The Government’s recently announced Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy is frustratingly light on detail, National’s Social Development spokesperson Louise Upston says.
“Despite the positive intentions of the strategy, there appears to be little that will result in material change for the most vulnerable Kiwi kids.
“This Government has no plan for how to help children in need now. The Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy contains many platitudes but few concrete ways to make a difference for struggling New Zealanders.
“The Prime Minister has talked big about combatting child poverty, but we’re almost two years into this Government’s tenure and there are 4,000 more children living in poverty than when she came into office.
“The cost of living continues to rise, rents are up $50 per week, and prices at the pump are putting even more pressure on families.
“We can see that families are doing it tough and more of them are receiving hardship grants and benefit advances than ever. When it’s this Government’s policies that are driving up the cost of living, assistance that’s quickly wiped out by those cost increases seems like a hollow promise.
“This strategy says lots about providing support but doesn’t say what form that support will take, where it’s going to be targeted, or how it will be rolled out. How do we know it’s going to go to the kids who need it most?
“National provided practical help for families in need, from childcare assistance to help with transport and programmes to assist parents in returning to work.
“We trusted communities to make the decisions that were best for them, rather than blanket strategies that don’t respond the unique circumstances and needs of each family.
“Our social investment approach gave targeted support to individuals and was transforming lives, dealing with the causes of dysfunction rather the symptoms. This Labour-led Government has failed to deliver for the Kiwi kids and families who need them most.”