Tim Dower: Electronic Income Management wishful thinking at best

Author
Tim Dower,
Publish Date
Tue, 20 Jul 2021, 9:01AM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Tim Dower: Electronic Income Management wishful thinking at best

Author
Tim Dower,
Publish Date
Tue, 20 Jul 2021, 9:01AM

Wouldn't New Zealand be the perfect place if it weren't for the gangs?

Over the years you've probably heard dozens of politicians promise gang crackdowns, tough policies to curb them, rein them in, or just lock 'em up.

Electronic Income Management is new terminology to me, but the idea itself has been around a fair while.

The Act Party says it wants to impose it on gang members when they're receiving benefits.

The idea is to make sure children being raised in the homes of gang members have their basic needs met.

So, money coming in from a benefit would be controlled electronically so it couldn't be spent on, well, you know where it goes.

Instead, Act wants it used on the children, making sure they're properly fed and clothed.

In principle, I have no objection to that at all.

Not so long ago, Simon Bridges was talking refusing benefits altogether if a gang member couldn't prove where their assets had come from, and that they'd been paid for legitimately.

What about the kids caught up in that? They didn't get to choose their parents.

As I said at the outset, the gangs and what they do in and to our society are to me the saddest and most shameful thing about this beautiful country.

The trouble is, every time we get to an election, the beauty contest between political parties is ‘who's going to smash the gangs hardest?’

And what have we got from that? Growing numbers, rising inter-gang violence and an epidemic of P.

It's time for a radically different approach.

Is Electronic Income Management the answer?

To be honest, I believe it's wishful thinking, at best.