It’s good to see Labour turning its focus back onto policy (and particularly the economy) today with its announcement of a “job search allowance” for people made redundant in the coming economic downturn.
Basically, the allowance means if you lose your job you’ll be eligible for the dole without means-testing for up to 13 weeks. Next to its policy to bring in a minimum redundancy entitlement and a retraining allowance, we’re starting to see from Labour a pretty solid plan to provide security for workers and their families as the economy starts to deteriorate.
The only real I have with the policy is that it excludes people who have been in the work force for less than five years – I can’t see any good reason why young people, many of whom will have families, should miss out.
Still, overall this is good, sensible, vote-winning stuff.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Nats come up with tomorrow in response. The signs are their package will be heavily targeted toward middle-income swing voters but I’ll hold my judgement until I’ve seen it. One thing’s for sure though, they’ve got their work cut out for them if they want to trump this one.