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Big debate a 'valuable exercise' - minister


The politician behind the Big Debate has defended the project. 

In Keys this morning Policy and Reform Minister Chris Robertshaw announced a second phase of public meetings will begin early next year, with the focus on modernising the welfare state.

Despite concerns voiced about the low turnout at some Big Debate gatherings, Mr Robertshaw insisted the four meetings - in front of an invited audience randomly selected from the electoral register - had been a 'valuable exercise' and should not be underestimated.

He also dismissed a claim that it had been less a debate and more a series of statements about what ministers want to do.

Mr Robertshaw said the aim was to illustrate the vital need for fundamental change in government:


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