Budget 2017: A trickle not a tide
This Budget does not deliver enough for all the children in poverty in New Zealand. Given that we have budget surpluses, this is a lost opportunity. Surprisingly small gestures have been made despite the Government’s loud claims to be putting children at the centre of policy. Unlike people on NZ Superannuation, people on benefits are not assisted by the tax cuts, but are assisted by the increases in Working for Families. We also note that the Government’s definition of ‘social investment’ appears to include over $1 billion on new operating and capital spending on prisons, money better spent on providing adequate support for children and their families.
There are currently 85,000 children in severe material hardship. The Family Incomes Package increase will lift 35,000 children out of severe housing stress. This is less than half the number of children in desperate need of the greatest assistance. Much more needs to be done to reduce child poverty in New Zealand.
Download the 2017 Budget Analysis Summary