National's social investment policy leads to claims of 'Bermuda triangle of economic plan'

The National Party's launched its social investment policy and it's planning to ask wealthy Kiwis to cough up the cash for it.

But the Government's calling it the Bermuda triangle of fiscal policy.

Putting an end to ram raids and reducing our emergency housing rates are both at the top of National's social investment to-do list.

"The next National government will bring social investment back to life," said spokesperson Nicola Willis. 

They're bringing back Sir Bill English's brainchild.

"I want to quickly express my appreciation to the small group of extremely wise and intelligent people who've helped me develop this," said Willis, who spoke to Sir Bill about the policy.

But Sir Bill wasn't interested in chatting to Newshub about that chat.

The proposed social investment policy would use early intervention to address issues in Kiwis' lives by using data and analytics for targeted action.

Willis promised to fund and scale up social service initiatives, but was unable to say how much it'll cost.

"It's the Bermuda triangle of an economic plan," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

"Yet another unfunded promise from the National Party," said Finance Minister Grant Robertson. "They want to cut taxes for the wealthiest New Zealanders, but they also want to increase spending, but they say they're not going to increase debt. That's the Bermuda triangle of fiscal policy."

Willis said National would "partly deploy money that we think has been not used to its best use elsewhere and reallocate that into the fund".

National plans to ask New Zealanders to donate to the social investment kitty, essentially creating a public-private partnership purse. 

"If private capital can be used to help change the lives of more New Zealanders then I will not be afraid to use it," said Willis.

But Robertson said it "just doesn't work". 

KidsCan said 10,000 more Kiwi kids are needing food support this term, so any public investment into services like its own is a good thing. 

"There may be people who don't donate to charities that will see this as a vehicle to be able to work with government, business, and communities and charities to actually take action and get some real change happening," said KidsCan's Julie Chapman.

Social investment is supposed to represent the caring face of the National Party. It's a data-driven solution to alleviating poverty, but you can't properly care for the poor without cash and yet again National has left itself wide open for attack with another uncosted policy.