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:

Mt Eden Prison: Serco Inquiry Extended

A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. More>>

ALSO:

Health And Safety: Late Addition Of National Security Provisions A Concern

The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its significant concerns at the last-minute addition to the Health and Safety Reform Bill of provisions for a closed material procedure for court proceedings where national security is involved. More>>

ALSO:

Rugby And Beer: World Cup Alcohol Bill Passes

ACT MP David Seymour’s Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Extended licensing hours during Rugby World Cup) Bill completed its third reading by 99 to 21... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Flag Campaign

So far, the public has treated the government’s flag campaign with something between disinterest and disdain. Most New Zealanders have instinctively seen through the marketing hype involved. More>>

Change For 2017: Local Govt To Decide On Easter Sunday Trading

The Government is to enable local communities, through councils, to decide whether retailers can open on Easter Sunday, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse announced. More>>

ALSO:

(And Targets Worse Than Australia's): Foresters Abandoning Emissions Trading Scheme

The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news