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

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river.

“Despite an explicit assurance from Minister Smith that the new water standards would provide for human and ecosystem health, he has failed to deliver on either of these things,” says Forest & Bird CEO Kevin Hague. More>>

 
 

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:


Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news