Leaders of other conservative Government’s look at John Key’s continued popularity with envy. New Zealand’s National Government has the same agenda as most other conservative governments and yet despite New Zealand’s richest blatantly continuing to capture a greater shareof the country’s wealth and government services being increasingly reduced and privatised, the Prime Minister remains popular…
John Key’s government has managed to continue the work begun by Ruth Richardson and has obviously learned from Jenny Shipley’s mistake of not ensuring public acceptance of drastic welfare change. Ruth Richardson’s Mother of All Budgets is regarded as the most significant step in dismantling our welfare state. Drastically cutting welfare benefits was a deliberate strategy to drive down wage costs. It was Richardson’s belief that maintaining unemployment at around 5% and keeping welfare payments low, workers would then be more likely to accept lower wages. Child poverty was around 8% pre 1991 but escalated to 15% by 1992. While there was some reduction under the previous Labour Government, with the introduction of the Working for Families tax credit, child poverty is now close to 30% in 2016.