Only because this country is up-to-the-eyeballs in entitlement culture and learned helplessness.
Lately, he [Bill English] has been working with Paula Bennett in Social Development in his role co-ordinating all policy for the election campaign.
National's welfare reform plans will be unveiled soon and promise to be controversial.
For instance they could promise work-testing on DPB dependents when the youngest child turns 3. That would illicit howls of outrage not only from pro-welfare advocates and left feminists but conservatives who oppose childcare outside of the home.
But it shouldn't provoke controversy. By western standards supporting a parent till their youngest is three is fairly generous.
And here's another way to look at it.
Welfare reforms will be "controversial" because the media tells us so. "Controversy" keeps them gainfully employed.