It was a tired looking Jacinda Ardern with her “human hot water bottle” draped across her lap telling us on a Facebook video how she designed the $60-a-week baby bonus some years ago on the floor of a friend’s home in Hastings.
The most important years of a child’s life are the early years, the nursing Prime Minister told us from her lounge, and it’s a time in New Zealand when children were facing the most persistent poverty.
So that’s the rationale behind it. Trouble is it’s paid to everyone when they have a baby, regardless or how much dosh they’ve got.
Yep, even the PM on $500,000 a year would have got it if her daughter was born a couple of weeks later.
There’s an old story about giving a man a fish but not teaching him how to fish.
And that’s the trouble with welfare, some get so used to it, that’s the only life they know of and indeed are interested in knowing.
This Government is certainly handing out plenty fish but if the recipients can’t be bothered learning how bait a hook, or to cast a line there’s no need, or compulsion, for them to learn how to.
Which is what universal welfare combined with no sanctions will mean.
It’s long been said welfare for the sake of it, without the proper checks and balances, and without any expectation from those receiving it to get off it, simply entrenches the poverty cycle.
But this Government wants welfare dependency. The more people they can get onto welfare, the more people who will vote for a party that promises to maintain it.