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Improving child wellbeing? Some relief, but no transformation. CPAG 2019 Budget Analysis Summary

Every year Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) hosts Post Budget events across the nation, providing a unique, low-cost opportunity for communities to come together and hear about what budgetary changes will mean for children and young people, especially those whose lives are affected by structural socio-economic disadvantage.

At each event, a child-focused analysis and commentary of the Budget 2019 (announced on May 30), is delivered by special guest speakers, as well as spokespeople from CPAG.

Improving child wellbeing? Some relief, but no transformation. CPAG 2019 Budget Analysis Summary  (May 2019)

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has said that the Government should be warmly congratulated for the reframing of the Budget to reflect human wellbeing outcomes.

“The new approach signals a greater understanding of the tragic extent of the social deficits created over many years of neglect,” says Associate Professor Susan St John, CPAG’s Economics advisor. “Struggling families will benefit from the extra spending on mental health, domestic violence, and early intervention for at-risk children. But little has been done to address the serious problem of inadequate incomes.”

CPAG says the plan to index benefits to average wage inflation is a step forward to prevent families from falling even further behind, but it doesn’t address the almost three decades of failure to index adequately. As a result of this failure, current benefit levels fall far below the real costs of living, and families who receive income from a main benefit are struggling to meet even the most basic of their children’s needs, and rely more than ever on charity to fill the gap. A substantial increase in benefits was needed.

Read CPAG's press release "Budget provides relief but nothing transformational for children in poverty".