Save the Children calls for more to support Aotearoa's families ahead of Budget 2022
Less than a week out from Budget 2022, leading child rights organisation Save the Children is calling for the Government to prioritise spending on strengthening Kiwi families as rapidly rising living costs and record inflation send more families into hardship.
As the world observes International Day of Families, the day the UN chose to promote awareness of issues relating to families, Save the Children is asking for Budget 2022 to better support Kiwi families.
- Lifting core benefit levels and income support measures for families on low incomes. Research from the Fairer Future Collaboration shows significant income shortfalls of up to $300 per week for families reliant on welfare.
- Increasing the In-Work Tax Credit for inflation to $82 per week and improving access to the full amount of Working for Families.
- Continuing half-price public transport fares and improving access to public transport.
"Families are the cornerstone of society and our greatest form of protection and advancement for children, which directly influences the overall success of a nation. When our families do well, we all do well," says Save the Children New Zealand’s Advocacy and Research Director Jacqui Southey.
"Given the current situation of record inflation and extremely high costs of living, families on the lowest incomes are in critical need of support. We are hopeful the Government will recognise this need and their role to alleviate hardship, and this will be reflected in the Budget decisions."
Ms Southey says the Government’s recent signalling of increased investment in health and climate change will go some way towards supporting families, but this should not cancel out the continued need to invest in lifting incomes to liveable levels for every family in New Zealand.
"Ensuring families have enough money to pay for basics such as housing costs, energy needs, and nutritious food raises the standard of living for families. When all of society has a decent standard of living it reduces the cost burden on health, education and justice. Children and adults are healthier, education achievement increases, and people can contribute to their communities - enriching all of Aotearoa New Zealand."