The annual Salvation Army State of the Nation report shows that a Government which claims to make the wellbeing of children and families its top priority is failing them miserably, National’s Social Development spokesperson Louise Upston says.
“The list makes for grim reading.
“The number of children in benefit dependent households is up, the number of care and protection reports is up, the number of family violence referrals for child abuse and neglect is up, the number of recorded offences against children under the age of 15 for serious assault resulting in injury is up, young people not in education, employment or training (NEETS) is up, the number of people on jobseeker benefit is up, household indebtedness is up, the cost of living has risen faster for low income families and the number of total ECE enrolments down.
“Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern once said that ‘children are at the heart of everything we do’. And yet the consequences of their poor decision making is clear in this report.
“Once again the rhetoric is not matching the reality and this Government is failing children and vulnerable New Zealanders.
“This Government talks about supporting the most vulnerable and improving wellbeing, but it’s the results that matter. National’s social investment approach which set targets, measured progress and meant the Government was accountable for the improvements it was making to peoples’ lives because it’s improving lives that matters.
“Now we have a Government that talks a lot about aspiration, but this report makes it clear that good intentions don’t make for good policy, or good outcomes.”