A budget that takes children seriously
The Children’s Commissioner, Judge Andrew Becroft, says today’s budget takes children seriously. He welcomes the focus on reducing child poverty, a critical step towards improving child wellbeing.
“The Families package, which includes a boost to Working for Families and a new Best Start payment supporting all new babies from July 1st, will make a significant difference”, he says.
“We are also pleased about legislation to improve the number and condition of New Zealand’s houses. Coupled with commitments to address homelessness, add new state housing and contribute to winter energy costs, these initiatives will go some way to improving the lives of many New Zealand children whose wellbeing is presently at risk.
The Commissioner welcomes significantly increased funding for learning support, GP visits made free to children under 14. He is also appreciative of additional funding for expanding the services of Oranga Tamariki and better support for people caring for children who are not their own.
“But this budget can’t stand alone” Judge Becroft says. “It needs to be the first of many offering this level of constructive change. If it is really to be considered a game-changer it will need to be built on in future years.
“But the initiatives taken in this budget are important first steps. “They take the needs of children seriously and will contribute to making their lives better. And we applaud that.”