Social Justice Mid-Term Report : Shows Some Potential but Needs to Try Harder!

There are enough public resources within our country to ensure living standards are at a level that supports every New Zealand child and family/whanau to access basic necessities. This is the uncompromising position taken in NZCCSS’ submission on “Supporting Children in Hardship Bill“, which supports some of the components of the ‘Children in Hardship Package’ detailed in Budget 2015.

NZCCSS considers the Bill a ‘good start’ and likely to have some positive impact on vulnerable children but the scale of public investment needs to be significantly more if we are to make a real on the ground difference to the daily lives of thousands of Kiwi children living in severe material hardship. $790 million is just not enough to make a sustained impact.

There is ample evidence that demonstrates that public investment in children, particularly during the first 6 years of life pays dividend over the long term. UNICEF New Zealand recently reported an estimated drain on the public economy of between $8 -$9 billion public dollars every year to costs associated with “social and economic costs of poverty and poor child outcomes”.

What if $8-$9 billion of public money was invested into children living in low income households and into low cost quality homes to provide warm, safe and stable homes?

For information on the specific issues raised by NZCCSS in the submission click here