But with deflationary pressures engulfing global economies in 2016, the challenge is how to generate consumption. Finland, like many Scandinavian countries, offers comprehensive child care and other welfare services free at the point of provision.
For more privatised welfare states, such as Australia, this presents some challenges.
The language of “lifters and leaners” may help to sell welfare cuts but works less well in the context of the working poor – those in insecure employment faced with low and stagnating wages for whom the recent pre-election budget offered nothing, as Duncan Storrar’s appearance on Q&A and his broader reception made clear.
A system whereby the “strivers” get enough to live on – and also get to keep whatever else they earn – while the “skivers” do not starve but are tangibly worse off – may prove to be attractive to an increasingly disaffected electorate.
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