“..Yet another damning report on child poverty; yet another announcement of a further piece in the welfare reform jigsaw to draw attention away from that report’s bleak contents.
How much longer can National keep pulling that particular rabbit out of the hat every time the political going gets a little rugged?
The answer is for as long as the tactic works.
Forget civil liberties.
Cutting the benefits of the unemployed if they refuse or fail a drug test when that’s a requirement of a job offer hits all the right buttons with the wider electorate.
It’s something National was always going to save for a rainy day.
You would, therefore, have had to come down in the last shower to believe it was mere coincidence the Government confirmed that drug testing would go ahead on the same day a major report on child poverty was released.
This crude attempt to stifle the work of an expert advisory group reporting to the Commissioner for Children, Russell Willis, was particularly cynical.
But National was on a hiding to nothing.
Before winning the 2008 election, John Key tramped up and down McGehan Close – a street in a lower socio-economic part of Auckland – talking about providing “the ladder of opportunity”.
According to the advisory group’s report – child poverty has since risen to near the 25 per cent mark…”
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