Key’s first move: remove another Labour policy plank

While the Labour Party is completely self absorbed, Key is moving ahead and cutting off another policy area that has traditionally been Labour’s

Prime Minister John Key has asked his officials for fresh ideas on tackling child poverty.

On his first day back at Parliament since being re-elected on Saturday, Key said he had ordered Treasury and Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet officials to start presenting new ideas.

‘‘The recognition I think we all have is that there are some extremely poor children who are missing out,’’ Key said yesterday.

‘‘And so then the question is how do you resolve those issues, it’s not straightforward but there will be more you can do.’’

Key said it needed to be done without narrowing the gap between the incomes of those on benefits and those working, to ensure people were still encouraged into work.

Breakfasts in schools, free doctors’ visits for young children and tax credits for low and middle income families were examples of policies that could be used to tackle the problem, as could programmes such as Whanau Ora.

No resting on laurels, and the trough remains open to keep the Maori Party in cheque check.

Professor Innes Asher of the Child Poverty Action Group said to tackle child poverty, benefits and Working for Families tax credits needed to be tied to inflation, while the minimum wage needed to catch up to the increase in the cost of living.

‘‘Clearly if you are wanting to lift working people out of poverty or lift their children out of poverty you’ve got to make work pay.’’

Seventy five per cent of children living in poverty were from beneficiary families who did not have enough money to meet the needs of their children and the in-work tax credits also needed to be extended to them, she said.

Doing this would shrink the income gap between beneficiaries and working poor which had grown substantially, but not erase it, she said.

‘‘The long term prosperity of New Zealand utterly depends on all of our children reaching their potential,’’ she said.

Although it’s another potential lurch to the left for National, it is good strategy to ensure any future Green/Labour coalition continues to be denied oxygen on policy that may interest centre and left of centre voters.   By keeping the door ajar for NZ First, and continuing the left creep crowding out Labour from the left of centre political spectrum, the 2017 election started yesterday.

 

– Michael Fox, Stuff


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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