Government making good progress on wellbeing
The Coalition Government is making solid progress on improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders and the Budget will outline further work, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says.
“I have a lot of respect for the work of Alan Johnson and the Salvation Army when it comes to their State of the Nation report. I’m sure they realise that the scale of the challenge this Government inherited means that we won’t finish our work in one year.
“The Coalition Government has already done an enormous amount in our first year to improve New Zealanders wellbeing and make our country the best place in the world to be a child.
“We’ve lifted the incomes of more than 384,000 families by $65 a week, on average, now and $75 when the Families’ Package is fully implemented. We’ve helped families by making it free for every kid under 14 to go to the doctor and pick up a prescription.
“We extended paid parental leave, and introduced the best start payment for every child born in New Zealand, providing $60 a week for up to three years to support every family at the most crucial time in their children’s’ development.
“Over a million New Zealanders benefited from the winter energy payment that gave families up to $31.82 a week to help keep them warm and dry over the coldest month
“We’ve already delivered a lot, and this year’s Wellbeing Budget will continue that work with its priorities including reducing child poverty, improving child and youth wellbeing and addressing family violence as well as supporting improved mental health and lifting Maori and Pacific incomes, skills and opportunities,” Grant Robertson says.
“Our wellbeing approach is a gamechanger as it puts consideration about wellbeing objectives at the heart of Budget decision making.
“The Salvation Army has highlighted the importance of addressing disparities facing Maori in New Zealand. This is exactly why this is one of the Budget priorities and this will include targeted funding.
“This is part of using an evidence-based approach to help assess Budget bids and provide advice on how money is best allocated to deliver the Government’s wellbeing priorities,” Grant Robertson said.