Today’s Herald carries a story by David Fisher about the poverty that is rapidly reappearing in New Zealand. Because it’s the HoS the lead hook is a story of children living in such poverty and neglect they ate cockroaches but this is only the sharp tip of a very large iceberg:
Mangere Budgeting Services Trust chief executive Daryl Evans said the service was under greater pressure than ever. There had been recent cases of impoverished pensioners eating cat food.
“People are getting desperate for food.”
Evans said two staff members had resigned because of the pressure they were under.
Staff had gone from dealing with about 40 families each to dealing with about 260 in just a few months, he said.
Evans said food and petrol costs had increased but wages had failed to match needs. Government changes had also forced those applying for emergency grants to attend budgeting courses before getting any money, he said. “Working families are doing it really hard.”
So what’s the government’s plan for dealing with this massive increase in poverty. Well we don’t know because Paula Bennett has once again refused to front to the media.
But we do know is that last Friday the government took another chunk of bargaining power off Kiwi workers by extending the fire at will law. And we do know is they cut the company tax rate another two percent at the same time. And we do know is they’re planning to cut into the incomes of working families and graduate students to pay for the Christchurch earthquake at a time when tax for the rich is lower than it has been since the second world war. And we do know is Bill English and John Key are talking about cuts to welfare and education at the same time as they’re pocketing tens of thousands of dollars in personal tax cuts.
It’s not a class war. It’s a class massacre.