Never let this scumbag government tell you that they’re making responsible cuts in tough times. When the Greens tried to amend the social welfare bill currently before Parliament to ensure no kids would “unduly suffer”, National vetoed it saying that would eliminate $128m of the savings National’s planning to make. Get that? By the government’s own numbers, National’s welfare reforms take $128m from poor kids causing them to “unduly suffer”.
And, even when the Greens gave them the opportunity to fix this travesty that will literally take food out of the mouths of New Zealand’s poorest children, they didn’t. Got to make those savings, even if tens of thousands of poor kids suffer.
But when it comes to consultants to write reports justifying National’s per-ordained transport agenda… well, there’s an open chequebook. In just the next three years, they plan to spend $138m on investigation and design for the roads of national significance, out of $444m all up.
These are the choices a government faces. This isn’t about more debt or less – it’s about the choices made within those bounds. National has decided that overpaid consultants are more deserving of our tax money than poor kids.
Some decisions that National makes a merely bad. Some are evil. And this is one of them.
The next election really can’t come soon enough.
Update: this is the amendment that Holly Walker wanted insert into the Bill. Remember, the main purpose of the Government’s Bill is to create sanctions for beneficiaries who don’t meet certain tests:
“The chief executive must not impose a sanction under subsection (1) against a person who has 1 or more dependent children, if the chief executive is satisfied that the sanction may deprive the child of food or shelter, or would otherwise be detrimental to the wellbeing of the child.”
That is what Paula Bennett vetoed. She didn’t even allow it to go to a vote. And by vetoing it on the grounds that it would reduce the ‘savings’ created by the Bill by sanctioning beneficiaries by $128m she is admitting that is the amount she plans to take away from families with consequences that will deprive children of food or shelter or other be detrimental to them. Her excuse? That WINZ staff sitting in their offices wouldn’t be able to know for sure if children of beneficiaries would be negatively affected, so they would err on the side of caution…. well, when it comes to the wellbeing of children, we can’t be erring on the side of caution, can we?