Key’s speech on welfare

August 14th, 2011 at 12:23 pm by David Farrar

said:

I’ve often said that you measure a society by how it looks after its most vulnerable.

But you also measure a society by how many vulnerable people it creates.

At the moment it is creating too many, so we are going to make changes.

Good.

Over the past year, there were between 8,500 and 13,500 young people aged 16 or 17 who were not in education, training or work.

What we know is that when these young people turn 18, 90 per cent of them will go onto a fully-fledged adult benefit, unless we do something to intervene.

I wonder how long on average they stay on a benefit for?

The first change is to find out who all these young people are.

At the moment we simply don’t know, because we lose track of them when they leave school.

That has to change.

The Government is going to amend the Privacy Act and the Education Act to allow two things to happen:

  • schools will be required to tell us when 16- and 17-year-olds leave during the year
  • and information on these young people can be shared between the Ministries of Education and Social Development.

 For the first time, we will be able to find out who all these disengaged 16- and 17-year-olds are; what circumstances they are in; what problems they have had at school; and what their risk of long-term dependency is.

It staggers me that up until now, the Government was unable to even identify who these 16 and 17 year olds are.

We are then going to fund community and other organisations to provide a transitions service, similar in some ways to the current service, but one which:

  • much more closely targets the young people most at risk of long-term welfare dependency
  • and has a greater range of tools available, such as being able to arrange access to social services like drug and alcohol or counselling services
  • and, most importantly, is focused on results.

For the first time, a considerable part of the government’s funding of transitions services will depend on something actually changing.

That could include goals like the young person successfully completing a training programme, or not being on a benefit at age 18.

Put simply, we are going to make it worth someone’s while to get these young people back on track.

Incentives tend to work.

At the same time, the government will provide a lot more training places.

Next year there will be 7,500 places available under the Government’s Youth Guarantee policy, which provides free study towards school-level qualifications in places like polytechnics and wananga.

And in two years’ time we will have built up the number of Trades Academies so that 4,500 places in free, work-focused trades and technology training are being offered.

I imagine this will cost the taxpayer more money in the short to medium term. But I’m happy for my taxes to be spent on stuff like this, if it really does lead to fewer young people spending years or longer on benefits.

The second part concerns those young people who are receiving benefits in their own right.

I need to make it clear that today’s announcements will not affect the Invalids Benefit, which can be received by people as young as 16.

But there will be changes for young people who receive other sorts of benefits.

At the moment these young people are largely left to their own devices.

But I believe this hands-off approach has failed this group of young people.

We can do a lot better.

So the policy on benefits for young people is going change.

These changes will apply to all young people who get the special 16- and 17-year-olds’ benefits, and also to 18-year-old teen parents.

This has three elements.

And they are:

  1. first is that we are going to fund community and other organisations to provide comprehensive and concentrated support to these teen beneficiaries
  2. we are not going to simply hand over benefit money every fortnight. Instead, we will have a much more managed system of payments, with the young person’s support provider, or MSD in some cases, paying bills on their behalf and helping them manage within their budget
  3. Young people who are receiving these payments will have clear obligations, for example; to attend budgeting or parenting programmes. Most importantly, each of these young people will have to be in education, training or work-based learning

The details of (2) are likely to be:

  • some essential costs, like rent and power, will be paid directly on the young person’s behalf
  • money for basic living costs like food and groceries will be loaded onto a payment card that can only be used to buy certain types of goods and cannot be used to buy things like alcohol or cigarettes
  • and that a certain, limited amount will be available for the young person to spend at their own discretion.

And details of (3) are:

We have carefully considered the interests of the children here.

And we absolutely believe that a child’s interests are best served if their parent continues with her own education, and if the child is in good-quality childcare.

So we will be insisting that teen parents continue with education or training, and we will cover the costs of the childcare involved. …

However, we envisage that by the time their child is one year old, most teen parents will be in some form of education or training.

The cost of the package is estimated to be $25 million a year. I think that is an investment worth making if it produces results.

Being a parent can be bloody tough, even for professional couples in their 30s. Our current system of just paying a benefit to a couple of 17 year olds, and hoping they’ll be okay as parents has been benign neglect. I welcome these changes, and think they’ll be good for both the teenagers, and for their kids.

A Q&A on the policy is below:

WelfarePolicy_QA_3

Tags: ,

76 Responses to “Key’s speech on welfare”

  1. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Too much common sense here. Just heard on the radio that if you try and buy grog with your card the card will be blocked

    .. cue hand wringing and wanking from the left about the young persons right to buy piss with money given by the tax payer.. waiting waiting

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  2. MikeMan (172 comments) says:

    This is great news, fully support the changes and I think the steps in (2) should apply to all beneficiaries equally.

    I am sick and tired of seeing welfare money being wasted on illegal drugs, booze and gambling when children are mistreated, underfed and badly clothed.

    The welfare system is not designed to support a lifestyle of self destruction and abuse, but in a lot of cases this is the case. It is not all or even a majority I am sure but a large percentage this is happening and it needs to stop.

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  3. JC (956 comments) says:

    Hmm, quite tightly targeted, and if its successful it’ll be the best $25 million we’ve spent in years.

    JC

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  4. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    This seems like the targeted welfare that Eric Crampton talks about over at Offsetting Behaviour, as having been a better alternative to abolishing the youth minimum wage.

    I wonder if this is the first step along that path.

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  5. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Hard to complain about a policy that prevents kids from becoming lifetime / lifestyle / generational beneficiaries.

    This is certainly a step in the right direction.

    Agree with MikeMan (12.32pm) – why couldn’t this / who shouldn’t this be rolled across the total welfare system?

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  6. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay

    They are lining up over at DimPost, with Danyl leading the charge.

    It’s only a matter of time before someone complains that crime will increase on the grounds that if all these little pricks are not allowed to buy booze, they’ll steal it.

    Of course the obvious is overlooked. If they do steal it, then they can go onto a full adult benefit. Three square meals and locked accommodation seven days per week with no smokes or booze for a few months at one of the nations many luxury spas for deadheads.

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  7. jaba (2,141 comments) says:

    sounds pretty good .. simply giving money to young people is crazy .. I hope Sue Bradford is ok with it though

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  8. questlove (242 comments) says:

    All this training and education of youth is great. Though it’s unlikely that just an increase in the quality of the Labour supply will be effective in creating Labour demand. Jobs simply aren’t there atm and I’m not sure that swapping the cost of welfare payments with wage subsidies for businesses will create sustainable jobs.

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  9. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @questlove

    “Jobs simply aren’t there…..”

    Apparently there are quite a few job vacancies and growing…
    The number of job vacancies advertised online continued to grow in June, according to the latest Jobs Online index.

    http://www.dol.govt.nz/News/Media/2011/online-job-vacancies.asp

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  10. Viking2 (11,470 comments) says:

    Oh dear, what a shambles. Socialism at its worst all over again.
    First we don’t know who they are and so presume they are all delinquent. There is a 30% plus discrepancy in their first numbers and they haven’t even bothered to establish the truth before setting out.

    I’ve often said that you measure a society by how it looks after its most vulnerable.
    Well just come in from having that discussion with a neighbour. We chucked all the mentally ill out on the streets and have paid the price and even after 15 years have not fixed that problem which was discussed yesterday on kblog.

    But you also measure a society by how many vulnerable people it creates.
    We get the hell out of the way so people can rule their own lives.
    Some of us have been pointing out forever that young people need employment options that are not controlled by the Govt and Unions. Return the youth rates so the we employers as the biggest trainers of young people can do just that.

    We are then going to fund community and other organisations to provide a transitions service, similar in some ways to the current service, but one which:

    much more closely targets the young people most at risk of long-term welfare dependency
    and has a greater range of tools available, such as being able to arrange access to social services like drug and alcohol or counselling services
    and, most importantly, is focused on results.

    For the first time, a considerable part of the government’s funding of transitions services will depend on something actually changing.

    That could include goals like the young person successfully completing a training programme, or not being on a benefit at age 18.

    And we absolutely believe that a child’s interests are best served if their parent continues with her own education, and if the child is in good-quality childcare.

    So we will be insisting that teen parents continue with education or training, and we will cover the costs of the childcare involved. …

    However, we envisage that by the time their child is one year old, most teen parents will be in some form of education or training.

    Now here is where we can make a difference, Problem is that this needs teaching as the age of 13-14 along with good sexual education.
    That won’t be considered as allowable so there’s right where the problem begins.

    Until we forget about teaching rubbish like Te Reo and stuff like that and start educating kids in the life skills nothing will change.

    Life skills being personal care, care of others, respect for others, how to budget, how to get a job, how to learn even, cooking, health care including the need for sexual education,drugs and those issues. and many more things that encompass life skills.
    Because that’s what they fail at. They don’t have the life skills make good choices and iif they did the Govt. won’t let then use them.

    Put simply, we are going to make it worth someone’s while to get these young people back on track.

    There is nothing new in this. These schemes have been around since the 80’s. They were beaten and dismantled by politicians and their mothers little helpers at Social Welfare. Volunteers have been abused and derided for caring. Why should we go back to the pump just to be treated the same again in the next change of Govt.

    At the same time, the government will provide a lot more training places.

    Young people who are receiving these payments will have clear obligations, for example; to attend budgeting or parenting pro grammes. Most importantly, each of these young people will have to be in education, training or work-based learning.

    Next year there will be 7,500 places available under the Government’s Youth Guarantee policy, which provides free study towards school-level qualifications in places like polytechnics and wananga.

    And in two years’ time we will have built up the number of Trades Academies so that 4,500 places in free, work-focused trades and technology training are being offered.

    Givt. doesn’t need to provide anything other than to assist employers to train people. Teachers are useless at training people for work. Poly techs and so on are into making money and not into providing the right up to date trade training.
    Most poly teachers are failed at their trades and that’s why they go to the social welfare homes at poly tech.

    This is just a great education subsidy that will do what it does now. Fail to train people properly.

    first is that we are going to fund community and other organizations to provide comprehensive and concentrated support to these teen beneficiaries

    They are disengaged from learning now and you are going to “make” them engage with learning by doing this??

    we are not going to simply hand over benefit money every fortnight. Instead, we will have a much more managed system of payments, with the young person’s support provider, or MSD in some cases, paying bills on their behalf and helping them manage within their budget
    .Great, so the ninompoops at MSD are now going to control others lives and money.
    From my observations many of them can’t control their own lives. More bureaucrat’s. Won’t work.

    some essential costs, like rent and power, will be paid directly on the young person’s behalf
    money for basic living costs like food and groceries will be loaded onto a payment card that can only be used to buy certain types of goods and cannot be used to buy things like alcohol or cigarettes
    and that a certain, limited amount will be available for the young person to spend at their own discretion

    Ha ha ha, what a fucking joke.
    Landlords will be pleased. Can we have the rates as well please Sir?

    Can’t spend the money on alcohol. So some options : go to a grocer who can manage the till, swap food for alcohol with someone else, turn to more crime to pay for the alcohol.
    Limited amount for the person to spend. Need more money turn to prostitution or other crimes like selling drugs, working for cash and worse theft.

    All in all a bloody great fail to understand the nature of the problem and understanding the human being.

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  11. vto (1,131 comments) says:

    aaaa ha ha ha ha ha, nanny state nanny state nanny state. Bloody namby pamby nanny statists. Leave the people alone!

    Hypocrites.

    so shallow. as always. just goes to show you are shallow political opportunists.

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  12. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    Viking2

    When do you release your next novel?

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  13. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    I think it’s a good start. I do hope that the package includes scope for people to do a bit of weekend work and not lose the entire benefit though, which I think is one of the biggest problems with the current arrangement.

    National are going the right way to winning back my vote.

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  14. RF (1,397 comments) says:

    Wait for the great unwashed to crawl out from wherever they hide to throw stones at John Keys new policy. It’s got my vote.

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  15. Viking2 (11,470 comments) says:

    Well Adolf, its your socialist tendencies and lack of knowledge pf people that allow this stupid shit to happen. You and your ilk have spread it around the world. The New National Labour Party.

    Why don’t you just content yourself with criticizing you new land of opportunity seeing as how you chose not to stay here.
    I presume you won’t be voting whilst you are enjoying the Aussie beer?

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  16. Viking2 (11,470 comments) says:

    gazzmaniac (995) Says:
    August 14th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I think it’s a good start. I do hope that the package includes scope for people to do a bit of weekend work and not lose the entire benefit though, which I think is one of the biggest problems with the current arrangement.

    National are going the right way to winning back my vote.
    RF (38) Says:
    August 14th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Wait for the great unwashed to crawl out from wherever they hide to throw stones at John Keys new policy. It’s got my vote.

    So now the socialists are breaking forth. Try actually understanding the real issues behind the problem then you might be able to contribute to solving the problem.

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  17. Inventory2 (10,339 comments) says:

    @ Pauleastbay – Sue Bradford on Twitter:

    Sue Bradford
    @suebr Sue Bradford
    Key welfare speech – most sinister aspects = income management (state takes control of benefit); privatisation – paying providers fr results

    I guess there’s a clear choice between the National Party and the Mana Party :-)

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  18. Henry64 (83 comments) says:

    Definitely a step in the right direction. Too many young folk with no direction and clueless about how to handle money. Parents will actually have to give a sh*t for once in their lives in many cases instead of just offering the welfare ethic that has been the case for the past 25 years.

    It comes down to choices – too many people have only one choice, leave school and go on the dole. Making sure that they have a roof over their head and get qualified and upskilled is the way to go. Sure people can try and circumvent the system, however it is their choice to do so.

    Giving people some financial clues, incentives for doing the right things and sanctions for doing the wrong things will be a help. Young people need a plan and goals in life and this would be a big help in getting some direction happening for them. Better than the “all care, no responsibility” of the previous mob.

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  19. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Nothing much new here, as V2 says so eloquently. $25 million a year for some new initiatives, isn’t that about what we spend each day on benefits and allowances?
    Cue applause for a bold initiative?

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  20. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    Like everything else in your life Viking2, you are flat wrong.

    Hell, I’d pay for the plane ticket every two years just for the pleasure of cancelling out your vote.

    Mind you, it doesn’t take much to cancel 1.0% party vote.

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  21. scanner (340 comments) says:

    About fucking time, awesome to see someone with the nuts to try and confront the cancer that has been the welfare system after the Labour party had finished with it.
    Now wait for the squealing at Red Blert when all the social engineers and apologists launch forth in waves to condemn these changes, expect Darrien to be at the front of the queue.

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  22. Pete George (23,560 comments) says:

    At first reading this I think this policy proposal shows a lot of thought and research and advice has been heeded and it is resulting in very smart targeting.

    Effective targeted money is far better than yet more blanket handouts

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  23. Viking2 (11,470 comments) says:

    Adolf. Just found this and thought of you and your hopeless party and its compatriots.

    Strategies to deal with a dead horse

    The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed down from generation to generation, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to immediately dismount. A whole range of far more advanced strategies are often employed elswhere such as:

    1 Change riders.
    2 Buy a stronger whip.
    3 Do nothing; “We have always ridden dead horses”.
    4 Visit other countries to see how they ride dead horses.
    5 Hire a contractor to ride the dead horse.
    6 Harness several dead horses together in an attempt to increase the speed.
    7 Perform a productivity study to see if lighter riders improve the dead horse’s performance.
    8 Provide additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse’s performance.
    9 Appoint a committee to study the horse and assess how dead it actually is.
    10 Reclassify the dead horse to “living impaired”.
    11 Develop a strategic plan for the management of dead horses and intensively workshop this plan.
    12 Rewrite the expected performance requirements for all dead horses.
    13 Modify existing standards to include dead horses.
    14 Declare that, as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overheads, and therefore subtracts substantially less from the bottom line than many other horses.
    15 Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.

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  24. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    unmitigated gall = V2 talking about other parties and dead horses FFS

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  25. reid (16,449 comments) says:

    One thing missing from the list of obligations is compulsory drug testing. This should be implemented across the board for the dole, sickness and DPB.

    Why they haven’t understood that of course people with nothing to do and bored are going to indulge in escapism, a great deal. A hell of a large percentage of users, are the unemployed.

    With respect to young people its a tragedy they do it younger and younger for it has terrible and permanent effects on the developing brain. So there’s a bloody good public health reason as well, for the Treasury analysis.

    I heard it was on the table, I bloody well hope so. And yes, it is a good, well-thought out and significant step in the right direction. I find it hard to believe it’s only going to cost $25m tho. Who believes that?

    Won’t the lefties howl, thanks Paul for that twitter from Bradford, she’s absolutely mental. I just listen to her regular rants on RNZ Mondays and she’s just mental, that’s the only word to describe it.

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  26. Viking2 (11,470 comments) says:

    Like everything else in your life Viking2, you are flat wrong.

    Hell, I’d pay for the plane ticket every two years just for the pleasure of cancelling out your vote.

    Mind you, it doesn’t take much to cancel 1.0% party vote.

    Thanks Adolf.

    I quite like that I don’t have to brown nose and suckhole to get by. That I am able to employ young people and have done so for about 45 years and still enjoy their company at work. Found that you old farts are mostly hopeless anyway. More problems than teenagers.
    And I am even more proud that I can be an independent proud Kiwi that can still (at the moment), say what I think without having my thoughts arranged by a deranged socialist mentality and that I don’t need to rush of to another country to make a living.

    Problem here is that you have no idea at all what the problem really is and neither do your friends in the New National Labour Party.

    Tell us all who wrote this.
    To promote good citizenship and self-reliance; to combat communism and socialism; to maintain freedom of contract; to encourage private enterprise; to safeguard individual rights and the privilege of ownership; to oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry”.

    and then tell us how it fits with the speech today.

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  27. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    MikeMan suggests:

    This is great news, fully support the changes and I think the steps in (2) should apply to all beneficiaries equally.

    Sadly, imposing some restrictions upon how recipients spend the taxpayers’ money seems to be reserved only for those who are in the direst of straights: youth in NZ, Aboriginal people in the NT (who are subject to almost exactly this regime) in Australia.

    I’ve long advocated two things: raise all benefit levels to a level whereby a recipient could live a decent, though not decadent life; then impose a payment system that covers rent, utilities, health costs and such directly, loads a supermarket card with a certain amount each week (and by asking the supermarkets to tender to win the government’s business, force the overall cost to the taxpayer down), and a very small amount for discretionary spending.

    I predict three things would happen: deprived of the opportunity to squander their money of booze, smokes and the TAB and then expect foodbanks and emergency benefits to provide the necessities, many “lifestyle” beneficiaries would find it no longer an attractive option; the truly deserving recipients would find they’re not worrying themselves sick about paying the rent or the power bill, always had food for their children, and a bit left over at the end of the week for an outing; and the overall burden on the taxpayer would reduce, or at least remain static.

    Having once been a beneficiary, I can’t see why one would object to a regime under which they knew their rent was paid, their power bill paid, and they could go to a doctor any time they needed to. Those were always the primary worries we had, and if they were guaranteed to be met by government, with food and a bit of spending money thrown in, that’s a very good deal.

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  28. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    Key welfare speech – most sinister aspects = income management (state takes control of benefit);

    Hmmmmm, Sue Bradford is aganst income management?
    I didn’t know she was a member of the Libertarianz

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  29. nasska (11,491 comments) says:

    At least this policy addresses the problems head on as opposed to hand wringing around the edges. I’ll park up my natural cynicism for a while & see how it pans out.

    Have to go along with MikeMan’s & Elaycee’s comments. Imagine the screaming if all unemployment & DPB benefit monies were controlled in the same way. I’d have a smile on my face when I wrote out the cheques for my tax payments.

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  30. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Excellent Rex

    But once again too much sense, we keep forgetting about ” my right” to spend OPM at the TAB

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  31. RF (1,397 comments) says:

    I smell trolls.. If I catch one can I keep it. I promise to feed it.

    You don’t know how lucky you are to live in this great country that up to 2008 was in a spiral dive.

    “Socialists.. my arse”

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  32. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I sense a business opportunity here – talking young folks to the supermarket and buying their newly purchased groceries at a hefty discount for cash which they can take and spend on booze and fags.

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  33. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    As always , a great post from Rex.

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  34. Viking2 (11,470 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay (1,185) Says:
    August 14th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    unmitigated gall = V2 talking about other parties and dead horses FFS

    at least Winston’s ones are still running. :lol:

    Is there a difference between the two socialist parties? Hadn’t noticed other than one beat of the Maoris and the other has appeased them and continues to with the latest argument over water rights. Not content to hand over beeches and foreshore and the odd river or three they are now going into yackity yak about our water.

    But as you don’t drink and fish it won’t bother you will it.

    Water ownership must be dealt with, says lawyer

    Posted by karere under Maori News

    Constitutional lawyer Mai Chen says a claim by hapu who want to own the water in their communities is a long time coming and the Government must tackle the issue now.

    The New Zealand Maori Council is drafting a Waitangi Tribunal claim for more than 30 hapu who the council says can prove they once owned the waterways or springs.

    http://maorinews.com/karere/2011/water- … ys-lawyer/

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  35. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    love it!

    mike – you beat me to it! that will be one of the things the left bring out. dimes response – fuck em! go hungry for a few weeks and see if youre still giving up food for booze.

    the left govern towards the lowest common denominator. the right shouldnt.

    as for nanny state BAHAHAHA

    nanny state – when the govt tells working people how to spend their own money and live their lives.

    if youre living off dimes taxes you can do as told :)

    Dime grew up out west. Lots of solo mums when we were 17 etc. every second tuesday/wednesday they would be “rich”. they would shout everyone maccas and georgie pie, jim beam etc. then spend 10 days broke. i can imagine its worse now.

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  36. Viking2 (11,470 comments) says:

    nasska (1,316) Says:
    August 14th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    At least this policy addresses the problems head on as opposed to hand wringing around the edges. I’ll park up my natural cynicism for a while & see how it pans out.

    naaska; you taken leave of you senses today??

    It doesn’t address the problems it attacks the symptoms of the solutions already advocated for the problem.

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  37. backster (2,171 comments) says:

    The aims are well intended and probably the result of extensive research but there is nothing there to stop the rapidly increasing use of state sponsored pregnancy or of making employment for these youngsters a viable option, indeed by pricing them out of the employment market the government is incentivising the DPB as a viable alternative to work.

    As for “First is that we are going to fund community and other organisations to provide comprehensive and concentrated support to these teen beneficiaries.”………..Yeah well just look at the comment by Sofia on General Comments, re the filipino nurses hired by some Whanau Ora outfit ,convicted of forging prescriptions and sending the free medicine overseas, yet still in trusted employment…No worry, not interested says the Health Minister.

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  38. JeffW (326 comments) says:

    So we employ people to police a government regulation which stops youth from working (minimum wage); we pay the youth who accordingly cannot get work, and we pay more people to manage this intervention.

    We show by example yet again that personal responsibility is dead; government will increase its management of its citizenry.

    Getting government out of people’s lives would be far cheaper and in the long far run more effective. Although I don’t disagree with what is being proposed today, just that it continues a failed philosophy, rather then genuine radical reform.

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  39. somewhatthoughtful (465 comments) says:

    bloody [s]nanny[/s] stepfather state

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  40. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    mikenmild suggests:

    …talking young folks to the supermarket and buying their newly purchased groceries at a hefty discount for cash which they can take and spend on booze and fags.

    Heh, you’re sort of a 21st century Fagin, are you? You’d indeed benefit from such a scheme, but when said young people rocked up at the foodbank or expecting an emergency benefit, and were determined to be amongst those on the managed benefit scheme, just what answer would they give as to why they were so damn hungry? And just how generous would the food bank or WINZ be? Like so many things, the answer lies in imposing the consequnces upon the people who’ve taken the action, and not society as a whole.

    One week of seeing how full their bellies were with smoke and beer and they’d be spurning your advances and cursing you next time, so make hay while the going’s good.

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  41. Viking2 (11,470 comments) says:

    Dime grew up out west. Lots of solo mums when we were 17 etc. every second tuesday/wednesday they would be “rich”. they would shout everyone maccas and georgie pie, jim beam etc. then spend 10 days broke. i can imagine its worse now.

    So hop over and read Lindsays blog and what she points out is the problem.
    naaska, same for you.
    http://lindsaymitchell.blogspot.com/

    and Here.
    http://big-news.blogspot.com/2011/08/keys-speech-to-national-party.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BigNews+%28Big+News%29

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  42. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    jeff – yep. but its the best we are going to get. for now.

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  43. Viking2 (11,470 comments) says:

    JeffW (78) Says:
    August 14th, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    So we employ people to police a government regulation which stops youth from working (minimum wage); we pay the youth who accordingly cannot get work, and we pay more people to manage this intervention.

    We show by example yet again that personal responsibility is dead; government will increase its management of its citizenry.

    Getting government out of people’s lives would be far cheaper and in the long far run more effective.

    Jeff. Thakyou. I thought i was the only person on KB that thought like this anymore.

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  44. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    @JeffW:

    …government will increase its management of its citizenry.

    As a civil libertarian I’m dead against government interfering in the lives of its citizenry. But government also has a duty to be frugal and sensible managers of the money entrusted to them by that same citizenry. Sometimes those principles conflict, but when they do, the greater duty is owed to the people from whom hard-earned money is removed.

    Which is why, of course, governments of all ilks love middle class welfare… they can use that obligation to excuse meddling in the lives of vast numbers of people whose greed is such that they’ll trade away their freedom for a handout. If you want to campaign against government’s clammy hand round almost every aspect of our lives, that’s a good place to start.

    When middle income earners will sacrifice upsizing their plasma screen to get government out of their lives, we’ll start making some inroads…

    Incidentally, was reading the results of a survey today that says happiness and contentment plateau at an income level of AU$101,000 – $150,000 pa. Enough really is enough, and if someone’s getting enough they should probably stop looking to the government to give them even more… and perhaps even start thinking about how to create employment opportunities for others, as V2 and others here have done. Because the part of the equation Key hasn’t addressed is where the jobs are that this highly trained army of young people are going to fill.

    Ah well, perhaps he’s left the really hard thinking to Paula Bennett…

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  45. nasska (11,491 comments) says:

    V2

    In lieu of an ideal society where people leave school & find employment (or carry on with tertiary education) we are left with a load of crap such as we have now. It should be the parents teaching social responsibility, budgeting & the like but since we are dealing with a demographic who can’t get their own shit together then, as is par for the course in NZ, the state steps in.

    The fact that such meddling with peoples’ personal affairs is necessary bugs me more than the actual cost of the exercise. If it is going to happen then the current proposal is at least pragmatic as opposed to the theoretical claptrap we were force fed for the nine years up to 2008. I don’t think that,as a society, we can afford too many more terminally unemployables nor too many more ‘baby for benefit’ factories.

    Hopefully it is an interim measure & while the symptoms are treated solutions for the real problem are implemented but I’m not holding my breath waiting. Don’t ignore the fact that it took three or four decades to reach the mess we are now in & that will not be reversed by a pen stroke.

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  46. KH (695 comments) says:

    “In Training.”
    I see that happening now quite often.
    Trouble is that the training provided is often rubbish. Time filling.
    And provided by the most cynical business people about. Civil servants and polytech lecturers and the like.
    Given that one thing that defines third world counties these days is masses of unemployed university graduates.
    Maybe we need to rethink ‘training’ It’s not the holy grail.
    Maybe real work instead. Old fashioned public works. Pick and Shovel etc. Might achieve the result more effectively.
    Yes. It does sound very 1930s. But do we know that ‘training’ has been effective.
    From what I have seen it hasn’t

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  47. Viking2 (11,470 comments) says:

    naaska, the right place for that education starts in school at 13 and 14 and includes all the life skills you are talking about.
    We have been sucholes into teaching things like Te Reo and shit the like that rather than teaching kids about them selves, their feelings, their aspirations, their health, their living skills like budgeting and cooking, flatting, working etc etc. Lucia will be along shortly to tell us we shouldn’t teach girls and boys about how not to get pregnant and why.
    the socialists will be along to tell us you can’t teach cooking or sewing or wood work or all manner of good life skills.
    The educationalists will be along to continue with their union dominated crap re education and why they need more money and so on.
    When we stop listening to crap and do the fundamentals correctly then the rest will come right.
    Until then its just a big game of How great we art on the part of the pollies and their spending.

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  48. nasska (11,491 comments) says:

    V2 @ 2.37pm

    I always read Lindsay Mitchell’s blog as she has a gift of clearly expressing a contentious point of view without the aid of a pulpit or a soapbox. Follow back through some of her posts & it becomes clear that there are many roads to becoming a DPB recipient. The women who spend the most time on the DPB generally start as teenage mothers & it’s all downhill from there.

    The reasons are various….some deliberately breed for the income, some to have someone who loves them, some meet a man & to cement the relationship in the only manner they know how have a baby to him. The relationship predictably goes under & the cycle repeats. There are others but the central theme is broken people breeding more broken people.

    John Key today announced plans to deal with the offspring of this haphazard breeding. How do you turn off the tap without causing real misery to the school leavers of 10-15 years hence?

    Note: as an aside, “maccas and georgie pie, jim beam etc. then spend 10 days broke.” has been going on for as long as I can remember amongst lower paid workers & beneficiaries alike. I did voluntary budgeting work for a few years & then it was known as “chicken today…feathers tomorrow syndrome”.

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  49. nasska (11,491 comments) says:

    V2 @ 3.23pm

    Agree but there is another fish hook in your proposal to teach life skills at college level. Those who are predictably going to succeed at education &/or commerce are not going to need those skills or they can pick them up as they go. To educate the ones who are really going to benefit requires a subjective call on who is heading up & who is heading down.

    In these times of perfection in political correctness (if nothing else) can you imagine some wanky teacher making such a judgment call?

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  50. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    I was asking over a decade ago why benefit money wasn’t presented in such a way so as to prevent the buying of alcohol, tobacco, chocolate, chippies, fizzy drink and the like.

    I must be before my time….

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  51. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Anyone who thinks this scheme will stop beneficiaries getting booze and fags knows very little about human nature…

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  52. Griff (7,694 comments) says:

    In training for a New Zealand certificate in waka paddling or bone carving Get you a real good job with one of those.
    Its a start but youth wages would have been better. The cost will be horrendous.
    The jobs are there just why employ a youth when you can get an adult for the same money
    Minimum wage I would rather see a minimum benefit set at under the minimum wage that includes solo mums with six kids

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  53. MT_Tinman (3,186 comments) says:

    Rex, countries such as Holland and India show that an educated populace (or middle class if you have 1 billion people) creates it’s own employment opportunities.

    I agree with those that call for ALL benefits to be offered as targeted payments.

    If beneficiaries want discretionary spending money let them earn it.

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  54. KH (695 comments) says:

    In the face of a situation where there are not great solutions.
    This new policy is a pragmatic approach.
    If it was an easy problem then we would not need to do it.

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  55. Andrei (2,651 comments) says:

    Dog whistle politics – it is easy to target the poor and marginalized.

    But it just goes to show what scum the ruling class really are – we pay out a fortune to people who add sweet FA to our society.

    Fricken Lesbian Media Studies professors spring immediately to mind – they are a harder target to go after though being middle class and having powerful friends.

    And let’s not start on all the allowances our MP’s get

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  56. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    As Dave “hug-a-hoodie” Cameron has again demonstrated this week, politicians make a living from hypocritically mouthing words like this. The very people who created the environment which brought about the collapse of civil society. Whilst Key is not from the despised professional political class he’s a quick learner.

    So the chances are this is just so much wank and eye wash (now there’s a mental image for you on a SUnday.)

    So we employ people to police a government regulation which stops youth from working (minimum wage); we pay the youth who accordingly cannot get work, and we pay more people to manage this intervention.

    In a nutshell, yes. It’s headlines for politicians and a make-work scheme for state employees. And the worse the outcome the greater the demand for ineffective politians who simply talk tough on crime and for worthless social workers and other meddlers.

    There is nothing so crap and worthless as a state “training” scheme.

    Boy, 15, gets an exam pass – just for using the bus

    It came from the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance, the largest of the three English exam boards, and was headed Using Public Transport (Unit 1).

    The certificate recognised, among other skills, his ability to walk to the local bus stop, enter the bus ‘in a calm and safe manner’, and wait until the bus has stopped before trying to get off.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1206444/Boy-gets-exam-certificate-catching-bus.html

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  57. Pete George (23,560 comments) says:

    Much of what is being proposed is an expansion of policies and current pilot schemes that have had some success dealing with some of the most troubled and difficult to deal with young people.

    It’s something that requires time – more than a year or two – and a lot of hard work to see some significant levels of success, and an acceptance that some young people are just about impossible to succeed with. Some are pretty much unemployable.

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  58. nasska (11,491 comments) says:

    wat dabney

    Granted that it is almost beyond a normal person’s comprehension why “bus riding” is a unit of achievement. Although this young bloke treats it rightly as a joke to some of the youth John Key’s announcement will effect it would be the first tangible accomplishment they have made for years.

    If you come from a loveless family where your mere existence is due to the additional welfare payment your body attracts you are certain to go one of two ways. You’ll be so fired up & determined to get out of the crap that you’ll succeed like no one could believe. More likely you would bum around at school, do drugs & hang around with a pack of similar no hopers until you qualify for gaol.

    Anyone who wants to break this cycle has to go back to basics & to build what is broken can take methods usually more often utilised at kindergarten level. It is a gradual process that starts with a lolly (or a credit) for a small accomplishment & builds from there.

    As V2 & others have opined it is cheaper & better to do it right from the start but humans are incredibly fallible animals.

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  59. whoisthisguy02 (29 comments) says:

    market based, compulsory unemployment insurance?

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  60. wf (441 comments) says:

    V2 said:

    “Getting government out of people’s lives would be far cheaper and in the long far run more effective.”

    So let’s cut all government support? Are you saying that would work? I suspect you want things to stay as they are, an ever-increasing burden on the ‘rich’ taxpayers.

    Pfffft.

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  61. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    I would imagine that payments that covered both rent and power would be attractive to young singles looking to leave home.

    Then with some disposable money off the card for food they can rent out the place to their mates for weekends parties – this providing the money for unapproved discretionary spending.

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  62. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    So I can see why they are not including 18 and 19 year old singles without children in the policy launch – 16 and 17 year olds don’t automatically qualify.

    The policy is of course simply a disincentive to teenagers planning a pregnancy and a career on welfare – implying a life under obligation rather than freedom to do their own thing while raising up a child.

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  63. RF (1,397 comments) says:

    I have noticed that some who oppose JKs new policy and pretend to support National appear to have lived in a glass house and not ventured out very often. At least Key has the guts to try something different and laid the foundation for further improvements. Get a life ……

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  64. Pete George (23,560 comments) says:

    Interesting that here and especially on other blogs there’s a lot of suggetsions about how ths plan could be abused. Any benefit system can and will be abused. They key questions should be would this imptove outcomes and reduce abuse, because that’s the best that should be expected.

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  65. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    I am curious, who are these people that oppose John Key and yet pretend to support National – John Banks and Don Brash and “rumplestilskin” …

    PG, investment in the continuing education of 16 and 17 year olds that don’t fit the school environment is not unwise, nor is any disincentive to a life on career welfare, but given the cuts in existing TOP places that have been made it seems much of this has already been prefunded and is to target the places to a new sub-group of the larger one eligible for TOP places. So apart from trialling a card payments system for 18 year olds on the DPB there is not much new here.

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  66. Pete George (23,560 comments) says:

    SPC, I agree, I’ve already posted it’s an extension of things that are being done now, with a few additions.

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  67. Viking2 (11,470 comments) says:

    wf (53) Says:
    August 14th, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    V2 said:

    “Getting government out of people’s lives would be far cheaper and in the long far run more effective.”

    So let’s cut all government support? Are you saying that would work? I suspect you want things to stay as they are, an ever-increasing burden on the ‘rich’ taxpayers.

    Pfffft.

    wf. stick around for a while and you will learn that I don’t follow your failure philosophy.

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  68. Viking2 (11,470 comments) says:

    Now here is a man that makes plenty of sense. know’s what he is talking about.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Otorohangas-zero-unemployment—mayor-shows-how/tabid/309/articleID/222071/Default.aspx

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  69. Viking2 (11,470 comments) says:

    SPC (1,154) Says:
    August 14th, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    So I can see why they are not including 18 and 19 year old singles without children in the policy launch – 16 and 17 year olds don’t automatically qualify.

    Yep they don’t vote.

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  70. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    For those point out ways to abuse the system. Good on you for lateral thinking, but that’s not really the point.

    Sure a kid could give his card to others to buy groceries in exchange for cash, and let others use his free place in exchange for booze, but it’s a hell of a lot more difficult to do than it is now.

    Currently, instead of doing deals and relying on the good faith of their mates, they just use the cash they are given to buy the ciggies and alcohol directly. There’s obviously ways around this, but they’re pretty inefficient compared to the status quo. Although 16 and 17 year olds aren’t meant to be able to buy tobacco and drink anyway!

    My hope is that John Key has been moving our country (very) slowly and surely into a better place. It’d be great if drug-testing and contraceptive incentives were included, and if these measures were stretched to all beneficiaries (not just the baby ones), but it probably is a bit too fast for the majority of NZ to deal with.

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  71. Francis_X (147 comments) says:

    They’re going to clamp down on booze and cigarettes?!?!

    That’s it?

    Oh good lord! And people thought that Labour was “Nanny Statist”?!?!

    I wonder who will be next to feel the iron fist of National’s Polit-buro state control? The retired? Civil Servants? Anyone using state hospitals???

    Congratulations, my fellow New Zealanders: we have gone past Nanny State to Big Brother.

    It might be worthwhile considering that,

    * Not all unemployed youth smoke
    * Not all unemployed youth drink
    * Even if they do, Key says that they will still receive “a limited amount of money for young people to spend at their discretion“. Like… on booze and ciggies?!
    * Even if they won’t have enough “discretionary pocket money” – what is to stop them stealing it? Or selling their Food Card for cash, and then buying ciggies and booze?

    In the meantime, how many jobs will this piece of neo-Nanny Statism create?

    The answer is: nil.

    It is abundantly clear that National has no clue how to address this problem. Attacking welfare benefits which keep people from starving to death, or more likely, breaking into our homes to find food, is not an answer. It is a cheap shot geared toward winning votes from uneducated voters who hold the illusion that living on a benefit is a cosy arrangement (it is not).

    There are no policies being announced to create jobs, or to train young people into a trade or profession.

    National should be throwing open the doors of our polytechs to train young people into tradespeople that the community desperately needs. With the re-building of Christchurch shortly to commence – where are the necessary tradespeople going to come from? (Most have buggered of to Australia.)

    If this is the best that National can come up with, then, my fellow New Zealanders, we are in deep ka-ka

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  72. berend (1,709 comments) says:

    DPF: The Government is going to amend the Privacy Act and the Education Act to allow two things to happen:

    Why not give everyone an RFID chip? Then the government can track us from cradle to grave, because without the government we can’t do anything.

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  73. kiwi in america (2,449 comments) says:

    This is IMO a brilliant tactical move by Key. Middle NZ is fed up with the excesses of the welfare state whilst mostly in support of its general thrust. In a left leaning country like NZ, you cannot reform this behemoth overnight – there is not the mainstream political support to do it. This is a surgical incision into the worst aspects of universality of benefit entitlement. It deals with a non voting but vulnerable demograph – one where it will be harder for the liberal leaning pro nanny state media to dredge up heart tugging stories of ‘hardship’ brought about by the benefit reform but also one where there will likely be quick and noticeable result – especially if trade training and Polytech course access is improved.

    This is a cunning dry run and, if successful, will be rolled out gradually across different targetted beneficiary populations with broad electoral support – because swing voters all know people rorting the system and support the notion of tighter targetting of assistance married to spending controls designed to minimise abuse.

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  74. Griff (7,694 comments) says:

    “Attacking welfare benefits which keep people from starving to death”
    You are joking people in new Zealand on a benefit don’t starve to death they drive cars live in houses have state provided washing machines and fridges and play pokies
    you are so wide of the mark you must live in another country like Somalia or Bangladesh.
    The way to train trade people is apprenticeships on the job training like you know in the real world No youth wage no apprenticeships

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  75. mpledger (425 comments) says:

    Well Francis_X said it right
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    They’re going to clamp down on booze and cigarettes?!?!

    That’s it?

    Oh good lord! And people thought that Labour was “Nanny Statist”?!?!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I gotta say that if the people are willing to break the law to sell cigarettes and alcohol to 16 and 17 year olds then they are not going to let a pre-loaded card stand in their way – it just offers them a chance to cream a premium on the sale.

    National seem bent on bringing in all the failed policies from America. Is this really the cost of getting the pan-pacific treaty with America?

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  76. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    I agree with kiwi in america. While I would prefer a more socially conservative policy mix I think Key is taking the country in the right direction, broadly speaking. A mix of moderate economic reforms, a strong emphasis on welfare reform, and some authoritarianism when and where it is genuinely needed. All in all its enough (just) to get two ticks from me in November.

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