Monday, February 22, 2021

An open door waiting to be pushed on

While it has made a lot of noise about inequality, Labour has resolutely avoided reversing the 1990 benefit cuts and improving living standards for the poorest in our society. Meanwhile, 70% of kiwis think they should:

A survey has found seven out of 10 New Zealanders believe the government should increase income support for those on low wages or not in paid work.

The UMR poll was commissioned by a group of more than 40 organisations, including unions, social service providers, and kaupapa Māori groups.

It found approval for increasing income support was largely consistent across salary groups, age ranges, renters and owners; and across the political spectrum.

There was a majority of support by voters for the four major parties, led by Greens' supporters at 89 percent in favour.

This is the sort of level of support that normally makes something non-controversial, except for the freaks (see also: strengthening gun laws after Christchurch, or keeping the borders closed during a pandemic). It represents a historic opportunity for Labour to reverse a huge injustice and make us a better society. But knowing Labour, they'll probably squander it, for fear of upsetting the 26% who disagree, who would never vote for them anyway.