The Ministerial Committee on Poverty has been a bit quiet of late but an open letter from Deborah Morris-Travers, National Advocacy Manager, UNICEF NZ, has put the committee back in the news.
UNICEF NZ are asking for urgent action on a range of policies that will strengthen current work across the government to improve outcomes for children.
- Indexing welfare benefits to median wages in the same way as NZ Superannuation.
- Ensuring families are receiving all of the support they are eligible for, including the Child Disability Allowance.
- Reviewing and increasing the Accommodation Supplement to reduce very high outgoings to income.
- Simplifying and improving Working for Families so that the poorest children receive support and tax credits are indexed to median wages.
- Continuing to retrofit Housing NZ properties with insulation and heating, to ensure they are safe for children to live in and insisting on good quality private rentals properties for children.
- Building more social housing and improving access to quality, affordable homes while ensuring greater security of tenancies to reduce family transience.
- Setting targets to significantly reduce severe and persistent poverty over the next five years.
- Developing a multi-year plan, with cross-party support, to ensure sustained investment from Government and communities to improve the standard of living for children.