Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Dunne Speaks: 29 January 2014

Dunne Speaks: 29 January 2014

http://honpfd.blogspot.co.nz/2014/01/29-january-2014-political-debate-about.html

The political debate about support for families that has erupted this week has highlighted once more that governments are generally not very organised when it comes to social policies.

Taxpayers already spend billions of dollars on family assistance through the various tax credit schemes like Working for Families, paid parental leave, early childhood education subsidies and so on. I am not arguing that we should not be doing so – we absolutely should – because, clearly, advancing the wellbeing of families is the primary responsibility of any government. But I am querying the wisdom and efficacy of such spending and whether the resources are actually getting to where they are most needed.

These sacred cows are never challenged. The political response is simply more of the same – a bigger and bolder pie if you like, when a healthy salad might be what is required. And even when governments do pretend to take the issue seriously, the results are largely ignored. The 1972 McCarthy Royal Commission’s report has been forgotten for years, and the 1987 Social Policy Royal Commission’s report was dismissed by the Labour government of the time as a five volume door-stop.

Yet all the while, we continue to pile up new social policy initiatives in an unseemly manner, reminiscent of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party as this week’s events show. What is missing is any sense of evaluation of whether all these grandiose schemes actually work. One of the last serious attempts to do so was the United Party’s initiatives in 1996 during the National/United coalition to introduce a Social Responsibility Bill, equivalent to the Fiscal Responsibility Act, to measure the impact of social policy initiatives. It failed because after months of investigation officials told the government it was simply all too difficult.

Last year, as part of the National/UnitedFuture confidence and supply agreement, the Families Commission was charged with the production of an annual Family Status report, very similar to an initiative introduced by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition in Britain. The aim is simply to measure the impact of government policies on families.

The first such report is due later this year. It will be interesting to see whether it becomes no more than an annual door-stop, or something taken seriously by politicians when setting their election year lures for sceptical voters.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

NZEI Survey Report: Special Needs Students Missing Out

The survey revealed that around 16 percent of students were on schools’ special needs registers, but nearly 90 percent of schools’ special needs coordinators did not believe there was adequate support for students and their learning... More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Waitangi Tribunal On Ture Whenua Legislation

Labour on Proposed changes to Maori land rules: “To have Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson dismiss findings as ‘bizarre’ is totally disingenuous and disrespectful. What’s bizarre is Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell stubbornly pushing through this Bill before the Waitangi Tribunal has even completed its report..." More>>

ALSO:

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Protests Close Roads: TPP Signed In Auckland

“TPP was signed by Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Viet Nam.” More>>

ALSO:

Emails Behind 'Diplomatic Immunity' Case: Whitehead Report Released

“As previously indicated the conclusions reached by Mr Whitehead’s investigation are not unexpected but they are very disappointing,” Mr Mccully says. “At the heart of the matter is a single email, along with procedural shortcomings, which gave Malaysian officials the impression it would be acceptable for Mr Rizalman to return to Malaysia." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Treaty/TPP Overlap, And Iowa

The fears about the ISDS provisions in the Trans Pacific Partnership deal are well-founded. The reality is that there is a sharp uptick in the occurrence of ISDS litigation in developed countries, and even the right wing likes of The Economist have been souring on the process for some time. More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Red Zone Offers: Fresh High Court Proceedings

Grant Cameron, Solicitor for the Quake Outcasts said “the action seeks judicial review of the Crown’s recent decision to make a fresh offer to purchase properties from uninsured property owners in red zones. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post-Cabinet Press Conference: Waitangi And TPP

Prime Minister John Key on Tuesday said his office has received an invitation for him to visit the Lower Marae on Waitangi Day, but was waiting for a meeting of the Te Tii Marae Trustees. More>>

ALSO:

Flagged: 'Wrong Colour' Bridge Flag To Change

NZ First: Only 13 days after National trumpeted its legally questionable flag on Auckland Harbour Bridge, it is now coming down because it is the wrong colour... “Mr Key’s latest flag fiasco is another waste of taxpayers' money. Given it is coming down, down is exactly the location where it should remain. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Children Head Back To School

“Across the whole of this year we expect 61,820 five year olds will begin their primary schooling for the first time,” says the Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey. More>>

ALSO:

Dog & Lemon: FBI Disagrees With NZ Government Over Police Chases

Multiple studies, quoted by the FBI, show that once suspects realise they're no longer being chased; they tend to slow down to normal driving speeds and therefore become far less of a risk. The FBI report also categorically rejected the argument that abandoning police chases meant ‘giving in’ to offenders. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news