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Better lives for children a focus of Budget 2018

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister

Minister for Child Poverty Reduction

17 May 2018

Budget 2018 builds a better future for New Zealand children, with major investments in health, education, housing and justice to improve thousands of children’s lives, says Prime Minister and Minister for Child Poverty Reduction Jacinda Ardern.

“The Coalition Government is committed to genuine change to ensure New Zealand becomes the best place in the world to be a child, and today’s Budget continues the significant work already under way,” says Jacinda Ardern.

“From 1 July 384,000 families with children will see their incomes boosted as a result of our Families Package. But income is only part of the solution.

“At the very least, children need a warm, dry place to call home, an education that sets them up for life, safe and supported families, and to be able to go to the doctor.

“As part of my Child Poverty Reduction Bill, the Government has committed to reducing child poverty rates to historically low levels and to embed child wellbeing in all of the Government’s work.

“Today we’re walking the talk, with a suite of investments that will rebuild our health and education systems and improve children’s living standards now,” says Jacinda Ardern.

These include:

· extending free doctors’ visits and prescriptions to under-14-year-olds – 56,000 newly eligible children

· expanding school-based health services to cover decile 4 secondary schools

· increasing the number of children in early childhood education

· increasing access to additional learning support and the amount of support each child gets, with an additional $284 million investment over four years

· increasing public housing by over 6,000 homes over the next four years

· grants for low-income home owners to insulate and heat their homes

· providing $105 million over four years for a clothing allowance for children supported by an Orphans or Unsupported Child’s benefit, which was previously limited only to children in care

· improving the Government’s efforts to reduce child poverty by establishing the expert Child Poverty and Child Wellbeing Units

· expanding the sample size of the Household Economic Survey from about 3,500 households to about 20,000 households to provide a more accurate picture of child wellbeing and low income, so we can make sure our policies are making a difference.

“In a country as wealthy as ours, we have the opportunity and the obligation to ensure children are free from the burden of poverty. This Government is putting the wellbeing of children at the centre of everything we do,” says Jacinda Ardern.

ends

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