Chris Trotter writes in today's DomPost that Mr Key and his right wing mates are showing signs that they are about to get rid of "what's left of the welfare state".
This implies most of what constitutes the welfare state has already been dismantled.
All that remains are the unemployment, sickness, invalid and domestic purposes benefits; the independent youth, emergency, and unsupported child benefits; super and veteran's pensions; accommodation supplement and state housing; the minimum wage; Working For Families; residential care subsidies; childcare subsidies; Paid Parental Leave; student allowances; interest free student loans; 'free' public hospitals and public schools; various family and child tax credits; universal no-fault accident compensation; widow's benefit; orphan's benefit; free dental care for the young; free healthcare for under sixes; the Super GoldCard; the Community Services card; the methadone programme; legal aid; Restart and Replace; 9 day working fortnight subsidies; subsidies to hundreds of 'charities'...
No. There's not much to remember. Did I miss anything? Oh yes, there is a case to include corporate welfare, and grants to the arts and sports as part of the broadest-sense welfare state.
I wonder what Trotter thinks has been dispensed with? The family benefit, which had deteriorated in value to almost nothing by the time National threw it out? Farming subsidies? I tell you what. It's a helluva sight harder trying to identify what went than what stayed.
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