Government's 'social investment' promise empty -- Greens

Government's 'social investment' promise empty -- Greens

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says a separate investment into child welfare is needed to address long-term issues, and says this won't be achieved under the Government's proposal to redirect funding from other departments.

Minister for Social Development Anne Tolley told The Nation yesterday Cabinet is considering taking money from other departments, such as Corrections, health and education, as a prevention measure to make long-term savings in those areas.

"That's the social investment process, so you invest the money up front," said Ms Tolley. "And Cabinet has agreed, I think outstandingly, that we will be taking some money from those agencies."

Up to $421 million could be redirected from these departments into child welfare by 2019, but it's expected to take a generation before savings of 50 percent are made. Ms Tolley said the Government hasn't ruled out putting new money into the agency.

Ms Turei says moving money around isn't the answer.

"We're onto our 14th review of CYFs (Child, Youth and Family) since it was set up, and no Government has ever made the genuine injection of money that has been needed," she says.

Ms Turei says departments like Corrections are already struggling to meet public services targets and shifting money around won't improve access or the quality of services.