INDEPENDENT NEWS

Save The Children Says Budget 2024 Will Not Deliver For Kiwi Families Struggling Most

Published: Thu 30 May 2024 02:57 PM
Save the Children is concerned for the welfare of New Zealand’s lowest income families, with Budget 2024 offering little additional financial support.
While the child rights organisation welcomes the Government’s commitment to areas such as education, a new early childcare subsidy, and health announced in Budget 2024, it is deeply concerned about the impact of the Budget and previously announced cuts on New Zealand’s lowest income families.
Save the Children New Zealand’s Advocacy Director Jacqui Southey says she was pleased to see some targeted investment in children and their families in work, those struggling the most with the cost-of-living crisis are not visible in additional income lifts announced today.
"There is some positive news for middle income New Zealand, with the tax cuts providing temporary relief during tough times. But those gains may be offset by cuts in other areas such as an end to free prescriptions and public transport subsidies, or the impact of enduring high interest rates that are taking a real toll on household incomes.
"Recessions are a time when more resources should be extended to people who are struggling the most, not less, but sadly, Budget 2024 offers little or no extras for those families already facing cuts. We are very concerned about the downstream impact on child poverty and fear that statistics may become much worse.
"Child poverty statistics are more than numbers, these are real children, real whānau, struggling to get by on too little incomes, essentially missing out on the basics."
A report published yesterday by anti-poverty coalition Fairer Future, of which Save the Children is a member, highlights the human cost of around 30 new Government policies that have detrimentally affected disabled people.
The report focuses on five key policies: benefit indexation changes, the decision to adjust the minimum wage by a lower amount than recommended, changes to the Healthy School lunches programme, the reintroduction of prescription fees, and public transport subsidy cuts.
It shows that a carer with children reliant on public transport faces higher costs of almost $2500 because of the new changes. A sole parent who uses public transport, is on minimum wage and has a disabled child may face costs approaching $6000 a year because of government decisions.

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