20 May 2011

Concern that symptoms addressed, not causes

9:16 am on 20 May 2011

Church social welfare agencies says the Budget treats the symptoms of society's problems, not the causes.

The Council of Christian Social Services is welcoming new funding of $40 million for dementia care and $25 million to continue the Community Response Fund, which helps agencies meet urgent social needs.

But executive officer Trevor McGlinchy says the Budget really only deals with the effects of the growing gap between rich and poor. He says it continues the Government's theme of making the better-off wealthier and leaving the worst-off where they are.

The New Zealand executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund, Dennis McKinlay, says the changes were to be expected in the current financial situation.

But he says the whole system of supporting children needs to be overhauled so money spent on helping them is viewed as an investment, not a cost.

Mr McKinlay says children deserve stable cross-party support, just as people receiving superannuation do, and funding should not be a political football.