Strong & Enduring Approach Needed to Reduce Child Poverty
A Strong And Enduring Approach Needed to Reduce Child Poverty
Barnardos has joined together with a wide range of other child-focused organisations to endorse the Children’s Commissioner’s call for cross-party consensus on reducing child poverty.
Claire Achmad, Manager – Advocacy says, “Barnardos agrees child poverty reduction is an issue we must raise up above party politics. So we focus on the people at the heart of the problem – the tamariki and children who are experiencing the negative impacts of living in poverty.”
Based on the commitments made by many political parties during the 2017 Election campaign, the time is right for cross-party consensus to happen.
Ms. Achmad says that achieving cross-party consensus on reducing child poverty will help ensure the commitment to addressing this national problem is sustained beyond the three-yearly election cycle. The recent cross-party consensus achieved on child poverty reduction in Scotland shows such agreement is possible.
“A strong and enduring approach is needed, so that reducing child poverty is an embedded commitment for all successive New Zealand governments. This is in the best interests of Aotearoa’s children and our country’s interests on an intergenerational basis,” says Ms. Achmad
In its recently published Briefing to the Incoming Government, An Aotearoa New Zealand every child shines bright | Nga Tamariki, Barnardos identified ending child poverty as a key priority which needs to be supported by a systematic action plan. This is something that the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has recommended New Zealand do.
“Well-designed legislation on child poverty reduction will be an important part of that approach. It will be important to also establish transparent accountability mechanisms, policies and systems addressing underlying root causes and developing equality of opportunity. These must be child-focused. Something Barnardos is keen to see Government explore as part of such an approach is the potential of a Universal Child Payment for all children in their early years of life, to underpin the dignity and equality of all children in Aotearoa New Zealand and ensure children grow up in resilient households”, Ms. Achmad says.
“Ending poverty is one of the Sustainable Development Goals New Zealand has already committed to. If we get our approach to reducing child poverty right, we could lead the world on how this SDG can be achieved. Now is our opportunity to be bold, and work collectively together for and with children to get it right.”