Clean politics

Meanwhile, back in the real world … the business of caring goes on. 

Astonishing as it might appear for those within the Wellington chattering class, there are one or two subjects that could win or lose votes next month other than who said what to who in which email republished in the new Nicky Hager book. 

The situation of carers is one. 

The Labour Party deserves some kudos for having got back to hard policy proposals this week with what appears to be the first major announcement having to do with caring for the aged. 

Party leader David Cunliffe this week promised that a Labour Government would establish a working group tasked with implementing a range of initiatives that put the needs of older people and their paid carers at the forefront of policy. 

If elected to govern, the party has made a threefold pledge: 

1) A continuum of care model that puts the older person at the centre of an individualised plan, 

2) Agreed staffing levels for safe residential care, dementia care and home and community care

3) Consistent provision of elder abuse and neglect prevention services across the country.

Good stuff. A bag of jellybeans for the first person who can explain what that first proposal will mean in practice—but the other two certainly sound like worthy goals.  The party has not supplied a costing, but, on the face of it, they don’t look like prohibitively expensive promises.

David Cohen is a Wellington based journalist and author who often writes about caring, ageing, and disability issues.

Congratulations to Labour for being the first cab off the rank.