Interesting piece by Sue Bradford over at Pundit. If the quote attributed to John Key is for real, it’s a shocker. Bradford writes:
Divine intervention and the Key welfare agenda
Comments from the Prime Minister suggest that the government’s willingness to act tough on welfare may go a lot further than many expect
… How centrist John Key actually is on welfare is now very open to question.
When Anglican Bishop Muru Walters took part in a church leadership delegation to the Prime Minister in late November, he presented Mr Key with a copy of the first report from the Alternative Welfare Working Group: Welfare justice in New Zealand: what we heard.
The PM’s response to the gift of the report, as relayed by the Bishop in the foreword to the final Welfare Justice report launched last week, was, in total, “Is welfare sustainable? No!”
The second indication of what the PM might really be thinking comes from further feedback from the same meeting, picked up by myself on the Wellington grapevine last week.
Among other comments made to the church leaders that day, John Key is reported to have said, “If we cancelled welfare to 330,000 people currently on welfare, how many would starve to death? Bugger all.”
Bradford comments “I trust my sources”, but some intrepid reporter needs to follow up and see if this quote can be verified. If it can, it is a window into the PM’s thinking that needs to be made very very clear to the electorate in 2011.