Govt failing to meet many key targets

HAMISH RUTHERFORD
Last updated 05:00 22/07/2014

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Finance Minister Bill English admits the Government is struggling to hit its own target of raising school leaver achievement, as it appears it could miss key measures relating to children.

Yesterday the State Services Commission released an update on the better public services (BPS) targets, a series created in 2012 to measure improvements demanded by 2017.

While it appears it will meet a target related to long-term welfare dependency, those for immunisation rates, admittances to hospital with rheumatic fever and incidents of child assaults could be missed, on current trends.

Meanwhile, a flagship goal of raising the number of 18-year-olds with a minimum of level two NCEA or equivalent to 85 per cent by 2017 could be more difficult than the Government has previously admitted. Last year English insisted the target was on track to be achieved.

Between 2012 and 2013, the proportion achieving level two climbed 1.4 percentage points to 78.6 per cent. Even at that rate the target would be narrowly missed, but yesterday English said every improvement was getting more difficult to achieve.

"As these levels rise the increments are getting harder," he said at yesterday's post Cabinet press conference, adding that the Government was now taking intervention at an individual level to achieve the gains.

Targets related to overall crime and youth crime reduction have effectively been achieved, although the trend for violent crime means a continued rate of improvement will be needed over the next three years.

Targets to reduce the cost of doing business and allow Kiwis to do more of their interaction with the Government online either need addressing or are some way off being achieved.

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- The Dominion Post

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