There’s some odd omissions from Key’s new ’10 targets’. There’s nothing hard. Nothing about closing the gap with Australia, formerly goal number 1. Nothing about creating jobs, despite 170,000 being promised. Nothing about the cycleway that was going to end the recession. It invites a closer look at the 10 targets. And then you discover, they’ll all happen anyway.
* Reducing long-term welfare dependency – those on a working age benefit for more than 12 months.
– long-term benefit numbers rose dramatically under National and even slight job growth from here on will start to bring them down. In fact, they’re already falling.
* Increasing participation in early childhood education
– this is still increasing as a lag from Labour’s 20-hour’s free policy.
* Increasing infant immunisation rates and reducing the incidence of rheumatic fever
– credit where it’s due, Ryall’s been good on increasing immunisation and countering this anti-immunisation fad that is endangering kids. Our rate of rheumatic fever is a disgrace but should be starting to fall thanks to Labour’s insulating of state houses and the Greens’ home insulation policy
* Reducing the number of assaults on children.
– reporting of child assault has shot up in recent years due to better policing more than an increase in the actual number of crimes. Cutting money from the Police budget will help those stats go down.
* Increasing the proportion of 18 year olds with NCEA level 2 or its equivalent.
– As children stay at school longer, the level of attainment the average person achieves will rise. And you would expect rising levels of achievement over time among those that stay. In fact, just between 2009 and 2010, the proportion of Year 13 students with NCEA level 2 rose from 92.2% to 93.7% and the stats clearly show even higher levels of achievement coming up through the younger years.
* Increasing the proportion of 25-34 year olds with advanced trade qualifications, diplomas and degrees at level 4 or above.
– This is mathematically certain. The number of people attending tertiary education rose rapidly under Labour. As time passes these younger, proportionality more qualified people will move into the 25-34 age bracket and the older cadres that have a lower proportion with these qualifications will move out of the band. This is like promising that it will get warmer in summer.
* Reducing the rates of total crime, violent crime and youth crime.
– the crime rate has fallen for most of the past 15 years. That trend is likely to continue as the demographic driver of crime (the proportion of young males in the population) falls. Reducing Police resources will also help reduce the number of crimes that are usually only detected by Police action – eg drug offences.
* Reducing re-offending.
– see above
* Improving interactions with government so businesses have a one-stop online shop for all government advice and support they need to run and grow their business.
– so, a website for Joyce’s new super-ministry.
* Improving interactions with government so New Zealanders can complete their transactions with the government easily in a digital environment.
– That’s a given. Incremental improvements to government websites happen all the time. In fact, each government website I went to for fact-checking this had better access to data than last time I looked.
Previously, Key made the mistake of promising big and not delivering. Now, he’s done the opposite – promised such small that the targets will be achieved without doing anything.