“All New Zealanders benefit when children are healthy, educated and nurtured to develop to their full potential. Parents need support to achieve this. Investing in family incomes, through extended paid parental leave and increased parental tax credits, improves families’ abilities to meet the needs of babies and young children.

“UNICEF NZ has been campaigning for extended paid parental leave as we believe the best investments Governments can make are those that enable parents to build secure attachments with their babies, and allow mums to breastfeed, through time spent together in the early weeks and months. Expanding the eligibility criteria is also crucial, with only around 40% of caregivers eligible at the moment.

“Investments in healthcare, housing and education also deliver long-term dividends and we are particularly pleased to see children up to 13 years of age receiving free GP visits and prescriptions, another measure that we have long advocated for. We know that low-income families often experience chronic illness, with the cost of prescriptions and GP visits a barrier to good health.

“Providing early childhood education is also essential for all our kids, particularly those that are living in deprived homes. Extra funding for the Reading Together programme is also a crucial important step in improving our children’s literacy and educational outcomes.

“While the announcements today do not address all of the issues impacting on child wellbeing, they demonstrate Government interest in doing more to improve life for children and responding to the pressures on families and we applaud that.

“It’s important for all New Zealanders to understand that Government has a central role to play in creating the conditions that enable families and communities to thrive. Given current child health statistics, it is clear that we need continued investment in coordinated policies for children, supported by evaluation and monitoring of impact.

“At the moment, our society and economy are carrying the heavy burden of high poverty rates and child maltreatment. UNICEF NZ encourages the Government and all political parties to commit to a comprehensive plan to address child poverty, with targets, measurement and clear accountability so that all children’s right to a decent quality of life is realised,” concluded Ms Morris-Travers.

-Ends-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

The Kids: OECD Report Shows Huge Impact Of Poverty On Education

A new report from the OECD has again highlighted the negative effects of poverty, showing that disadvantaged children in New Zealand are more than six times more likely to underachieve in maths than children from wealthier homes. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific: NZ Pledges $500,000 To Help Address Zika

“With the Zika virus now confirmed in a number of Pacific countries, New Zealand is committed to helping limit the impact and spread of the virus in the region,” says Mr McCully. “New Zealand will provide $250,000 as a contribution to the WHO to implement the Pacific Zika Action Plan, and a further $250,000 to enable countries in the region to respond rapidly if required." More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Police Commissioner 'Doesn’t Get Force Needs'

The Police Commissioner has let down the public and his own force by insisting the police have what they need despite it taking a year to solve a burglary and overwhelming number of officers saying they are under-resourced, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Pressure To Expand Our Role In Iraq

Foreign news services are being more forthcoming about what the “next 12 months” will entail – essentially, the defence ministers will be under US pressure to increase their “training” role preparatory to an assault on the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Restarts: Prime Minister’s Statement

Our policy agenda and legislative programme will reflect the Government’s four priorities: • to responsibly manage the Government’s finances • to build a more competitive and productive economy • to deliver better public services to New Zealanders, an • to support the rebuilding of Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

NZEI Survey Report: Special Needs Students Missing Out

The survey revealed that around 16 percent of students were on schools’ special needs registers, but nearly 90 percent of schools’ special needs coordinators did not believe there was adequate support for students and their learning... More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Waitangi Tribunal On Ture Whenua Legislation

Labour on Proposed changes to Maori land rules: “To have Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson dismiss findings as ‘bizarre’ is totally disingenuous and disrespectful. What’s bizarre is Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell stubbornly pushing through this Bill before the Waitangi Tribunal has even completed its report..." More>>

ALSO:

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news