New Zealand’s government has announced billions of dollars towards new spending on tackling suicide rates, child poverty, homelessness and domestic violence in a national budget promising to put measures of public wellbeing next to economic figures, The Age reports.
On Thursday the Ardern government handed down its “Wellbeing Budget” – its promise has drawn attention from the likes of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The plan targeted key welfare areas which the government says need improving based on international standards, and which it expects to regularly track in the future.
In practical terms, a record $NZ1.9 billion ($1.79 billion) of new spending over four years has been put towards mental heath programs and suicide reduction, and $NZ1.1 billion towards child welfare initiatives.
About $NZ5.5 million has also been set aside for mental health support for Christchurch after the March 15 mosque shootings in the city.