Breaking with normal practice, I am blogging on the same subject in successive posts.
Giving every teenager $200 a week when they turn 18 is a profoundly stupid idea.
The most meaningful reform National has made is scrapping the old cash benefit available to youth and young parents. Instead their income from the state is managed and there are tight strings attached. They get a tiny sum of cash and can only increase it by meeting certain challenges. They are heavily mentored, parented in a way they have probably never been before. The idea is to get educational qualifications, work skills and self esteem into them before it is too late.
An unconditional $200 a week would reverse this whole approach. It would be madness.
It would replicate the mindset of generational dependency seen in families that encourage - even expect - their kids to go on the dole or DPB as soon as possible to boost the family's income.
Its a truly frightening prospect.
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