Re­ac­tion mixed on so­cial wel­fare

The New Zealand Herald - - News - Tess Ni­chol wel­fare

Moves to tackle child poverty have been largely wel­comed by those in the sec­tor, but ad­vo­cates say ben­e­fi­cia­ries have been left out in the cold in this year’s Bud­get.

The Gov­ern­ment has set up two units within the Prime Min­is­ter’s Depart­ment to tackle child poverty and Oranga Ta­mariki — Min­istry for Chil­dren gets a to­tal of $269.9 mil­lion over four years to ex­pand its ser­vices.

The Child Poverty Unit, which will re­ceive $7.9m over four years, will ad­vise on poli­cies that af­fect poverty among chil­dren and co-or­di­nate the Gov­ern­ment’s work to re­duce poverty and ma­te­rial hard­ship.

The Child Well­be­ing Unit will de­velop a strat­egy to im­prove child well­be­ing.

An ex­tra $25.7m for Statis­tics New Zealand would im­prove in­for­ma­tion col­lected about Kiwi fam­i­lies, help­ing to cre­ate a clearer pic­ture of poverty, the Gov­ern­ment said.

How­ever, the Bud­get did not al­lo­cate funds to re­move Sec­tion 70A, which re­duces the ben­e­fits of sin­gle mothers who refuse to name the fa­ther of their child.

Auck­land Ac­tion Against Poverty co-or­di­na­tor Ri­cardo Me­nen­dez said he was dis­ap­pointed the $25m a year was not al­lo­cated to change sec­tion 70A, when $100m was be­ing spent on the Amer­ica’s Cup.

Chil­dren’s Com­mis­sioner Judge An­drew Be­croft wel­comed the fo­cus on re­duc­ing child poverty, crit­i­cal to­wards im­prov­ing child well­be­ing.

How­ever, while So­cial Ser­vices Providers Aotearoa wel­comed the fo­cus on help­ing the coun­try’s most vul­ner­a­ble fam­i­lies, they said it by­passed es­sen­tial ser­vices which were in need of more fund­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.