Audrey Young reports that Paula Bennett has once again abused the trust and power that is given to her as a minister in her campaign to paint all beneficiaries as bludgers.
“National Party delegates took in a deep breath this morning when social welfare minister Paula Bennett told them about a West Coast couple who had had been living on an invalids benefit for 15 years and were on $1700 a week.”
A large amount of money, about a quarter of the tax cut that National gave Paul Reynolds.
Said Bennett “What gets me most about this story is that in the 15 years they have been on the benefit – the husband has a very bad back – they had 10 children.”
$1,700 a week between 12, not so much, and most of it is actually going to be Working For Families payments.
Now, I don’t know anything about this family. I’m in no position, and neither are you, to assume they are bludgers or legitimate.
But if this family is not entitled to their benefit then Bennett should do her damn job and get them off it. If they are entitled then she shouldn’t be accusing them of being bludgers.
Gee, how great it would be to have a media that asked ministers to do their jobs. Young seems to actually think doing so would be silly: “I guess that will be enough detail for some people to suggest she has breached the privacy of some more beneficiaries – having still not rid herself of the privacy complaint from Natasha Fuller.”
In my dream world, those “some people” are called the press gallery.
Where is our fourth estate? When will they stand up and hold ministers that break the rules accountable?