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Budget positive but more needed - Tick for Kids

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Tick for Kids- welcomes measures announced in the budget aimed at improving child wellbeing and reducing child poverty, such as increasing benefit levels. Government policy has the single-biggest impact on social and economic wellbeing and the Government deserves recognition for taking action in this area.

"It is pleasing to see a focus on child poverty, however we must ensure that all policies and programmes keep central the needs of children and are family and whānau centred. For example, the budget has a clear focus on encouraging parents into work, but we need to ensure this does not undermine the important role of parenting" says Lisa Woods, Executive Officer of Every Child Counts and Tick for Kids Spokesperson.

While acknowledging the positive measures in the budget, much more is needed if we're truly going to make a difference to child poverty - meaningful change requires comprehensive and sustained action.

"Successive Governments have tended to take a piecemeal approach to policies for children, when we know from research that ending child poverty requires action 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" says Dr Hirini Kaa, Executive Director of Mana Ririki and Tick for Kids Spokesperson.

"Addressing disparities is a fundamental part of the picture - we need to talk about the fact that Māori and Pasifika are disproportionately represented in child poverty statistics. Action needs to include specific measures to address this disparity" says Dr Kaa.

With changes needed across a range of areas, Tick for Kids urges the Government to develop a child poverty action plan, including targets and measures, as a way to ensure accountability and to provide a tool to assess what is or is not working.

"Ending child poverty is a moral and economic imperative. Everyone will benefit from measures that improve child well-being because of the important contribution our children will make to our society and economy" says Dr Kaa.

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