By David Robinson
Responsibility Charging and Early Action Transition Plans may never feature on a general election poster and it’s hard to imagine the masses marching for ten year plans. An early action approach is in the interests of us all but at first glance the mechanics have little obvious appeal for the sound biting, picture hungry vote seeker.
Or so we thought.
News from Australia should make us think again.
Here a whopping 9 out of 10 people believe it is important for government to invest more in early action.
This was revealed in research undertaken for the Benevolent Society – “Australia’s first charity.”
And there’s more… 56% were “a little or a lot more likely” to vote for a political party which promised to invest in early action and this was particularly high for 25 to 34 year olds. 72% of this vital age group indicated that it would influence their vote.
What people tell a researcher and what they do in a polling booth months or even years later is not necessarily the same thing and of course it can be risky to draw lessons from other countries but even with these caveats 9 out of 10, 56% and 72% are very big numbers. UK politicians will know that we could cut these figures in half, even reduce them by two thirds and still be left with more than enough swing voters to turn a tight election.
On a recent visit to the UK. Benevolent Society CEO Anne Hollonds told the Early Action Task Force:
“In the debate about how to make our national Budget more sustainable long‐term, our political and business leaders need to look at the economic benefits of investing early to prevent or reduce costly social problems and build the capacity of people to contribute to the growth of the economy.
“The community is telling our political leaders that there are votes in addressing this issue. People understand that “prevention is better than cure” and research shows that investing in prevention and early action improves lives and costs the community less in the long term.
“It is common sense, it makes economic sense and it should make political sense.”
We think so too and as conference season approaches in the UK we are particularly grateful to Anne and her colleagues in Australia for proving the point.