Caritas welcomes Budget direction - but lasting results will be the real test
In welcoming the government’s Budget announcement today, Caritas says it heralds proposed changes that could help families, people on low incomes and the environment. The government will, however, still need to demonstrate how money reaches those at the grassroots and most impacted by poverty. We’re still keen to hear how the Government will report against a broader set of well-being indicators and demonstrate its commitment to intergenerational welfare.
Julianne Hickey, Caritas Director, says “Today’s budget promises a significant investment to increase support for family well-being and reduce child poverty.”
In our January Submission on the Budget Policy Statement, we referred to Climate Change as the ultimate intergenerational issue. There are no second chances for people whose homes are being impacted by rising sea levels and extreme weather events – both here in New Zealand and among our Pacific neighbours. “We are pleased to see joined up thinking in climate change initiatives such as the Climate Change Commission, but we believe they do not go far enough and do not move quickly enough. The government needs to move faster on transforming New Zealand into a prosperous low carbon economy” said Mrs Hickey.
We need to have an integrated approach to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, responding to disasters, and climate change. Caritas welcomes the increased investment in relations in the Pacific. The real challenge will be to ensure that this investment benefits the poor and vulnerable.
In sum, we believe the government is taking a step forward. The real test will be in monitoring progress towards the goals that have been set. Are the actions being taken leading to lasting transformation for those families and communities that need it most?