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Best laid welfare plans can go bad - Dunne

Monday, 11 August 2008

Best laid welfare plans can go bad - Dunne

UnitedFuture has responded cautiously to National's welfare plan, with leader Peter Dunne warning that the plan risks being overly punitive and harsh in practice.

"We are talking here about some of our most vulnerable citizens, those with illness or disabilities and single parents with dependant children," says Mr Dunne.

"Good ideas can easily get overtaken by the hard-liners, so that the policy becomes too harsh and inflexible as a result.

"Creating work obligations for those sickness beneficiaries who can work a little may appear fine on paper, but the danger remains that this policy could easily become somewhat ruthless in practice if some of the more right-wing elements of National are charged with its action.

"In many other areas, the policy focus has been on making it easier for parents with dependant children to spend more time at home in their child's formative years, but National's emphasis on getting single parents back into the workforce quickly could be seen as running counter to this.

"These changes highlight the need for a moderate Government approach, something which at this point is unproven and will have many beneficiaries sleeping a little less soundly tonight," says Mr Dunne.


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