Heather du Plessis Allan is excited about National leader Chris Luxon’s promotion of social investment:
. . .This was originally Bill English’s idea.
And his idea was to invest in kids and families who were clearly going to become problems later on.
You know the ones. I know the ones. The government knows the ones.
Kids who are sending a bunch of warning signs that things are going in the wrong direction.
Let’s say they’re growing up in a statehouse that’s had too many visits from the cops lately, their parents have been on the dole too long, they start showing up as truant on the school list too often, maybe they get in a bit of trouble with the police themselves as a young one.
Bill English’s idea is that when you see that family is triggering alarms you know that child will end up probably committing crime later on and then in jail and costing the taxpayer a huge amount of money.
So, you break the cycle. You invest in them early, and you invest a lot. Whatever it takes to get their life in order
And it’s a win-win. They have a better more productive life with better opportunities and society aka taxpayers don’t end up with the huge bill for throwing them in jail for years on end. . .
The policy was working but was shamefully dropped by Labour.
Because rather than spending lots of money on a huge group of people identified through something as genial as their ethnicity, wasting money on people who don’t need it and missing the ones who do, I would like the government to spend the same amount on one child helping them out and giving them a greater chance of it working.
It wasn’t only children who benefitted from this policy. It was also used for teen parents, teaching them to look after themselves and their babies, helping them get qualifications, become work ready and eventually get jobs. It could be used for anyone on a benefit to break the cycle of disfunction and poverty.
Social investment fosters independence. It’s the total opposite of Labour’s policy which encourages benefit dependency and all the high social costs which result from that.