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.