Some interesting double standards from Labour this morning.
Chris Hipkins was on the Breakfast show, largely to talk water rights, but slipped in an interesting policy position on the severing of benefits for those with outstanding arrest warrants.
“It was a good idea the first time [Paula Bennett] announced it, it was a good idea the second time she announced it, and now that she’s announced it for a third time, I still think it’s a good idea,” Hipkins said, looking rather nonchalant during his first appearance on the show.
It’s a nice change from the stuttering and bumbling of David Shearer.
He continued: “If someone’s got an arrest warrant out, people need to turn themselves in. If the police want to talk to them, and y’know, want to arrest them, then they should front up and accept responsibility.”
But, as Sarah Thompson from AAAP points out “most people clear their warrant within thirty days…Bennett is releasing policies like this for no major outcome other than to distract the public from her departments continued failure to decrease poverty and unemployment.”
Aside from defeating her own point, Ms Thompson is right to highlight the government’s failings on decreasing poverty, the roots of welfare dependency, and increasing employment.
As a former member of the unemployed classes myself, and a recipient of the unemployment benefit for six months, the pressure is there for honest people to seek a long-term job. Checks and balances are in place to ensure unemployment beneficiaries are engaged on a job-hunt, and Bennett’s policy proposal seeks to tie up the loose ends.
Together with compulsory drug testing, which I wrote about way back when, it’s a largely non-invasive way of dealing with moochers not holding up their fair share of the bargain.
Hipkins talks about personal responsibility and respect for the law, yet failed to do so when ideas around drug-testing were first introduced.
The moral argument at the core of both issues is identical. Why support one and not the other?
It’s a strange showing of double-standards for a party gasping for political air.Labour ought to be revolutionising (pun intended) it’s search for solid policy, but are instead cruising on the coat-tails of asset sales opposition. They have a solid media platform from which to work, yet viable counter-policies are not being voiced quite loud enough for the public to hear.
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