Budget 2017 will include a $321 million Social Investment Package with 14 initiatives designed to help our most vulnerable to improve their circumstances, Social Investment Minister Amy Adams says.
“Social investment is about tackling our most challenging social issues – intervening early to help the most at-risk New Zealanders to lead better lives, become more independent and cost taxpayers less in the long run.
“We are focused on investing in the areas where we can make the most difference and as the Prime Minister announced today, Budget 2017 will contain the next steps toward embedding social investment as core practice.”
A key part of the package is about supporting children most at risk of long-term disadvantage, with $68.8 million confirmed today as being targeted at children with behavioural issues, communication problems or a challenging family environment.
“Without support, these children won’t learn and participate as well as others – so we want to help set them up for success, rather than waiting for them to fail.
“We also want to ensure our investment in the social sector is used in the most effective ways. Earlier, effective and integrated intervention will deliver better outcomes for New Zealanders and reduce costs in the long run. Applying rigorous and evidence-based investment practices to social services helps ensure we are doing that,” says Ms Adams.
“Initiatives in the Social Investment Package were selected following an in-depth investment analysis where a tough, evidence-based investment threshold was applied.
“Across the social system this Government is committed to funding what works. So Budget 2017 includes the most rigorous investment criteria ever used to ensure funding goes to evidence-based proposals that deliver long-run benefits for vulnerable people and for taxpayers.
“The funded initiatives are about supporting better cross agency ways to target some ingrained social issues across those with complex needs.”
Based on a citizen centred approach, and judged against a whole of life understanding of cost and benefit, the bids were judged against the case for change, value-for-money, and effectiveness in delivering results.