Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, April 13th, 2018 - 84 comments
Categories: housing, john key, national, national/act government, phil twyford, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:
Remember how early on during his reign as National leader John Key talked about the underclass and how they were a blight on New Zealand society?
He gave a speech in 2007 where he said this:
However, things are different now than they were 30 years ago. It used to be that any street in any community could be the launching pad for a happy and fulfilling life. That’s not the case anymore. Today many are being left behind.
These are tough problems – very tough problems. But I have no intention of being a Prime Minister who tackles only the easy and convenient issues. I don’t pretend I’ve got all the solutions. But I can tell you that dealing with the problems of our growing underclass is a priority for National, both in opposition and in government.
By the end of his reign the problem was not only people living in substandard houses. But working families living in cars. And from a recent story some families were actively helped by WINZ to live in tents. And why during a time of crisis did National have to close and sell so many state houses?
From Television New Zealand:
In a shocking admission, Work and Income say it has been using tents to house the homeless.
Figures given to 1 NEWS under the Official Information Act show in the last year 20 families have asked for hardship grants through Work and Income to buy a tent to live in.
Work and Income Deputy Chief Executive Service Delivery Ruth Bound said the practise is extremely rare, “so rare in fact that our system does not record the grants as a separate sub-category of hardship grant”.
She says it agreed to fund the tents “in an effort to support its clients choices” and did not rule out supplying more than the 20 it could identify.
“Our case managers help clients with one million requests for hardship grants a year and were able to recall around 20 instances,” Ms Bound said.
The Government claims it only learnt of the [practice] when 1 NEWS raised questions and has now ordered Work and Income to stop supplying tents.
“It’s not ok for the government to be supplying tents. It might have been acceptable under the past government it’s not under ours,” said Housing Minister Phil Twyford.
“We’re pulling out all the stops with emergency and transitional housing, building thousands of extra state houses, and if people are homeless and don’t have anywhere to live we will do our absolute best to find somewhere for them,” Mr Twyford said.
And National apparently had no idea this was happening. Again from the article:
National’s Social Development spokesperson, Louise Upston, said she too had no idea that special needs grants were being used to buy tents.
“I can only assume these are decisions made by frontline staff who are doing their very best to help people in need,” Ms Upston said.
The number of families on Housing New Zealand’s waiting list has almost doubled in three years to over 6,000, while there have been one million requests for hardship grants in the last year.
It is really weird. National was in control of the Government for nine long years. But they had no idea our major hospital had sewerage leaking into the walls of one of its buildings or that homeless people were living in tents.
One can only conclude that despite John Key’s protestations of interest National was totally indifferent to the plight of the poor.
Some things never change.