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Budget 2016 not the game changer needed

Every Child Counts media release
26 May 2016

Budget 2016 not the game changer needed

Every Child Counts welcomes initiatives in the budget aimed at improving child wellbeing, but is disappointed that it doesn't address one of the most critical issues facing the country - child poverty.

"Over 300,000 children are living in poverty under an income based measure. This is astoundingly high. So while we acknowledge the positive, we are disappointed that we are still yet to see any government really confront this issue and commit to comprehensive action to end child poverty" says Lisa Woods, Every Child Counts Executive Officer.

"We are pleased the Government is investing in areas critical to improving child wellbeing and ending child poverty, such as housing and education, but equally concerned that with the high needs in these areas, the initiatives are not going to have the desired impact. For example investment in social housing is positive, but given the numbers on waiting lists or homeless it's clear there's a long way to go. Similarly with education, while we welcome investment in this area we're deeply concerned that the budget also includes an effective freeze on operational funding for many schools.

"Over the years we've seen positive policies for children, but action by successive governments has been piecemeal, and this is wholly inadequate. Meaningful change requires a sustained programme of work across a range of areas, including addressing disparities, ensuring adequate income and affordable housing, supporting parents, strengthening communities, and providing accessible and quality early childhood education.

"Ending child poverty involves everyone, but action by Government to implement necessary policies is obviously a fundamental part of the picture and we're calling on Government to do its bit and commit to developing an overarching child poverty action plan in order to ensure accountability and assess progress" says Lisa.

ends

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