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Breeding for a business

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, August 18th, 2009 - 29 comments
Categories: benefits - Tags:

In 2002, John Key (then a free-speaking backbencher) told the Sunday-Star Times: “We’ve seen enormous growth in the number of people on the DPB, and where people have been, for want of a better term, breeding for a business”

Of course, it wasn’t true that DPB numbers were growing – they’re down 16% over the last ten years. Nor is it true that women are “breeding for a business” but that myth lies at the heart of National’s campaign against beneficiaries. The attack on the two mothers, the release of figures on the number of families getting more than $1000 a week – they know the reactionaries will jump up and down about the level of payments because they believe that the mums had their kids just to get more from the DPB. National is purposely creating the impression that these women are living in luxury on the taxpayer’s dime and having more kids to buy a better life-style.

Which is just bollocks. Raising a child is estimated to cost $250,000 to the age of 18. That is $13,888 per annum, $267 a week. The DPB does not even come close to that figure. A sole parent gets $272.70 on the DPB*. In addition, the family tax credit (which you get if you’re employed too, it’s part of Working for Families) pays $86 to $100 a week for the first child and $60 to $90 for subsequent children. There’s the accommodation supplement too but, starting at just $45 a week and maxing at $225 for the parent and two or more kids in Auckland, it’s not going to cover the rent.

The basic DPB leaves only about $100 a week for the mother to support herself. The $267 cost of each additional child is nowhere near covered by the family tax credit. Any additional children just means mum has to stretch an already threadbare budget even further.

It’s simply laughable to think that someone struggling to get by on the DPB would think having another child was a solution to their cash woes. Yet, National persists with fuelling the reactionary fires. They ought to be ashamed of beating up our most vulnerable families for their political gain.

[hattip to Maynard J for the email this post is based on]

29 comments on “Breeding for a business”

  1. Since when have the facts stopped the dissemation of prejudice amongst the ignorant?

  2. Tigger 2

    Wanted: Angry mob to march trhough village hunting down beneficiaries. Start immediately. Must bring own pitchfork and torch. Experience not required but small-mindedness a bonus.

  3. millsy 3

    This is hatemongering at its worst.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    And yet:
    “Well-off families rort system:
    More than 9700 families receiving Working for Families credits own rental properties and are using losses on them to boost the amount they get from the taxpayer.”


    I guess Blinglish thought it was only fair that he should get his time at the trough, too.

    • Pascal's bookie 4.1

      Yeah, it’s cool that with the $1000 dollar benne bash, the solution is to audit them, but with the trusty trustificeriaries the solution is Tax Cutz.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        It seems like a universal income and a flat tax rate kills the scheme rather easily.

        Give everyone 10k and set the tax rate at like 30%, and then increase the base income depending on the number of children you get, to the same value as what WFF gives now. That way it doesn’t matter if you hide your income in a trust or not – it’s still taxed at 30%, and since trusts aren’t people they aren’t eligible for the base universal income.

  5. BLiP 5

    You’re right – National Inc is hatemongering and, yes, it is the worst sort; having already displayed its willingness to put the boot into any beneficiary or public servant that dares to dissent, it continues its bashing of the most vulnerable in society – the children of John Key’s beloved “underclass”.

  6. Tom Semmens 6

    Crsby-Textor PR:

    Week 1:
    DPB mum’s getting well over the average wage, yet still feel they need more.

    Week 2:
    307 families get over $1000 a week – clearly suspicious, obviously breeding for a living.

    9700 families rort WFF to get a tax break.

    Week 3:

    • Sadly I have to agree with you Tom, its beginning to look like a not so clever wee plan to repeat the “cuts” of the 90’s again. I had the privilidge (note sarcasm) of working in the system at that time and seeing just what affect it had on people.

      Meanwhile SNG applications have risen 75% and foodbank parcels 40% (other foodbanks may have even had greater rise than the one quoted in NZ Herald) showing that people are already struggling more than ever.

  7. millsy 7

    Where the hell is the Maori Party on all this?? They went on and on about looking after the poorest parts of society, here is a direct threat, and their mouths are shut. Too busy playing with their baubles and hobnobbing with iwi elite…

    Like their ancestors, they sold their people down the river for a few tokens.

    • Tigger 7.1

      No Millsy, they’re busy working behind the scenes to ensure that they protect ‘their people’ – you know, wealthy, right-wingers…that is who they represent, right?

    • Swampy 7.2

      They’re saying that welfare is evil and that Maori shouldn’t get it. Quite refreshing to see the iwi leaders don’t tow the Labour ideological line.

  8. Samuel Konkin 8

    Of course, the $250,000 figure is based on the average. Many of those who receive benefits live in areas with lower costs of living, and their alternatives are often not great. That is, living on the DPB may be better than their other options.

  9. Tom Semmens 9

    Where is the Maori Party? Fiddling while Rome burns… Errr, I mean consulting widely on what flag they want flown at their political funeral in just over two years.

  10. millsy 10

    Ah yes, the Maori Party see that a peice of cloth is more important than the purchasing power of the people who voted them in..

  11. Observer 11

    Go for the accountants!

    One I knew managed to have NO INCOME AT ALL, despite being a partner in a big-4 firm, and so was able to live off benefits in a five bedroom mansion owned by ahis wife’s family trust.

    It’stime to simplify the system so it doesn’t have all these loopholes, then it will be equitable for all.

  12. Maynard J 12

    What, no wing-nuts to try and argue their point? What a friggin surprise. Pack of wimps.

    • aj 12.1

      As an example of the low level of understanding/sympathy from some people, I was speaking to a single eldery person, never married, owns his own home, and has a large shareholding.
      – didn’t know the minimum wage
      – thus didn’t know how it relates to benefit levels
      – can’t understand the difference between him ‘coping’ on super and bringing up 1,2,3 or more children on a benefit

      • Maynard J 12.1.1

        The truth is, aj, that 99% of the nutty folk out in talkback land and tradememessageboardland, would, when confronted with the facts of a specific situation, probably agree that it is fair enough.

        This could happen to them 1000 times over.

        But they would still be convinced that somewhere, somehow, people are rorting the system. And, fact is, they would be right; however, I am not sure if you could ever convince those people that in fixing it, you will ‘get’ a small minority of abusers, while adversely affecting the large majority of legal, needful recipients.

        Thus we see the same beginning with WFF.

        If you explained some cases to the person in question, I believe he would sympathise.

  13. bobbity 14

    “It’s simply laughable to think that someone struggling to get by on the DPB would think having another child was a solution to their cash woes.”

    It’s simply laughable to think that a young woman in NZ might be drowned by family members trying to lift a curse by pouring water down her throat, and in her eyes.

    ……. Who’s laughing ?

  14. Frank Macskasy 15

    How To Become A Real Bludger…

    1. Become a politician…
    2. Live in Wellington…
    3. And apply the out-of-town living accommodation allowance.

    Then, when you get found out, put on a mournful look and complain that you don’t want to be away from your family (even they are living with you in Wellington).

    Works a treat.

    If that isn’t successful, release the names of a few beneficiaries and put out that the bludgers are eating BREAD, instead of just plain sawdust! That’ll rouse the wrath of the Great Unwashed and deflect attention from you.

    Definitely works a treat!!

    (Extract from “My Life as a Hard Working MP”, by Bill English)

    • Tigger 15.1

      I’m sure I read a similar list in Phil Heatley’s book ‘It’s Important to Keep My Little Family Together’…

    • Swampy 15.2

      “How To Become A Real Bludger

      1. Become a politician ”

      That’s easy is it?

  15. Shrimp 16

    To raise a child costs $575 per fortnight. Having 2 children makes it $1157 per fortnight. Bloody hell, I have never earned that much and then with the parents also requiring a bit of cash to survive it says to me that the figure was just plucked form the air with no reality involved. C’mon people, get real. If this it what is being used to base spending tax dollars then someone needs to take a look.

  16. Swampy 17

    The claim is in a paper being prepared by the government to get more money from liable parents, it’s an own goal however misleading it is.

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