The Labour Party has had a sneak peek at the process our government is using to pick “providers” for its mercenary social impact bonds scheme, and it’s like something off television:
Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.
“Panel members used ‘score cards’ to rate each proposal and the entire ‘pitch presentation’ was videoed.
“It is unbelievable that the Government is treating such a serious issue in this way. It is also outrageous that the banks, who only this week announced profits of close to $1.7 billion, are now looking to profit from some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable – mental health clients, at risk youth – the very people those same banks wouldn’t want opening accounts.
It’s not completely surprising. As soon as you’ve decided that the point of treating people with mental illness is to get them into work, and accepted the idea that the private sector will be “more efficient” at kicking people off benefits, it makes sense you’d assess organisations’ suitability for the job the same way reality TV decides whether to fund gift cards for dogs and rollerskates for your knees.
Where to next, though?
Maybe we should let the panel buzz out contestants mid-presentation?
Make them walk down a runway in front of Nina Garcia?
Hold the panels on a desert island?
Nah, let’s be honest. The only way to really guarantee value for money in the public sector is to go full-on American Ninja Warrior.
I mean, it makes way more sense than listening to experts in the field and funding services to ensure people get the help they need.