Wellbeing Budget 2020

Child Poverty Report

Child Poverty Report

Budget Day child poverty reporting requirements

The Child Poverty Reduction Act 2018 amended the Public Finance Act 1989, introducing section 15EA which requires the supporting information for the main Appropriation Bill (the Budget) to include a report on child poverty. The report must:

  1. discuss any progress made, in the most recent completed financial year, in reducing child poverty consistent with the targets under the Child Poverty Reduction Act 2018; and

  2. indicate whether and, if so, to what extent, measures in or related to that Bill will affect child poverty.

The most recently completed financial year is 2017/18 and the targets under the Child Poverty Reduction Act 2018 begin in 2018/19. This report therefore addresses paragraph (a) by providing a high‑level view of recent trends up to 2017/18, before discussing the expected impact of Budgets 2018 and 2019 to address paragraph (b).

Child Poverty and Budget 2020

Background

This is the second report on child poverty to be released with the Budget. It provides the first indication of progress on the measured rates of child poverty since the Government's targets were gazetted, based on the 2018/19 Household Economic Survey.

It also comes at a time when we are facing a challenge that will affect every part of our economy and the livelihoods of many New Zealanders. Despite the significant and far-reaching challenges facing the economy as a result of COVID-19, the Government remains committed to reducing child poverty and improving child wellbeing. Our early actions to respond to COVID-19, and investment in Budget 2020, build on our past investments to reduce child poverty through the Families Package and Budgets 2018 and 2019 (further detail on past investment can be found in Appendix B).

It is still too early to know what the precise impact of COVID-19 will be on our economy, and on measured rates of child poverty. The loss of jobs and incomes will have knock-on impacts for households trying to pay their rents and meet every day needs. For some, the pressures are new, and may not have been experienced before. Fundamentally, what we do know is that investing in our children and their wellbeing will have significant long-term benefits for our economy and broader society, long after COVID-19 has passed.

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