Targeting not universality

The Herald reports:

The Children’s Commissioner wants a rethink of universal services such as pensions and free children’s healthcare so more public spending can go to the neediest families.

The commissioner, Hastings children’s doctor Russell Wills, wants tomorrow’s Budget to start a national “conversation” about how to use limited public spending to best effect.

“We need all taxpayers’ funds to make the biggest difference they possibly can,” he said.

“That might mean further targeting of some of those benefits that are currently universal.

Absolutely. As a first principle, the government should target funding towards low income families, rather than tax everyone more, to then spend that money on their behalf.

We should not pay the pension to millionaires.  We should not subsidise GP visits to people earning $500,000 a year.

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