Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Where or what is the Conservative's welfare policy?

With an indication from tonight's TV3 poll that the Conservative Party will be in the next parliament I am interested in their welfare policy.

But I can't find one.

A search of their site produced:

".... the best welfare program is a job..."

"I do think it is relevant to discuss people's lifestyle choices when these impact on government legislation and spending. The welfare review where, for example, the government has now become a front line dispenser of contraceptives (at taxpayer cost) and the marriage amendment legislation are two examples where people's lifestyle choices are part of the discussion."

" Children in violent families are at risk - welfare needs to be looked at."

ACT, by way of comparison, has a 5 page policy paper.

The Conservatives have said they can work with Labour. That would indicate they might support repeal of National's welfare reforms and even increased benefit payments. I remember United Future talked tough on welfare and then supported Labour removing the DPB work-testing National introduced in the late nineties.

Some greater clarity about where they stand shouldn't be difficult given their number 2 is an ex head of Work and Income.


PM of NZ said...

the best welfare program is a job

An excellent policy in one sentence. What else they do need to deal with the entitled and the feckless?

One wonders why ACT needs another 5 pages to explain what should also be their policy.

Anonymous said...

ACT has a 5-page paper (although why 5 pages are necessary when two words "Personal Responsibility" will do!) but their policy is in their budget for all to see:

ACT support every borrowed cent of National's welfare spending

which - let us never forget - is even more generous than Clark's. Even ACT's official policy is far to the left of the US Dems like Obama, not to mention Clinton: let's put it this way Lindsay, "income management" after 5 years is the completely opposite of a life time limit - which means no more of any kind of benefit after say 5 years.

So pragmatically it will be hard for the Conservatives to be further left than ACT.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

PM of NZ, It's straight from Reagan or Clinton. Even uses the US spelling of 'program'.

I'm not against the sentiment but Clinton especially did a lot more than a soundbite.

And even the Greens will talk full employment out of one side of the mouth while recommending higher benefits out of the other.

david said...

ACT are careful not to criticise National too much - maybe too careful, but 'left'? I don't think so. I think they have a much better reasoned set of strategies than anyone else, so it is disappointing they are not getting more traction. Maybe writing 5 pages is not the way to get media attention - if you bother to read it you will see that they do understand the problem and are not just making glib responses.

S Beast said...

Saying that "the best welfare program is a job" over simplifies serious issues and difficulties in transition to lower welfare reliance and is an insult to the intelligence and commitment of all those who work in this area.

Well spotted Lindsay.

Baxter said...

I can't see Christine Rankin or Garth McVicar being too keen on working with Labour.

The Gantt Guy said...

Lindsay, just one very minor point of order on your comment "I'm not against the sentiment but Clinton especially did a lot more than a soundbite." above.

What I suspect you meant to say was "I'm not against the sentiment but Gingrich forced Clinton to do a lot more than a soundbite."

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Baxter, I wouldn't have thought so but in July the Herald reported, "She [Christine Rankin] told an audience of 100 delegates that the party still believed it could work with either National or Labour."

Anonymous said...

I can't see Christine Rankin or Garth McVicar being too keen on working with Labour.

Why ever not? Rankin was an exec for years at WINZ under Labour govt's - and Phil under Hellen was ran a far tougher justice regime than English (effectively) runs under Key.

Anonymous said...

And lest we forget:

Tame Iti is standing for election - pretty much for National.