About the most interesting thing about the Nats’ benefit policies has been the range of the response on the left, what with National’s swagger about an “unrelenting focus” on getting beneficiaries into work.
Predictably, the government seeks to portray it as a “hoary old beat up on single parents”. And on one level it is.
It is an unashamed appeal to the prejudices of the ‘labour plus’ voters, and those conservatives who are beginning to wonder whether National is adopting so many of Labour’s policies that it risks losing its way. There are an awful lot of NZers in business or work who feel that it’s unfair that some people “get something for nothing”, “don’t have to work for an income like I do”, etc.