Government has prioritised MSD funding to three areas: vulnerable children, young people, and adult survivors. Almost all MSD funding will now be focussed on these three areas, with some remaining provision for disability and Christchurch. The Minister has said the funding quantum will remain the same – just be redirected.
The intent is to focus funding on the Government’s better public service targets. So, in essence, this is to ensure the community delivers on the Government’s targets rather than its own needs.
The focus is also on a reduction in harm so a reduction in the number of young people who are hurt. This should include fewer children in material hardship. The Green Party has been talking about the need to consider issues holistically for a long time. We are also very keen on government being accountable for child poverty – that’s why we’ve been pushing so hard for both a measure and plan.
One of my concerns with the direction discussed by the Minister is it effectively removes the accountability from government and places it on community agencies.