This is wonderful reading from Radio NZ:
The jobs policy would be for those on the Jobseeker benefit for more than six months, and would not be compulsory.
But that’s where the policy could get tricky for Labour as Mr Little said there were already sanctions in place for those on the Jobseeker benefit who did not fulfil their obligations; sanctions Labour has previously described as punitive.
When Mr Little was asked about how young people would be made to do the paid work if they flat out refused, he referred to the sanctions, and in the next breath reverted to the criticism of them as punitive.
So his policy has no teeth except for the sanctions regime that he has opposed and labelled punitive and wants to repeal.
Then he settled on young people being “actively managed” after their six months on a benefit, which left reporters none the wiser about whether those young people would have a choice about whether they would take up the six months work, or how much pressure they would come under to do so.
Makes as much sense as their costings.
There were strong words from Mr Little during his speech about Labour winning the next election, but the party lacks the feeling of true confidence about its prospects of actually defeating John Key and his government – a feeling that was starting to build in the National Party ranks as they eyed the Clark government before its defeat in 2008.
Labour has not been able to break through past the early 30s in most of its polling, except for the odd spike, which puts it in about the same place it was this time last year.
If it is not starting to make some real gains at the start of next year and make inroads into National’s vote, it faces an uphill battle if it hopes to win next year’s election.
In October 2007 National in opposition were at 48% in the polls. In October 2016 Labour in opposition are at 27%. National led Labour by 9% in October 2007 while Labour trails National by 21% in October 2016, or 10% if you include the Greens.