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McClay Misses The Mark

Yesterday saw an extension to the powers of the Commissioner for Children. Roger McClay described this new legislation as a bold statement by government that we value our children. This is rich when we consider the following;

In the mid nineties one in seven American children was on welfare. The sheer scale of welfare and culture of dependency was no longer acceptable. The US government introduced radical welfare reforms which included requiring single parents to look for work and time- limiting the amount of welfare available.

Right now, here in New Zealand, one in three children are on welfare but our government has relaxed work requirements and continues with the indefinite availability of the Domestic Purposes Benefit for as long as the parent produces children.

What is wrong with this country that we find this stark contrast so unremarkable? Are we simply insular or are we ignorant in the face of ideologically driven policies?

The Labour-Alliance-Green government features members who believe that the DPB is an entitlement and that society should value any type of parenting. They see no wrong in encouraging those without the means to raise their own children, to rely on the state to step into the breach.

It is time to start asking where modern day welfare is taking us. We must not allow ourselves to be shouted down as heartless because we question a policy that was instigated for the children but has failed them miserably. Like the US, sooner or later, we will have to face facts.

Lindsay Mitchell Petitioner for a Parliamentary Review of the DPB E-mail dandl.mitchell@clear.net.nz

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