Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A small miracle

Oh my god - the National Party has actually released policy! It's just a discussion document [PDF] on the aged-care sector, hardly the most vital or exciting of subjects, but its rather more than they've risked previously.

As for the policy itself, most of it is general statements of motherhood and apple pie. The care of the elderly is a core health service. Caregivers should be highly trained. We should use technology to improve access and assistance for those at home. But two points stand out. Firstly, while demanding that caregivers be highly trained, National is opposed to them being paid for those skills, and opposes collective bargaining in the sector. So, while ostensibly about improving care for the elderly, their real focus is cost-cutting, union-bashing, and increasing the corporate profits. And secondly, their "solution" to the need for more residential care facilities in the long-term is public-private partnerships - a policy which has been a disaster overseas, and which is aimed more at lining the pockets of their corporate cronies than at ensuring the best care for the elderly.

So, forestry, privatisation, and now elder-care. Does National have a policy which isn't about looting the state to repay its donors?