National has tried to water down a mean streak about social issues.
In the confetti of promises showered down on us in campaign 2017 National has tried to water down a mean streak about social issues.
The grudging addition of four more weeks to take paid parental leave (PPL) to 22 weeks is a classic.
Last year when he was Finance Minister Bill English used his financial veto to kill off Labour’s bill to extend PPL to 26 weeks.
He said then that the price was too high – even if he got his maths wrong and over-inflated the costs of change by more than double.
His welcome conversion to the need for action on child poverty after persistent denial by former Prime Minister John Key that we should even try to measure it – is another encouraging example of National’s new compassion on significant social concerns.
Former National Prime Minister Jim Bolger recently said that neoliberal policies – including labour market deregulation – had absolutely failed to cure economic inequalities and trade unions needed to have a greater voice.