Here's the latest Maori Party policy.
To gift $500 to parents of some 230,000 children 'living in poverty' and superannuitants, to help them over the Xmas period.
They say it will cost $136 million.
I make it roughly $300 million (500,000 superannuitants and 100,000 parents x $500)
Basically workers are being asked to pass the hat and put in $150 each so beneficiaries can get a $500 Christmas present. Labour governments have done this sort of thing in the past, although perhaps not exclusively for beneficiaries.
The Maori Party say it will be good for the economy because the recipients will spend it. That is making the assumption that you will not. Of course you are 'rich' and won't need the money yourself at Xmas.
One lady is honest enough to acknowledge the money might not reach the children.
"Who it makes a difference to depends on which families you give it to. There are a lot of drugs and alcohol. If I'm being honest [there are some who would] rather spend money on things like that."
But that is just an annoying detail. Probably the price the Maori Party are prepared to pay.
But will National or Labour?
Is this what the Maori Party support will come down to?
Back in 2006 Tariana said, "...the Maori Party is not for sale."
It is. And so are the other minor parties. But I would hope that a party like ACT would set a price that was of benefit to all New Zealanders. If the Maori Party hold the balance of power I fear that their actions will create division and resentment. I hope I am wrong.
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