Aug 16, 2008

Labour Jumping At Ghosts In The Mirror

So says John Armstrong in this morning's NZ Herald

If - as Labour so vociferously argues - National's new welfare policy is a return to that party's punitive policies of the 1990s, then Labour has some serious explaining to do.
Labour argues its mechanisms for getting beneficiaries back into the workforce involve far more carrot and much less stick than National's.
However, starting with its Jobs Jolt programme in 2003, Labour has imposed more and more "work focused" obligations on beneficiaries, most recently with the passing of the Social Security Amendment Act.
With the addition of Work and Income's adoption of "intensive case management" of individual beneficiaries, the dividing line between the two major parties has blurred on benefit policy, most notably for those on the unemployment benefit.
Sometimes in politics though, it suits everyone to pretend they are very different from one another.