Oh goodie, more lollies.
I can think of at least half a dozen more policies that would be ‘beneficial’.
If the increase in PPL was to go ahead would you favour a universal approach?
DPF: No. I would target it at those earning below the median wage
With WWF, student allowances and other ‘entitlements’ those trying to get ahead and aiming to earn extra\above the median wage should consider their position. At some point the incentive to try and advance yourself will be gone.
I would not be surprised to see National u-turn on this one and end up supporting the bill in a different form. I can imagine this following a similar path to the anti-smacking law – it’s not good politics to come out swinging against Plunket and mums struggling with newborns. A big chunk of the centre ground that National has won was centrist women voters who supported Helen Clark.
I could see somebody like Jackie Blue sponsoring an amendment (similar to the Chester Borrows sponsored compromise amendment on the smacking bill) to manage the cost while maintaining the maternal health objectives of the policy by phasing it in over a longer period of time (or perhaps phasing out the payments so it phases out rather than going from $457 a week to nothing). This would proportionately benefit poor mums more which would be problematic for Labour.
Or perhaps even a Key/English solution unveiled at budget time to make it fiscally neutral through savings in an other area that deliver an ideological policy win for National. For instance, the Nats could say they will introduce interest on student loans at the rate of inflation once people start working full time and use the money to pay for PPL. It all goes into the consolidated account so it’s a bit of smoke and mirrors but the public doesn’t really care. But if managed well it would be very effective because if Labour opposes the solution then National get to paint them as hurting young mums to provide a subsidy to full time working professionals with a degree.
@Pete George – there are not offset costs to the government, especially not paid childcare – the childcare rebate is worth a little over $300 per year, which when compared to $328 per week (net) for 14 weeks is nothing.
Why didn’t Labour during their 9 years do this when the accounts were in Surplus ?
This bill has been sitting for a number of years, awaiting its luck
Cullen had plenty of money to spend – he paid a billion for a Railway.