the Key speech: the "Keywi" way
I interviewed John Key the other week. I did it for a print article that should be out in the next few weeks. We talked about welfare and his speech The Kiwi Way, a fair go for all also speaks about welfare to a bunch of people who paid $65.00 a head, framing the welfare recipients the "underclass". I would guess that none of the underclass were present and I also suggest you read the speech.
However , Key didn't actually define who was in the "growing underclass", but most people assume he means beneficiaries who "receive assistance from the state".Nor did he define long term unemployed. Does he mean six months or four years? These are people he wants to work for their income as well as the earners, and be available for training. National will use the welfare system to motivate long term beneficiaries to change their lives for the better.Sounds good - but how can a bureaucratic system motivate change to that extent?
By getting people to work for the dole? It depends on what the policy for that is and at the moment, National has a lot of ideas, but no policy on it as such. Yes no policy, but that is being worked on. Worked on as I write. Well, they are planning on who to work on all these policies as I write and then they have to plan what the plan will be before they consult their focus groups and come up with policy options so they can pick one of these options to formulate a policy so that they actually have policies to announce. Only then, after it is announced will we know what the policies are.
The weird thing is that I, as a full time worker,have been receiving more assistance from the state than a childless couple on the benefit. Its called family support and I receive it because I am part of our low wage economy, but am not part of Key's growing underclass, purely because I got off my ass and got myself a job after being made redundant (again). That led to another job which although it is even less pay, it is better.
This speech was a good speech. It was a "what" speech. I await the "how" speech.