Children to reap benefits of Budget


Education and social support were given major boosts today, with $140 million going to vulnerable children.

Hundreds of millions are earmarked for a huge building programme for new schools and classrooms -- but some say it won't go far enough.

Education will see $351 million of new money go towards building 480 new classrooms, two new schools, two school expansions, and the rebuild of a kura kaupapa Māori.

But figures from the Ministry of Education show more than 900 schools need significant property assistance --- so are 480 classrooms enough?

Not according to South Wellington Intermediate principal Traci Liddall, who says it will only take some of the pressure off but won't actually meet the need.

Meanwhile a radical overhaul of Child, Youth, and Family (CYF) will receive $200 million.

And this is only the start, with another $145 million targeted at the most vulnerable children.

The Budget shows a strong focus on children in regard to both education and social support -- but new parents have missed out.

Labour has the numbers to deliver 26 weeks of paid parental leave, but Bill English has confirmed he will use the Government's financial veto to block it.