Targeting policies

One law for all?

One benefit for all?

One job for all?

Or are we moving into a new era? The comfort blanket policies of giving a lot of people benefits and tax credits are very costly and very easy to abuse. Is targeting the biggest problems a better approach?

Obviously some policies should be universal, like most laws, National Super, maternity and infant health benefits. others will get better results – and benefit those that need and deserve the most benefits.

National are drip feeding policies leading in to the election. Two have targeting written all over them.

The Green Paper on Children is suggesting ways of prioritising money and efforts on the most vulnerable children in New Zealand. And now National have announced another target:

Welfare reforms to start with young people

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett today said the National-led Government’s welfare reforms begin with a fresh approach to working with vulnerable and disengaged young people.

Will we see more targeted policies released prior to the election? And, as a National likely, will the targets be dealt with in their next term?

Key, knee, jerk

I find this very disappointing.

Key rejects bi-partisan approach to child abuse (Stuff)

Prime Minister John Key has ruled out a bi-partisan approach to dealing with child abuse, saying political parties would campaign on their policies ahead of the general election.

There were calls for cross-party agreement on the issues, but Key said this morning that political parties had differing views on the solution.

There was universal agreement that New Zealand’s child abuse rates were too high and something must be done, he told TVNZ’s Breakfast. However, they did not agree on what.

“Ultimately parties are going to have to campaign on what they believe is the right solution for those problems.”

This is absurd. Ultimately the interests of the children should be paramount.

Knee-jerk reactions derail child policy issues (TVNZ)

The Prime Minister’s chief science advisor told TVNZ this morning national consensus which goes beyond party political cycles is needed in order to actually look at the issues.  Peter Gluckman adds that investment in the critical first three years of life is very expensive.

We need to get away from dogma and rhetoric, he said, and examine whether society is “prepared to trade off some other aspect of what we spend money on to put very high quality services into families most at risk”.

Maybe the Prime Minister’s chief science advisor needs to have a chat to the Prime Minister.

Maybe the voters of New Zealand need to let the Prime Minister know that our problems with child abuse are far to important to become a campaign football.

This issue needs an inclusive all party all people approach. The Prime Minister should be leading that approach, not kneeing it in the guts.