The Dominion Post yesterday published a letter from documentary producer Bryan Bruce, responding to my latest Curmudgeon column. In the interests of fairness I reproduce it here:
Karl du Fresne's column on my Inside Child Poverty documentary contains many errors. He states that its message was "the welfare state has failed our poor ". Wrong.
The message was that the free market economic model fails about 20 per cent of our children. We need a "fair market" economy.
Du Fresne says the solution I propose is more welfare spending. Wrong. I suggested we spend smarter, re-distribute the existing money, spend more on prevention, and spend less on crisis management. I also advocated bypassing parents to get the aid more directly to children, as happens in Sweden.
He says, "Socialists never bother to ask where the money comes from". Wrong again. I asked, "So how are we going to pay for free meals and free health care for children" and supplied five possible sources and solutions within the existing welfare budget.
I don't expect balance in an opinion piece, but I do expect accuracy. Children don't get to choose their parents.
Solving the child poverty problem won't happen through poverty of mind and spirit.