Wellbeing Budget 2021

Securing
Our Recovery

What progress has been made in reducing child poverty?

Since 2017/18, all nine child poverty measures have been trending downwards

The 2019/20 child poverty rates reflect most of the impact of the Government's Families Package. We have made a range of changes to support children living in poverty over the past year which aren't yet reflected in these rates. These include the $25 per family main benefit increase as part of the initial COVID-19 response and changes to index main benefits to average wage growth in Budget 2019, both which were introduced on 1 April 2020.

The 2019/20 figures do not reflect any impact from COVID-19. The first COVID-19 lockdown put a stop to surveying in late March 2020, which means the reporting uses nine months of data.

This year we are able to provide breakdowns for Māori and Pacific children and children with disabilities.[26] We also have the reduction in rates from 2018/19 for Māori and Pacific children.[27]

Table 3 - Progress to date on child poverty measures

Table 3 - Progress to date on child poverty measures

Income measure:

After-housing-costs, fixed-line measure

AHC50

How are we doing?
In 2019/20, 18.4 percent of all children were living in poverty on the after-housing-costs measure.

What does this show?
This is a reduction of 4.4 percentage points (ppt), or 43,300 children, since the 2017/18 baseline year.

What about different groups?

  • 21.1 percent of Māori children
  • 21.0 percent of Pacific children
  • 22.5 percent of disabled children

Since 2018/19, there has been a reduction of 1.3 ppt for Māori children and a reduction of 0.5 ppt for Pacific children.

Income measure:

Before-housing-costs, moving-line measure

BHC50

How are we doing?
In 2019/20, 13.8 percent of all children were living in poverty on the before-housing-costs measure.

What does this show?
This is a reduction for all children of 2.7 ppt, or 25,600 children, since the 2017/18 baseline year.

What about different groups?

  • 17.1 percent of Māori children
  • 19.1 percent of Pacific children
  • 15.6 percent of disabled children

Since 2018/19, there has been a reduction of 0.7 ppt for Māori children and an increase of 0.6 ppt for Pacific children.

Non-income measure:

Material hardship

How are we doing?
In 2019/20, 11.3 percent of all children were living in poverty on the material hardship measure.

What does this show?
This is a reduction of 2.0 ppt, or 18,000 children, since the 2017/18 baseline year.

What about different groups?

  • 19.5 percent of Māori children
  • 26.1 percent of Pacific children
  • 20.4 percent of disabled children

Since 2018/19, there has been a reduction of 3.1 ppt for Māori children and an increase of 2.1 ppt for Pacific children.

There remains considerable uncertainty around the impact of COVID-19

It is still too soon to estimate precisely what COVID-19 will mean for the child poverty measures. However, the most recent forecasts indicate that the economic outlook has improved considerably from what it was at the time of last year's Budget. At the time, we noted that the economic impact of COVID-19 was expected to increase rates of child poverty on some of the measures. We still expect that COVID-19 will put financial pressure on many families but less than previously estimated.

Notes

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