Lloyd Burr: Where's the detail on Bill English's new poverty targets?

OPINION: Bill English's promise to reduce the number of kids living in poverty by 50,000 over the next three years, and another 50,000 in the three years after that, is a welcome move.

It came out of the blue in last night's Newshub Leaders Debate, and it surprised host Patrick Gower, and his opponent Jacinda Ardern.

But it also likely came as a surprise to the spin doctors sitting behind him, his MPs, and the entire National Party.

It's called policy-on-the-hoof. He probably came up with it right there on the spot. It didn't look planned. It just tumbled out of his mouth.

There was no press release entitled 'PR: Bill English sets ambitious poverty reduction targets'.

There were no complimentary press releases from National's social development spokeswoman Anne Tolley, nor from social investment spokeswoman Amy Adams.

This is incredibly rare from a party with such a well-oiled and well-disciplined communications machine.

It's also surprising from a party that has been criticising Labour over the last month for having no details in its policies.

National's campaign manager Steven Joyce's go-to line for Labour's new policies is 'show me the detail'.

Where are the details for this plan, Bill English and Steven Joyce?

How will you achieve this reduction? Surely you're not just relying on your families package.

National needs to front up with a comprehensive plan to achieve these new targets, otherwise it just looks like talk, and its criticism of Labour will have no credence.

Lloyd Burr is a Newshub political reporter. 

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