Let the bashing begin

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, August 17th, 2009 - 61 comments
Categories: benefits - Tags:

I see Paula Bennett has been busy dog-whistling on beneficiaries, firstly by releasing figures showing 307 beneficiaries receive more than $1000 a week and then by claiming she “suspects” special needs grants are being abused.

Given the hatefest her potentially unlawful release of Natasha Fuller and Jennifer Johnson’s income details caused last time there’s no way she can claim she doesn’t know what she’s doing here and frankly it disgusts me.

And for those of you who don’t think this is a dogwhistle, consider what the nature of this story would have been if the figure she’d decided to release was the number of people who were not receiving their full entitlements and how much that was costing them.

I’d be willing to bet that figure would be far in excess of the money being paid to the top 307. But that wouldn’t soften the ground for attacks on benefit levels (and subsequently wages) would it?

Far better to use a big, unqualified, figure attached to a small number of beneficiaries to make it easier to attack all the others.

As an aside, I see that only about half are on the DPB, I suspect most of the rest have serious health issues that need funding but that’s not mentioned. I guess it’s harder to get a hate on for the chronically ill.

61 comments on “Let the bashing begin”

  1. lprent 1

    So she found 300 people out of 100,000 odd. I suspect that all of those cases will be justified. However she will now scapegoat some of those for political reasons.

    It is easier than doing work for Paula I suspect

    • So Bored 1.1

      One suspects that she is not the person doing the thinking here….(click to Nats strategy room) “now if we create a smokescreen doing some beneficiary bashing this week, get Paula to front it, the left will concentrate on her whilst Tony privatises health, no one will notice and voila, the polls will show us as thoroughly good blokes…..”

      • Tigger 1.1.1

        Any other reasons they need a smokescreen this week? I mean, it’s clearly a bomb lobbed as distraction, but for what else…?

        P.S. Paula, this is creepy and jackbooted and beneath you.

        • So Bored 1.1.1.1

          Some other orchestrated litany of lies (great line from Justice Mahon, still love it).

  2. Irish Bill, I have some sympathy with your position on this.
    I really think descending into bashing beneficiaries is a wrong move for the country.
    However, it is going to be a hard job defending a family with 10 kids who have been on the bennie for 15 years and are receiving 1200 a week. I am sure most kiwis will be raising an eyebrow to that one, including the overwhelming majority of beneficairies who are genuinely doing it tough. I am sure any family of that size would struggle to support itself on 1200 per week but that is not really the point is it.
    Anneette King asked how many were getting over a thousand a week and rather foolishly gave Bennett an opening. This will see righteous indignation and screeching from the right wing blogs and die in a ditch defense of the system by the left.

    I can undersdtand ;long term beneficiaries being a bit tardy with the birth control in much the same way it has happened in my family, BUT 10 times!

    • lprent 2.1

      bb: The problem is that there are probably totally legitimate reasons for it.

      For instance, they could be fostering orphan kids from the whanau. They could have kids with disabilities. They could be grandparents bringing up the kids of their children who are dead, imprisoned or mentally incapable of bringing up their own kids.

      Sure WINZ needs to look at it..

      But did Paula need to be such an arse-hole to help the jerk-off beneficiary bashers.

      I’m sure that it is politically helpful to give every fool in the country some lines to play on talkback. But it hardly helps the issue does it?

    • Richard 2.2

      bb: I am sure any family of that size would struggle to support itself on 1200 per week but that is not really the point is it.

      Actually no, that is precisely the point. These are likely to be families with large numbers of children Alternatively, some could be a small families with children who have high-cost special needs. Perhaps some are even individuals with very high special needs costs. In any case, if these families happen to have no reasonable source of income then they are going to be on a large benefit, because they have large costs.

      Now, of course, maybe in some cases the parents have some responsibility for their predicament. Or in some cases you could probably say it was the pope’s fault. But in case it is not the fault of the children.

      People on benefits with large unavoidable costs are going to receive large benefits, it’s as simple as that.

      The only “humane” alternative is to euthanize the disabled and poor (the inhuman alternative, of course, being to let them starve to death).

  3. Concerned Of Tawa 3

    Time for a WINZ Platinum Community Services Card to reward these high earners.

    Invite only. Preferred address Orakei, Auckland ($2,000,000 state homes a stones throw from those rich pricks in Paritai Drive)

    Concierge Service for those awkward times when your $60,000 Chrysler 300 gets impounded (despite your gang connections) Just phone WINZ Platinum Card Services.

    But wait theres more!
    No need to pay $1000’s per year for Southern Cross Ultra-Care 400 to get dental treatment, WINZ Platinum Card rewards your decades of lack of effort with $300 per year dental treatment (non-recoverable from your “income” of course)

    And of course Fag-buys. Go on you’ve earned it.

    • IrishBill 3.1

      Beneficiary bashing frenzy: Exhibit A. Thanks for validating my argument CoT.

      • Swampy 3.1.1

        The problem is that in times of government, Labour bends over backwards to foster a pro-welfare, pro-beneficiary culture. When elected in 1999, WINZ was instructed to extend every possible largesse to their client base to ensure they were getting everything possible that they could be entitled to. Case managers were instructed to hand out the forms for sickness and invalid beneficiaries just in case someone who might qualify has missed out. Doctors were bombarded with these forms by their patients just in case they might be eligible etc.

        About mid-term Labour took a political hit over this policy and brought in the Jobs Jolt as a political reaction to the negative headlines they were getting over some of the welfare issues.

        So it’s no surprise, there is political mileage and plenty of it to be made by a newly elected National government against Labour’s welfare policies.

    • Craig Glen Eden 3.2

      The National Party already has the platinum card, they just didn’t tell the voters. First to receive their card was Bill and Mary English with their eight Kids, Bill is just trying to keep the family together aye..

      To get the card you have to be nominated by the prime minister, John said that given it was to keep Bills family together, he was kinda relaxed about it.

  4. Peter Johns - bigoted troll in jerkoff mode 4

    I am the NZ manager for a company & earn the same as these ‘breeeders’.
    Pretty disgusting really.

    With an ever shrinking pot of money diluted over more beneficiaries (WFF etc)these issues need to be addressed. Having 10 kids on tick should not be on, why should I pay for some wahine who cannot keep her legs closed?

    [he’s NZ manager for Racial Prejudice Inc]

    • Peter Johns - bigoted troll in jerkoff mode 4.1

      Sorry IB – I am a productive in NZ, unlike these ‘breeders’ & yourself.

      IrishBill: and now you’re banned from here for life so you can spend even more time being productive. Goodbye.

      • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1

        You could always go Galt, Peter. No-one’s stopping you.

        It’s a free country mate, the answer to your gripes lies within your power. So stop your whinging.

      • starboard 4.1.2

        banned for life for speaking up…the truth hurts doesnt it dumb arses…go the good stuff Bennett…the chequebook’s now closing …and before you ban me as well…I aint comin back to the strandard…it gives me gas when I read it.

        [lprent: you are already banned under a different alias.
        You give comments that a cretin would be proud of.
        Stay away]

  5. Seti 5

    Ahem…, so who wanted the info again?

    captcha: cycles – on ya bike

    • Good point, PB cannot be blamed for this info, it was requested by question for written answer in Parliament. She is required to answer of course.

      • Rex Widerstrom 5.1.1

        Seems that if there’s a foot anywhere near a loaded gun, someone in Labour can be relied upon to pull the trigger.

        Then again, perhaps it was a full moon when they lodged the question…

        It’s all very well squawking “Croby Textor, Crosby Textor!” when the Nats trot out some polished turd but there’s no virtue in a complete lack of strategy and tactics either.

        And no, having Phil Goff try to look like Bush Lite by standing him in a paddock doesn’t count as a strategy.

  6. IrishBill 6

    Barnsley, I agree that having the tax payer fork out for people to have 10 children is not ideal but what other options are there? Taking people’s kids off them and having the state pay through CYFS while also breaking up a family? Cutting the funding at a certain point so kids suffer? Forced sterilisation (as I’ve seen some of the loony right seriously advocate!)?

    Frankly apart from continued eduction I can’t see a better way of doing this and I don’t think National can either. They’re just throwing out the red meat.

    • Agreed there is actually no solution to that sort of scenario, but hey we just don’t know, one of those 10 kids might be a future world leader, olympic athlete, all black etc, heck they might even grow up and develop a cure for cancer. Unless we are going to give the state power to decide just who can breed, (terrifying thought!) I don’t know the answer.

      Once again though I will state, that every low income earner in this country is entitled to the supplements that make up the bulk of those amounts. The “main benefit” is only a small part of what those people receive.

      • Boris Klarkov 6.1.1

        but hey we just don’t know, one of those 10 kids might be a future world leader,..

        Nope, they’ll all grow up to be the next generation of Labour-voting beneficiarycriminals that decent New Zealand has to support.

        [lprent: you just activated my anti-trolling instincts.
        Just looked through your previous comments.
        Consider yourself banned permanently as you haven’t contributed anything substantive to debate.
        All you do is rant using concepts and ideas that were old when I was young.
        If you can’t use your brains rather than a set of antique lines from the cold war, then do it elsewhere. ]

    • Swampy 6.2

      The sisterhood wants the DPB paid to teenage mothers who they say can bring up their children better than adoptive parents. What a dumb idea that was.

  7. Peter Johns - bigoted troll in jerkoff mode 7

    [lprent: banned – see here ]

  8. Good shit. The benefit should not extend to 10 children, fuck that.

  9. Maggie 9

    When Bennett was chosen as Social Development Minister I thought she was a good choice, particularly when you consider Judith Collins was the alternative. Bennett was rough around the edges and feisty, but at least had some understanding of what it can be like on a benefit.

    Shortly after she was elected Bennett said in an interview: “You won’t have me bagging the solo Mums”. So what happened to that, Paula?

    When she “outed” two solos for having the cheek to oppose government policy Bennett claimed to have been shocked by the reaction of some members of the public.

    “I think it has been an absolutely horrific debate,’ the minister said. (NZ Herald)

    So why stir up an “absolutely horrific debate” for a second time? The first time she could claim she didn’t realise what she was doing, but when she does it for a second time…..

    Peter Johns’ racist reaction will be mild by comparison with what is coming.

    Thanks, Paula.

  10. ben 10

    Didn’t Labour ask the question? Isn’t Bennett required by law to answer? How can this be her dogwhistle?

  11. vto 11

    Perfectly legitimate issue for consideration I would have thought, especially when people are on the dole for 15 years and have 10 kids. Sheesh, what’s up with that? First up appearance is ‘bludger’. Wonder if the actual equates with the appearance…

    But anyway, labelling anyone who questions aspects of the welfare system a bene-basher is the same as labelling anyone who questions aspects of the special treatment for Maori system a racist.

    Perhaps someone could explain how Kiwis should, in this modern day, ask questions of the system which concern them without being abused and ridiculed? IB, its your post – do you have any ideas?

  12. Maggie 12

    Bennett was required to answer the question. What she wasn’t required to do is release the answer to the media. She chose to do that even though she must have known what the reaction would be.

    These are just a few examples from two blog sites. Attractive, aren’t they?

    1. Facial Tats are another road to the long term bene cruise, the fuck-knuckles (excuse my Swahili) know this, and can use the cultural card, even though it is a gang sign tattooed on their face, if anyone hassles them too much, and KNOW that eventually WINZ will just pay them to stay away.

    The funny thing about it all is that up the Coast those same people are invariably Maori separatists. When you point out that the Government they hate also provides them with a living they really pull out all their baldhead shit. I’ve been threatened a couple of times for pointing that out.
    Luckily a lifetime of bludging also makes them slow.
    3. Somebody out there must be able to find out the name of this couple.
    PLEASE, get their names out there in the public, by any means possible. We have to bring these parasites in for all the scorn, shame, derision and contempt they deserve.
    They are probably also in a state house, which would further increase their parasitical take, as well as god knows how many other blank cheques they take from WINZ over a year.
    We have to make being on a benefit the ultimate shame, where you are too embarrassed to show your face in public.
    1. Its gota stop..NO PARASITE should be able to sponge for 15 years off the backs of hard working taxpayers. This is one of the big reasons National was voted in..to fix this sort of shit.
    Go for it PB..knock ‘em hard whore , hehe.. times up buddy xx

    2. Maybe they shouldn’t have so many fucken kids? This is fucken retarded. 10 children? jesus fuck. Cut that mans balls off, he’s lost the right to bear children.
    3. Good to see Bennet is continuing a cleanout of hopeless bludgers
    Breeding seems an option to working

    • singularian 12.1

      Ever been to the East Coast Maggie? I read the same comment ( the first one you quote) over a DPF’s. Are you saying it’s not factual? Or do you just not like the truth when it is unpalatable to your political thinking?

      catchpa – true (ha ha)

      • Maggie 12.1.1

        Yes, singularian, I’ve been to the East Coast.

        And, no, I don’t consider a comment like: “Luckily a life time of bludging also makes them slow”, to be factual, just ignorant.

        But thanks for asking.

    • Swampy 12.2

      Every intelligent person knows there are massive social disadvantages associated with welfare, that is why we talk about the negative consequences of a welfare lifestyle etc. People should not be on benefits for long periods unless they are somehow incapable of working. I live in a community where there is a high proportion of welfare dependency. People still make the same dumb decisions – they may not have children but they might have 10 cats instead, and somehow be blind to the fact that it costs money to keep them.

      There is and will alway be, as long as the welfare system exists, people who are abusing it, who will just take the money as if it was their right. There will always be mothers who hook up with deadbeat fathers who leave as soon as they get pregnant

  13. Brett 13

    This type of welfare abuse could be easily stopped.Just have one of the conditions of receiving the dpb is that you must be on Mirena or some other long term contraceptive.

    • IrishBill 13.1

      Good idea Brett. Then if they fail to do that we can sterilise them permanently and/or send them to work camps.

  14. rave 14

    Even if we added up the benefits of a few who stay at home having lots of kids (good to see that such domestic work is paid) it would amount to petty cash for the Rogernomes who sold off the silver and absconded to Geneva or London.
    Its also petty cash for the Rogerman himself living high on the jetsetter benefit he claims after scrapping NZs public assets.

  15. Maggie 15

    I have also e-mailed those examples to Paula Bennett. Hope she enjoys them.

  16. IB, I don’t have an answer that would be palateable. Some suggestions dredged from the darker recesses of my mind are the gut reaction. But I will not be voicing them as others are already doing so.
    Maybe a cap on the number of children we can be funded for or even capping the amount at the start and then if you decide to have more kids you know going in that we will not provide extra funding. It is hard to convince that this particular example is not a breeding programme to secure more money. But none of us know yet whether they were blessed with multiple births. It could be triplets and twins.

    On a personal note i am bitterly disappointed that the debate has gone in this direction. We do need to make fundamental changes to the way social welfare is managed in this country, and taking the debate in this direction will only see an over reaction from all sides.
    I would like to see it start with a programme to foster a sense of pride and a strong work ethic in the children. With the best will in the world it is hard to imagine the ten children in this particualr house witnessing pride and a work ethic at home.
    It is almost to the point where we write of an entire generation of parents and put all our efforts into the youngsters.

    As a twice seperated father of a few I have had to bare the shame of my ex wives spending some time on the DPB and it is not the holiday that many seem to imagine. Both of them transited through the system fairly quickly and now work but the memory of the strain it put on all of us still lingers.
    There will without a doubt be a few bennies taking the piss because we find that in all walks of life. From MP’s to cops, doctors, meat workers et al. Every sector has rule breakers, it would be a shame if the debate allowed all people on a benefit to be labelled as cheaters and troughers.

    • ak 16.1

      Good comment Barn, a pity the media hasn’t the time nor inclination to go deeper into the issue and/or at least consult more voices of experience.

      For instance, just off the top of my swede, a “bludger” on the IB not only has to be certified by a doc, but to get the max accom supplement of $225 would have to be paying at least $450/wk-odd in rent. Also, all the other “add-ons” have to be scrupulously backed with receipts, doc certs etc and justification – so are simply reimbursements or pre-payments for necessary, proven costs.

      So the only “pay” the client receives (as in discretionary dough for food, clothing power balance of rent etc) is the basic benefit plus family assistance payments – the levels of which have been assessed many times over by independent academic research as woefully inadequate to cover what kiwis consider an acceptable standard of living.

      But sadly, shallow, ill-informed hatemongering always sold more papers and garnered more votes: the irony being of course, that the depression and frustration it inflicts on victims actually costs the taxpayer more in the long run.

  17. Rave, those are all good points and not many would disagree. Sadly though it is the rump in the middle that are paying for these people and just playing the “but these ones have done it as well” card does not make it okay and will not diminish the anger levels felt by the many who have not done a runner to geneva.

    • vto 17.1

      Yes Geneva. I wonder what goes through their minds when they think about NZ and how they are regarded here? No wonder their main residence is on an island off the coast of the North Island.

  18. JohnDee 18

    Nice to see that the likes of Brett are again assuming the “breeders” are the ones making these statistics significant. No thought that like last time these statistics were used to justify a pathetic excuse of a cabinet minister tries to dig herself oyut of a deep hole of her own making.
    Last time this information was made public and then some investigation took place, it was found to be that a significant number of the supposed parasites were looking after extended families or other people children, usually with significant handicaps or health issues.
    I have over the years assisted some people with WINZ and can assure the Brett’s of this world that money is not given out lightly.
    As another poster said, it would be interesting to know, how many are not receiving what they are entitled to.

  19. So we become a nazi state? Controlled breeding? Ignoring outdated as they may be, religious beliefs on contraception? Forced abortion (gee the pro-lifers would love that one wouldnt they)

    Yes the system needs work, but the options are very limited as far as stopping people having children, nothing is palatable.

    This all started with a campaign for the reinstatement of something that WOULD help people get OFF benefits, TIA. Educating parents so they have less reliance on the state, and set an example for their kids of what can be achieved, so the children do not end up “in the system” too.

    We can’t just sit back and rant about beneficiaries without coming up with ways to actually break the cycle. TIA was one of those ways as has been proven by much research, even by the MSD themselves.

  20. Ianmac 20

    Easy to make judgements in this case against beneficiaries. They are getting heaps of Taxpayers money. Must be bludgers!
    Now look. There is a young man traipsing around in a mobility scooter. Bet he had the state pay for it or flogged off his Granny. “Hey you! Get off your backside you lazy bugger! I earn my money and you could too if you got of your arse! Whats that? Muscular distrophy? Bullshit. You’re just a lazy shit and thank God we now have a Government who will wipe you scum off the street. Now get out of my way!”

  21. Reddy 21

    When you apply for the DPB you should be entitled to claim for only the children you have at that time. If you have any more children after that they are your responsibility- the state shouldn’t bail you out twice.

    I am female and a leftie but yet I have always thought the conditions for the DPB were too lax. The DPB was never set up so that women were able to make a career out of having children – those women who do so are a minority but they do exist and the left does itself no favours by ignoring them. The children who come out of these situations are disadvantaged and are going to struggle. I honestly don’t think we do anyone any favours by subsidising this sort of lifestyle.

    Benefit bashing would be less of an issue and society would feel much better about beneficiaries if the people who abuse the system were stopped.

    • Pascal's bookie 21.1

      The state is bailing the kids out, not the parents.

      These are tough calls, but foar me it comes down to a simple matrix.

      There are people that need and deserve our assistance, (where our equals society).

      In order to give them that assistance we need to set up system.

      That system will potentially be prone to abuse, (where abuse is defined as people benefiting from it in ways that it was not intended).*

      Given that, we need to choose whether it is worse to:

      1) Have the system fail to support genuine cases, with less abuse* or

      2) Have the system work as intended, at the cost of more abuse*.

      This same matrix works for tax purposes also, and people pay accountants good money to make the system ‘work’ for them, all quite legally, with same net effect on their fellow taxpayers as ‘breeders’, but with much less opprobrium.

      *nb: we don’t know if any of these “OMG >$1000” cases are abuse in this sense. That’s what makes it a tough call. Whatever rule we set up, humans will find themselves in a situation to make those rules seems perverse.

      • jcuknz 21.1.1

        You are so right Pascal and in that lies the dilema. If the family has ten kids, over time, but the benefit is only paid for say the two when the father lost his job, that means eight kids with no support. And as I remember family benefit was money in the mothers pocket to look after the children. But these days it is all wrapped up as one package to provide ammunition for the benebludgers, or reported as such anyway. I too wonder if $1200 is generous to support twelve.
        But it is really about time people get wise and appreciate that the world doesn’t need the population it has got and even less the likely increase in future years.

        Government control is abhorent to me [ I recently read The Bear and the Dragon by Tom Clancy and he uses a Chinese solution to unauthorised birth as a key feature to the story ] but just as I am disgusted by benebashers, I am also saddened by the irresponsible ‘breeders’.

        An aside … I am reminded of the couple in the UK whose children were removed as they arrived so the parents simpye kept on having another … the only form of protest they could think of at the removals.

        The only solution, and this is long term, is education for couples to have, preferably less than, two children. So they do it as responsible citizens without government intervention.

  22. Adrian 22

    Two points, this country was developed, farmed and factoried by big families, Maori and Pakeha, 8-10 kids was not unusual. Second, lets see Bennet release the numbers of how many wealthy parents are sucking on the Govt tit while keeping kids in private schools and taking big overseas trips courtesy of the family trust fund.

    • vto 22.1

      “lets see Bennet release the numbers of how many wealthy parents are sucking on the Govt tit while keeping kids in private schools and taking big overseas trips ”

      Thats the one Adrian. Thanks to Helen Clark for that.

    • jcuknz 22.2

      The world is a different place now in the 21st century from conditions in the twentieth when New Zealand was being developed. Large families was a way of wearing out the woman and getting slave labour on the farm, both morally bankrupt practices. Large families are the result of irresponsible parential behaviour in today’s world. Those rich families pay more taxes than the rest of us, unless they are avoiding it, so I don’t begrudge them.

  23. So Reddy, what would you have them do with those children? Forced abortion or adoption? Even contraception fails at times.

    You state the children that come out of those situations are disadvantaged and going to struggle, so your answer is to disadvantage them further?

  24. felix 24

    Perhaps there should be some sort of training allowance to provide an incentive for people on benefits to up-skill and transition back into the workforce.

    Imagine how much money we would save over the long term by paying a little bit of extra money now for training.

    • Now there’s a novel idea Felix!!

    • something like this maybe.

      *prays link works* – never done that before!

      • In The Know 24.2.1

        Great link there, Just Another Student.

        No matter what side of the fence you sit on on the issue of TIA, or the Minister’s comments, robust research such as given in that link just adds credence and validity to the reality of what has been a worthwhile and proven method of giving sole parents, invalid beneficiaries and widows one less hurdle to jump to becoming self sufficient, independent members of society and giving them a path to successfully upskilling and getting a job or even a CAREER!!

        Go to http://www.handup.co.nz to learn more and perhaps join the lobby group. The more support there is to get the Minister to change her mind, the better.

        Bring back the TIA or an affordable alternative.

  25. But Seriously! 25

    When the rights of the taxpayer are being balanced against the needs of the beneficiary, then I am all for it. It’s our taxes, and our money that is going to support these people, and I would expect that ANY government would take every step to ensure that state welfare is being fairly allocated to the deserving, and that the working class is in the unusual position of having the earning potential of their labour being respected by the government of the day! More power to Paula Bennett, long live acountable, responsible government! 58% of the country agree with me!

    • Ah, but wouldn’t truth and full explanations surrounding the ‘facts’ be even better instead of generalised comments that creates misinformation? When that happens, no matter who is in government, will I pat them on the back for being ‘accountable and responsible’ … so far I haven’t seen it from the current government.

      Also, remember that every family in NZ, if you are earn under the abatement threshold, has the right to access the FAMILY TAX CREDIT and ACCOMMODATION ALLOWANCE. Only those IN WORK can get the IN WORK TAX CREDIT. These allowances means that families on low and middle incomes, with children are generally much better off than a family receiving a benefit plus Tax Credit, etc.

  26. The question that Ms Bennett has chosen to use as fodder to RE-FUEL the benefit debate is but one of a series of Written Questions for Answers put to the Minister late last month. The questions asked were designed, I think, to show that Ms Bennett’s original comments made in Parliament were spurilous and needed further clarification.

    Unfortunately, the Minister has chosen to use her answer to one question to show she was justified in turning the issue from the TIA to benefit payments, allowances and entitlements.

    Makes me wonder why she did this and what is National trying to cover up by using this issue as a smokescreen – perhaps the newly released Health report or maybe the report of a high-profile political figure who is facing court for his wife bashing etc!!! Not sure if you guys have seen the story.

  27. Frank Macskasy 27

    “One couple with 10 kids getting over $1200 per week and both parents unemployed for 15 years, what the hell is that about. Im sorry but thats wrong!…”

    That was one response from another Forum. I replied, “Perhaps they should be executed?”

    Seriously, New Zealanders know absolutely NOTHING about these families. For all we know, they may be children adopted from other, dysfunction families and have no where to go.

    This sort of beneficiary bashing occurred back in 1999, under the previous National government (some things never change) when ACT welfare spokesperson, Muriel Newman claimed that a family were recieving $1230.90 a week in welfare benefits.

    What she didn’t tell the public was that the couple had taken on TEN children no one else wanted, including at least one with a disability.

    The $1230.90 was made up of:

    * $260.94 ‘community wage’
    * $524 family support
    * $76 accomodation allowance
    * $198.96 disability allowance
    * $171 special benefit

    Looking at it another way, $1230.90 divided between twelve people is $102.58/wk, which has to pay for food, clothing, medical expenses, housing, etc. Newman claimed the couple were “not working”.

    Pardon?! Looking after ten children isn’t “work”???

    If the same children were institutionalised, the costs would be much, much greater. We would then be paying for buildings, staff, and a bureacracy to manage such institutions – commonly referred to as orphanages.

    And then there would inevitably follow the million dollars lawsuits, as the children in these institutions were inevitably abused, and compensated later, when they disclose the abuse they suffered. This is a history New Zealand (and other countries) has already lived though.

    Once again, Paula Bennett is making people ‘jump’ with her bullshit nonsense. She reminds me of Jenny Shipley anbd her ill-fated “Code of Social Responsibility” booklet.

    Perhaps New Zealanders should be asking questions rather than reacting like Bennett’s own Pavlov’s dogs. The canine-like salivating by some is embarrasing.

  28. BLiP 28

    I’d be more impressed if every WINZ office in the country was required to look at the 100 beneficiaries receiving the least amount and investigate whether or not they are receiving their full entitlement.

  29. deemac 29

    when do we get the figure for the amount of tax evaded – sorry, “avoided” – by the super-rich? bet that’d pay for a few kids in poor families to eat regularly

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