Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Promises, promises

Key is tipped to announce welfare reform plans in his speech today. This will no doubt involve a reiteration of their 2008 campaign promises. While manifesto promises are not implemented there remains an opportunity to keep rolling them out as 'new' announcements.

For instance, in the manifesto National said,

"Within twelve months of a new National Government, every person who has been on the UB for more than a year will be required to re-apply for their benefit and undergo a comprehensive work assessment."

That was re-announced just before Xmas and it wouldn't surprise to see it re-re-announced today.

An earlier post covered each manifesto promise and the failure thus far to implement even one of them.

Still, putting aside rational judgement, I am ever the optimist. But a reader over my shoulder has just walked away saying the prospect of those Tories doing anything isn't great. In fact, he has just returned to tell me that John Key is not a powerhouse of ideas; he is not an ardent reformer or we would have heard about him long before now; he isn't a Mike Moore or a Roger Douglas; or even a Helen Clark.

Or a Bill Clinton, who said the following in his State of the Union address of 1996;

I say to those who are on welfare, and especially to those who have been trapped on welfare for a long time: For too long our welfare system has undermined the values of family and work, instead of supporting them. The Congress and I are near agreement on sweeping welfare reform. We agree on time limits, tough work requirements, and the toughest possible child support enforcement. But I believe we must also provide child care so that mothers who are required to go to work can do so without worrying about what is happening to their children.

I challenge this Congress to send me a bipartisan welfare reform bill that will really move people from welfare to work and do the right thing by our children. I will sign it immediately.

Let us be candid about this difficult problem. Passing a law, even the best possible law, is only a first step. The next step is to make it work. I challenge people on welfare to make the most of this opportunity for independence. I challenge American businesses to give people on welfare the chance to move into the work force. I applaud the work of religious groups and others who care for the poor. More than anyone else in our society, they know the true difficulty of the task before us, and they are in a position to help. Every one of us should join them. That is the only way we can make real welfare reform a reality in the lives of the American people.


Anonymous said...

Compare with Cameron:

David Cameron and George Osborne are drawing up plans to impose real-terms spending cuts that would see Britain's public services slashed by billions of pounds during the next parliament.

Senior Tory sources have told the Guardian that the party leadership is determined to press ahead with cuts that go dramatically further than Labour's plans for an overall spending freeze –already likened to a return to the 1970s – from next year.


The prospect of real-terms cuts in "total managed expenditure" – overall spending – is alarming some senior Tories. Kenneth Clarke, the shadow business secretary, recently warned against imposing "calamitous" cuts. One senior Tory said: "It is very difficult to achieve real-terms spending cuts. I hope this is just an aspiration because the economic picture is very bleak."

A Tory spokeswoman confirmed that Osborne would cut the fiscal deficit faster than Labour: "Conservatives have set out a clear benchmark, against which we can be held to account, to safeguard Britain's credit rating and eliminate a large part of the structural deficit over a parliament.


If only the NZ tories had half as much guts!

Oswald Bastable said...

Welfare Reform [Insert Tui Ad here]

Anonymous said...

Oswald you tike!

I have spent all mornig writing a collective letter to my/our tenants warning them of their future.