The NZ Herald talks charity:
At the heart of John Key’s approach are the concepts that the Government should not be providing everything in social welfare, that, indeed, it may not be the best judge of what is needed, and that charity is a good thing. He has sought to further these ideas by building on work done by the previous Government, most notably in abolishing the $1890 cap on rebates for charitable donations.
Most recently, legislation has provided for that rebate to be received automatically by wage and salary earners who donate directly to an approved charity from their pay cheque.
Yet such measures amount only to tinkering when compared with the extremely enticing tax breaks that underpin the strong tradition of private charity in the US.
The Dominion Post weighs in to the sterilisation debate:
ACT list MP David Garrett should know by now that, when he thinks aloud, he will almost certainly find himself in trouble.
Like Maori Party bad boy Hone Harawira, he shoots from the lip, and his homespun philosophy is rarely politically correct.
But despite both MPs’ comments ritually provoking outrage, a kernel of truth is often found therein.
Last week, Mr Garrett was in hot water again, this time for daring to suggest that parents who have abused their children be offered $5000 to get themselves sterilised. …
Predictably, Mr Garrett’s comments were compared with the excesses of Nazi Germany. Mr Kahui’s lawyer, Lorraine Smith, called them “outrageous and a disgrace”.
Karl du Fresne blogs on how hysterical some of the reaction was, with the Nazi comparisons.
Back to the Dom Post:
But those who lambast Mr Garrett for initiating an idea that at least attempts to confront the issue need to face an unpalatable fact: programmes in place now to protect vulnerable children are failing. Sixteen children died last year as a result of family violence.
Delcelia Witika, Lillybing, James Whakaruru, Nia Glassie, Chris and Cru Kahui comprise just a handful of the names on New Zealand’s roll of shame, each one killed by people whose responsibility it was to care for them.
And people who knew these little ones were being abused did not intervene. It is not good enough.
There is no doubt that the Garrett proposal is a step too far. However, even his most vehement critics should find an initiative instigated by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett more acceptable.
Last week, an Experts Forum on Child Abuse recommended that state agencies be able to keep track of parents whose children had died, or been taken off them.
The problem is that, at present, files are closed when a child dies, and social workers don’t know another child has been born to the same mother until that child, too, comes to their notice through abuse or, worse, because he or she has died.
I’m amazed we do not already do this.
It is no wonder Mr Garrett is casting around for new ideas. The old ones aren’t working.
And that is why his comments, on this blog, sparked a national conversation.
And the ODT looks at government spending restraint:
It makes sense for governments to regularly review the costs of administration and services and, especially, to look for efficiencies in operating and technology costs.
Some $2 billion is required to be found in the next two years for the latter, which in turn it is hoped should lead to less duplication of office support functions and services.
It is telling that Mr Key has cited last year’s health sector reforms, which pooled district health board payroll and procurement, with estimated savings over five years of $700 million – and the loss of 500 jobs.
The Government does not consider what is planned to be on the scale of the radical reforms of the Rogernomics era, yet it has declined to make public estimates of potential job losses, which rather implies that the reforms will be sufficiently substantial to be job-costly, and the public service unions have not been slow to express their anguish.
The recession knocked $50 billion out of the economy – the public sector can’t be immune from that.