It all sounds so simple doesn’t it:
State housing tenants told to seek help
The Prime Minister is urging people in unhealthy state homes to approach government agencies for help.
Mr Key conceded it was a problem around the country, particularly as the weather had turned cold and damp. … “I accept that some people are cold and some people have, you know, less resources and on the back of that they should definitely reach out for more help,” he said.
The reality check came quickly:
PM’s state house advice ‘a bit glib’
Otara residents have scoffed at the Prime Minister’s advice to people living in cold, damp state houses to “reach out for more help”.
Jo Iosefo had lived in Otara for 43 years … He said once people had asked for help, they were being bounced between Government departments. “People are sick and tired of ringing, and they refer them from Housing New Zealand to social welfare, to Housing New Zealand, so people are giving up,” he said. “So people rather just stay in there and take the cold, because they are sick of running around you know, sick of running around with nothing happening.”
Salvation Army senior policy anaylst Alan Johnson said although there was some additional help available, the Prime Minister’s advice made it seem like there were many options when it was not the case. “It’s a little bit glib to sort of claim or create the impression that this assistance is available when in many cases it practically isn’t,” he said.
Gordon Campbell doesn’t hold back:
The government’s “let them ask for more” response to the dilapidated, cold and unhealthy conditions faced by many families in state housing can only be put down to two things – utter cluelessness, or total cynicism.
… When poor housing is killing children, it is politically necessary to make sympathetic noises that help is readily available – even when you know it isn’t, and even when you’ve actually spent years tightening the screws on the social spending that’s required to fix, insulate and heat cold and leaky homes. (All in order that you can brag about your route to a Budget surplus.)
We all know how bogus the outpourings of compassionate conservatism really are. Yet before becoming too righteous, we can also recognise that middle and upper income earners are still pocketing money from the tax cut package of 2010 that has made this kind of hardship almost inevitable. …
Thank you Gordon. Let’s finish with the view from Neetflux: