National has been going on about the number of comms staff at the Ministry of Social Development. Rather than ask ‘what do these people actually do that the Government employs them, rather than undertaking other spending or giving bigger tax cuts?’, Bill Ralston parrots the Nats’ line and gives us:
“The Ministry of Social Development ….provides social services to more than one million New Zealanders… A quarter of the country have somehow managed to become state beneficiaries.”
Yeah, Bill: 500,000 of them a super-annuitants, 100,000 are single mothers on low incomes, 80,000 are invalids with serious physical or mental disabilities, 45,000 are too sick to work, and 17,500 are unemployed, 134,000 people get student loan payments, 52,000 get student allowances, and 1.1 million low-income people have a community services card. What a sad world where we make sure the elderly, disabled, sick , students, and the poor have a living income. I found those numbers by going to the front page of the MSD website. Maybe, you should have done some basic research rather than assume those million people are bludgers.
Matt McCarten, in contrast, has a well-argued piece that looks at the big issues and condemns the trivial issues that Parliament has concerned itself with:
“Despite the increasing challenge of oil running out and the impending environmental catastrophe, it seems our politicians would rather distract us with anti-tagging legislation, retracting KiwiSaver brochures, paying too much for hui and using women as a cynical election gimmick.”
Well worth a read. McCarten, that is.