So Labour has launched the Best start policy and the criticism from National and its followers has been swift and well coordinated. And, like the bulk of National’s attacks on it opponents, it also has no basis in reality.
The criticism of Labour’s Best start policy is essentially falling into two categories.
The first is that it will encourage irresponsible parents to breed children just for the extra $60 per week.
There are many good reasons why this is a bogus argument but rather than wade into that it’s much faster to simply look at the evidence:
The graph makes clear that those who claim that the Labour policy will create a tsunami of ‘bene breeders’ are talking complete and utter nonsense.
The other common criticism of the policy is that the cut-off limit ($150k) for the weekly $60 is too high. That it is rewarding those who already have enough money and don’t deserve assistance.
Of course the reality is that in low-wage NZ there will be relatively few families who are in this privileged position and that the vast majority of families that receive the $60 will be low to middle income families who really will find the extra money helpful during what is a very financially strained time.
The high cut-off limit also means that ‘Best start’ is, for all intents and purposes, a universal policy like NZ super. You wont hear the right calling for the end of super because a few millionaires get it. Seems their preference is for kicking poor kids over rich grannies, go figure…