Two reports herald the publication of the Welfare Working Group's final report tomorrow. Campbell Roberts of the Salvation Army says radical new welfare proposals are set to become a defining moment in New Zealand's history. If only.
And, despite not knowing what is in the report, Sue Bradford is already planning her protest outside Work and Income in Henderson tomorrow.
National is taking the right line on this. Key has repeatedly identified the most important goal over the past few weeks. That is getting children off welfare. It isn't about persecuting or punishing people. And he needs to hold that line because he is in for a barrage of angry, often misguided, and often personal abuse.
What I want to see is more people actually pitching in behind Key. Because when it gets ugly those people who support reform mysteriously clam up and are happy for someone else to take the flack. If we want to see the recommendations become election policy, and in turn actual policy more people need to state the case for them. Write a letter to the editor; make a comment in a newspaper forum; make a comment on talkback; write to John Key. But don't let it look like the reforms are too unpopular to implement just because the very active and very loud left win the day.
Remember the end goal. Better futures for everyone. But especially the child who will be born into a welfare home today, and without change, will spend years living with disadvantage and dysfunction and dwindling chance of breaking the mould.
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