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2016 Budget a missed opportunity

2016 Budget a missed opportunity

The Tick for Kids* coalition is disappointed that the Budget delivered today will do little to address the crisis of child poverty and hardship.

"What we're seeing is piecemeal action that's not adding up to a complete picture" says Lisa Woods, Tick for Kids spokesperson and Every Child Counts Executive Officer.

"Child poverty is one of the country's most urgent and serious issues, and a priority for this Government. But we haven't seen a turnaround in numbers with the latest Child Poverty Monitor statistics showing 305,000 families living without enough income for a decent life" says Lisa Woods, Tick for Kids spokesperson and Every Child Counts Executive Officer.

"Meaningful change requires a sustained programme of work across a range of areas, including addressing disparities, ensuring adequate income and affordable housing, supporting parents, enabling and supporting community-led initiatives, strengthening communities, and providing accessible and quality early childhood education.

"While there are positive initiatives in the budget, we are concerned that these initiatives are not adequate. For example, investment in social housing is positive but given the numbers on a waiting list or homeless, it's not enough. We're also concerned about the effective freeze on operational funding for many schools. The importance of education is clear and indisputable. It's not an area to be thrifty on and needs full and complete funding. But importantly, the issue really is what's not in the budget - and that's decisive action to end child poverty" says Lisa.

Tick for Kids partners have joined ActionStation, the Child Poverty Action Group and UNICEF to call on all representatives in Parliament to take responsibility to break the cycle of poverty and:
• Enable every child to get a good start in the early years by ensuring parents have all the resources they need (income, affordable housing, education, health).
• Develop and implement a national strategy for children to ensure every child their rights to health, education, safety and participation (using a child-rights framework to do this).
• Work in partnership with communities to ensure every child and family thrives (e.g. enabling community-led initiatives to engage residents in local action for children and well-funded community hubs with improved services for children’s well-being including budgeting, nutrition, adult literacy and parenting education).

* Tick4Kids is a coalition of organisations working to make children’s rights and interests a central focus for all MPs. Not all agencies will agree with all the statements made by other agencies party to the campaign. Agencies reserve the right to make public statements in accordance with their own organisational priorities. http://tick4kids.org.nz/

ENDS

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