National’s latest welfare reform seems like a tipping point to me – an escalation from pointless media stunts to authoritarian interventionism that could inflict considerable misery on some of the many children living in poverty in this country.
It’s part of a package. National has critiqued Labour’s policy to provide food to children at low decile schools at a cost of $3 – 19 million per year, while locking in subsidies to polluters at $330 million dollars over the next four years via the ETS. Yesterday in the House David Cunliffe cited a figure from the Parliamentary Library that the New Zealand economy lost 10,500 jobs in the June quarter alone. It’s official: National are a shitty, vicious government.
Joyce and English haven’t been too worried about the ongoing disintegration of the non-dairy sectors of the economy, because they have Bennett running distraction, and they also have their ‘drill-baby-drill’ economic strategy, copying the success of Australia’s mining boom. Which has lost 900 jobs in the last week. If Aussie mining slumps, how is New Zealand going to compete with them given their huge capital investment, proximity to market and the fact that they’re mining in the desert, not mountainous rain-forests?
And what’s going to happen to our unemployment rate if we’re not (a) creating jobs and (b) exporting 50,000 workers to Australia every year?