The commentariat is all a-twitter this morning about the Social Welfare Minister* imposing sanctions on beneficiaries if they don’t send their kids to the doctor and along the road to learn finger-painting.
Now you can argue all you like about the desirability of making kids visit doctor's’ clinics and finger-painting classes—and Lindsay Mitchell did this morning on State Radio when she was allowed to get a word in—but to object to the sanctions because beneficiaries’ liberties are being infringed by them, because this is a “nanny state intrusion,” is, well, it’s absurd.
You could only object it’s a nanny-state infringement of your liberty if you consider beneficiaries’ benefits to be an entitlement, to be a right. You could only object if you’re blind to where the money for those benefits comes from, which is from working people stretched to the limit—working people, many of whom can’t afford to have children themselves; working people, many of whom have one parent going out to work just pay the tax bill—working people from whom money is extracted to give to other people, who are not working.
If you’re going to object to people’s liberties being infringed here, then let’s start where it starts—with the basic infringement of liberty that constitutes the welfare state.
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* …or whatever title she has this week.