ZB

Mike's Minute: Finally a sensible, practical use of money from the Govt

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 2 Aug 2022, 10:00am

Mike's Minute: Finally a sensible, practical use of money from the Govt

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 2 Aug 2022, 10:00am

What a difference a day makes.

24 hours after the madcap nuttiness of paying out $800 million we don’t have, to people who may or may not reside here, and may or may not need any assistance at all, we then get the idea that we have $10,000 to get a nurse here.

The cost-of-living payment is well intentioned, but oh so Labour in its delivery. In other words, it’s the usual wasteful mess dreamed up by a government that time and time again shows how little real-world experience it has.

The nurse package, at least, starts off with good intentions, but also the real possibility it might play a part in solving a crisis.

It would have helped if the Government had stuck nurses on the fast track to residency.

It would have helped if we had opened borders quicker. It would have helped if we paid more for nurses. It would have helped if we trained more. It would have helped if we worked out that our health system generally is chronically underfunded.

But given we did none of that, at least what Andrew Little has announced looks like it’s a step in the right direction.

It looks, dare I suggest, practical. For a government that has wasted God knows how many billions on hair-brained ideological nonsense, this is from the old playbook. It comes from the solve a problem playbook.

Instead of spraying money all over the world in a circus like fashion and then defending it, as they have with the cost-of-living crock, look like you see a problem, like lack of nurses, and actually do something about it.

Like make it easier to get here. $10,000 won't fix it, but it's the little things that make it easier.

Nurses, like so many professions, are spoilt for locations these days. The pay here will probably never truly compete, but if we can land a few here more smoothly and woo them with a bit of scenery and hospitality, then maybe the lack of pay is made up for by the lifestyle.

But they have to get here first. $10,000 is better than $116 to a bloke in Sweden that hasn’t lived here for 20 years and doesn’t need it.

In other words, if you insist on spending yet more money we don’t have, at least make it look like it's got a chance of working.