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No solutions, more bashing

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, February 27th, 2012 - 164 comments
Categories: benefits - Tags:

332,000 people are on benefits, up by 60,000 under National. Coincidentally, there are 250,000 Kiwis who want work but can’t find it, up 82,000 under National. Probably a lot of cross-over between those two groups, eh? So, you can understand why National’s solution is to take a few bucks off a few thousand women.

Paula Bennett’s due to announce the first tranche of National’s welfare reforms today and it’s meant to include canning the widow’s benefit.

The widow’s benefit is for women whose partner has died after a long relationship and they either have a kid to raise or are over 50. The widow’s benefit may seem antiquated – only women can get it – but if they couldn’t they would be eligible for the DPB or dole instead. Actually, for a widow with kids the payment is the same as the DPB. The only practical effect of the widow’s benefit is basically a tiny $8 a week top up to the dole for a woman alone. There are only 6,200 women on this benefit (up 200 under National).

I suspect they might move to can the ‘DPB – woman alone’ benefit too. It’s pretty similar to the widow’s benefit – for women over 50 who have split with their partner or finished raising their children alone. Again, it’s $8 a week more than the dole. There are 3,500 women on this benefit (up 650 under National).

If you’re a woman over 50 and you suddenly find yourself without your husband and with no job, the widows and woman alone benefits give you $209 a week as opposed to the $201 you would get on the dole.

It’s all very well for the Nats to say ‘ha, we kicked a few thousand middle-aged widows and divorcees off the benefit!’ but if they all come back on via the dole, all they’ve done is save $400 per head a year.

‘Hey, that adds up to a million or two a year saved for the government by making some poor women’s lives a little harder!’ But this is a government which borrowed $1.1 billion in nine months for supposedly ‘fiscally neutral’ tax cuts, so I think there are bigger fish to fry if you’re looking to balance the books.

Along with a few miserly changes to work requirements around the DPB, these changes will only save a small amount of money and make the lives of people who are already in poverty just a little bit harder. The elephant in the room, the lack of jobs, is simply something that National is ideologically incapable of fixing. The Nats can beat up on the poor till the cows come home, but ask them for an economy that actually provides opportunities for the quarter of a million jobless to work, and they’ve got nothing.

164 comments on “No solutions, more bashing ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Mean minded pathetic and clueless Tories.

  2. Hilary 2

    When your husband dies and you are left with small children and grief, things can be pretty tough on all sorts of fronts (have had personal experience). For many it is also shameful to have to ask for government help. Cutting their already small benefit seems particularly petty.

    Has the PM forgotten that his own mother was widowed with small children? But then she was widowed when the welfare state still functioned and she would have probably been treated with sympathy and respect when she went to Social Welfare.

    • Vicky32 2.1

      When your husband dies and you are left with small children and grief, things can be pretty tough on all sorts of fronts (have had personal experience)

      My sympathies Hilary.. That must have been awful for you…
      My Mum had sort-of the same experience, in the early 1970s, complicated by the fact that she had been an ‘elderly primigravida’, so when my Dad died, she had kids of 20, 18, 15 and 12… was in her 50s and had  disabilities! Lucky for her it was the 1970s, and she remained unharassed right up until she hit pension age, and died a year or so later… 🙁
      Nowadays, I hate to think how she’d fare in the same situation.

    • Rosemary 2.2

      Both Key and Bennett (and others) refer to their experience of poverty and reliance on various forms of social security some time in their pasts as proof “they know what it’s like but despite the odds I became a success”. The sentiment is that their “success” was despite the struggle and hard times. Not once do they see their success as being “because of” the help and support they or their families received from a functioning and caring welfare state. This is the thinking that forms the basis of what the left is up against and where its focus must be.

      • Rosemary 2.2.1

        The right’s rhetoric is “if we can get to where we did with welfare, imagine what people could do and become if we take it away?!!!”

    • Mark 2.3

      Of course everyone is sympathetic to this situation Hilary, however the responsible thing to do as a breadwinner for a family is to make sure you have sufficient life insurance to cover tragedies such as this. 

  3. i’m picking we will see a work-experience scheme rolled out…

    ..similar to the unmitigated disaster of one rolled out by the british tories..

    ..the big chains that signed up for it there..

    ..are now running for the exit..



  4. Bill 4

    Anyone got a more accurate term than ‘benefits’ for welfare payments? If a benefit is understood to be something beneficial (and as a collorally, a beneficiary a reciprient of something beneficial), then the common understanding of those terms is a million miles away from the reality of welfare payments.

    The regime imposed on the jobless and others has parallels with the psychology behind medical care and food being given to a torture victim in order that they can be tortured some more. Worse than that, it would seem a mentality now prevails whereby progressively less food and only more rudimentary medical care is dispensed as the limits of endurance are sought.

    If there is a desire to move towards a US ‘inspired’ safety net in the stead of a comprehensive welfare system through a ‘death by a thousand cuts’ policy (as seems to be the case), then it might be worth reflecting on a brief released by the National Poverty Center in the US this month.


    In sum, we estimate that, as of the beginning of 2011, about 1.46 million U.S. households with about 2.8 million children were surviving on $2 or less in income per person per day in a given month. This constitutes almost 20 percent of all non-elderly households with children living in poverty. About 866,000 households (equal to about 4 million individuals?)* appear to live in extreme poverty across a full calendar quarter.

    * inserted by me.

    • Bill 4.1

      In answer to my own question: Why not push the term ‘welfare compensation’ instead of ‘welfare benefits’?

      Jobless and others are, afterall, receiving an amount of compensation for being victims of an economy that cannot provide them with jobs. They don’t benefit from the situation.

      And it’s easy to get public support for reducing a benefit insofar as it implies being in receipt of something ‘over and above’. But would people be so ready to support a bandwagon that seeks to reduce levels of compensation?

      Sickness compensation, unemployment compensation, single parent compensation encourages a different perception than that encouraged by the terms sickness benefit, unemployment benefit etc, no?

      just a thought

      • Ron 4.1.1

        Let’s call them “income support entitlements”.
        That’s what they are.

        In our system, if someone finds themselves unemployed, ill, raising children on their own – whatever – they are entitled to income support.

        Sometimes the front line people at W&I forget this, the social welfare system seems to be uincreasingly geared toward limiting access to various aspects of income support and there are certianly plenty of New Zealanders who would rather call them “privileges” or something
        but they’re not – they’re entitlements. New Zealanders are entitled to that support.

      • Vicky32 4.1.2

        They don’t benefit from the situation.

        Too right! (Just one wee thing – different than should never be used. If i can’t get a job doing what I do best – teaching English, at least I can help people here! Different than is an Americanism, yes, but it’s objectively wrong, as many Americans themselves say. )

        • Bill

          Thing is, if I have ‘this’ and it’s different than it would be if I didn’t have it…oh, I dunno. You sure I didn’t say ‘to’? 😉

          • Vicky32

            Thing is, if I have ‘this’ and it’s different than it would be if I didn’t have it…oh, I dunno. You sure I didn’t say ‘to’?

            You said ” encourages a different perception than that” – and the only acceptable word to follow ‘different’  is ‘from’…* I was involved in discussing this online in an English language forum once. IMO, it all arose because a Hollywood writer made a mistake – then it spread like a cancer across movies and TV – now most Americans and most New Zealanders use it. (Starting with Don Brash in a TV interview last year – I have been able to track the NZ use only as far back as then.)
            (* The trick is to use the word ‘differs’. X differs to Y? No.
            X differs than Y? No.
            X differs from Y? Yes, it is the only usage that makes any sense.)
            I am the (unemployed) teacher and Grammar Nazi… 😀

            • Bill

              Nah. You’re not a grammar nazi, you’re a bloody indefatigable grammar nazi!

            • felix

              She’s the freakin’ Grammar SS!

              • Vicky32

                She’s the freakin’ Grammar SS!

                Glad to be of help! 😀 (If my expertise was in astrophysics and I saw a mistake in that area, I’d do likewise.)

                • VB

                  My name is also Vicki, and I’m a grammar nazi, AND a former Yank, and I support you wholeheartedly on this one! It should definitely be “different from”. I was taught that as a kid in the US longer ago than I care to remember 🙂

                  • Vicky32

                    My name is also Vicki, and I’m a grammar nazi, AND a former Yank, and I support you wholeheartedly on this one!

                    Thank you Vicki for supporting me! I am delighted to meet you… 😀

  5. tsmithfield 5

    The widows benefit seems to be quite sexist. A man could be in the position of having to leave work to look after young children after the death of a partner. Why shouldn’t he be entitled to the same benefit?

    I would probably support some one-off assistance to widows/widowers who face immediate unexpected expenses after the loss of a partner, especially if there is no life insurance pay out. However, I don’t see why they should be receiving any more than anyone else who is home looking after children once the initial expenses have been met.

    • Bill 5.1

      The widows benefit was brought in during a time when women were largely excluded from the work force and before women could claim any compensation for being jobless or for having to bring up children on their own.

    • Blighty 5.2

      why is your solution to take $8 s week off them, rather than give the others $8 a week more?

      I mean, you didn’t bat an eyelid when Paul Raynolds got a $1000 a week tax cut.

      • tsmithfield 5.2.1

        I didn’t say anything about taking money off anyone. Do you disagree with my second paragraph? If so, why?

      • McFlock 5.2.2

        But that was because he was a “wealth creator”. Parents are just bludgers.

        • Mark

          The majority of parents are not bludgers… they work, and pay tax, and give their children love, support, encouragement, healthy food, a clean environment. A minority cannot be bothered.. they are selfish, lazy, irresponsible and ignorant, despite all the  expensive resources thrown at them. These are the ones that the current Govt are trying to encourage, cajole, support etc to improve their own outcomes, and that of their children and society. But the left don’t want this.. says a lot really.

          • McFlock

            If only that were the case – a kind and tolerant government patiently “cajoling” parents who are the lazy authors of their own misfortune.
            It’s more like a dickhead government bullying and browbeating parents who are already victims of National’s economic sabotage.

      • burt 5.2.3

        I didn’t bat an eyelid when Paul Reynolds get $1,000 a week tax cut either – hell he’s probably still paying circa $30,000 a week.

        • Draco T Bastard

          And he’s still only worth $150k/year before tax max.

          • fender

            150k per year, disgraceful suggestion

            cant buy a mansion every other week on that kind of money, shame on you! /sarc

        • Colonial Viper

          hell he’s probably still paying circa $30,000 a week.

          Too low.

          49% tax rate above $250K p.a. And a 1.5% pa asset tax on the asset value held over $1M worth.

          • Yeah /Yeah

            I would agree with that if the money was guaranteed to go straight back into the wider community. Directly fund more sports fields and swimming pools. Build more schools. Build indoor sports centers so we can use them in winter. Build community centers to help the general public.

            The problem is it wouldn’t. No govt would be prepared to guarantee that.

  6. Kevin 6

    I don’t interpret the changes to the widows benefit as being malicious or miserly, by today’s standards the widows benefit is an anachronism therefore it is being redefined to reflect current day criteria.

    • Uturn 6.1

      By today’s standards a lot of our laws and privileges for the elite are an anachronism. I wish they would start with those, the fat end of the wedge, “redefined to reflect current day criteria” and not with people who have little to begin with, at the thin end of the wedge. That the government starts not with themselves, but with the least well off, defines maliciousness.

  7. Rosie 7

    Hi Folks. On the subject of welfare, can I please ask a question of you and apologise for my ignornace at the same time?
    I’d like to know how the number of unemployed is counted. Is it via IRD data or other via other departments?
    Also, hello to Hilary – thank you for sharing and saying how it really is. Excellent point about JK’s own early days. He like’s to get mileage out of his “childhood” (especially earlier on in his campaigning) but denies the same compassion and future his family accepted, to NZers now.

    • JamesGeorge 7.1

      The unemployment rate is calculated using oecd criteria. A sample of households or residences around NZ is randomly selected by region. Then all residents over the age of 15 and under 65 are interviewed at regular intervals for 6 or 12 months.

      I’ve lived in target residences twice in the last coupla decades.
      My own experience suggests the results are easily manipulated and open to subjective interference at a number of key points in the process.

      Firstly most people without work are not deemed by the HLFS to be unemployed. Unless they have taken active steps to find work in the week before they were surveyed they will be labelled as being “not currently in the workforce”.

      This includes persons on unemployment benefits who fail to state the name of an employer or employment agency they interacted within the previous 7 days.

      Of course many humans who for whatever reason, are not on unemployment benefits tend to give up on pounding the streets looking for work; if after months of doing just that, even blind Freddie can see there are no jobs about.

      The unemployment rate cannot tell us anything meaningful in isolation. Labour force participation rates are vital to any serious consideration of a community’s economic well being as well as ‘trends’ that is movement either up or down in the UE rate.
      The participation rate is determined by adding together employed and unemployed totals and then dividing the total number of people aged between 16 and 64 who were surveyed, by that total.

      If the unemployment rate remains constant or falls but there is a concomittant drop in the labour force participation rate, it is likely that the labour market has worsened for most.

      That’s not how the herald or TVOne reports such an occurence. We the mugs, are told that the economy must have picked up because “Unemployment has dropped”.

      • Rosie 7.1.1

        Thanks JamesGeorge for answering my burning question. It sounds like a completely inaccurate way of gathering unemployment data. For example, I won’t be counted as being unemployed when I am, and how many others aren’t counted I wonder?

        I finished work last year in April due to serious illness but have been well since October and have been looking for work every day since then. The right wing trolls that seem to lurk around on this site would be thrilled to know however that I’m NOT receiving any form of government asisstance, and that we’re struggling along without bleeding their tax dollars dry. One income per household barely covers the basic cost of living but we are not entitled to any help, and certianly not the medical costs I still have. Just declaring that before I get harrassed by those who participate in the blood sport of beneficary bashing. I see already the hounds are baying with delight over the changes to welfare…………………

        • prism

          Listening to a report on Christchurch Health. A 75 year old woman who has had multiple strokes is getting good care. Talk about ageist. Younger working people should be getting all the help that they need first.
          And this is so contentious what with everyone wanting to extend their life spans towards 100 I’ll just point out that I’m 70.

          • Campbell Larsen

            We have an obligation to assist both demographics Prism. There is no moral trade off here. To consider a health budget (or any other social spend) in isolation is false accounting.
            Again and again we are told that in order to have something, we or someone else will have to do without. Yet fundamental injustices and inequalities remain unadressed. We will never solve the problem by buying into the idea that we are too kind, too compassionate or too generous.
            You underestimate people – I know many older people who would decline treatment that would only slightly extend life, especially so if aware that they were competing with a younger person for an organ for example. However this choice should never be made for them. I fear that your future would make clinical, dispassionate cynicsm the default. Should we tread that path we will soon discover that this kind of accounting will inevitably render us ‘unaffordable’ too.
            If we decide to stop caring then we can’t be surprised when we are told that we don’t matter.
            Is that what you want?

            • prism

              @ Campbell Larsen
              This is a hard one but refusal to look at the problem of the cost of growing numbers of older aged people and talk in generalities isn’t going to help. People who need elective surgery have been prevented from having their ailment corrected by budget decisions, people who can’t be operated on within x months are thrown out of the hospital list and back to their GPs. So there is already exclusion of people from direct hospital intervention. Workers and parents needing to earn and care for family should have a priority.

              If you were in charge of a hospital budget and were trying to ensure services to the ordinary course of ailments of patients, and have to cut down on this because of an influx of 80 year olds with breathing problems after an attack of flu, are you saying that the first priority should be the emergencies of such end-of-life people? Dying people of any age in NZ not affected by an emergency can find that there is little assistance from the government helping them to manage their demise and exit from the world.

              There needs to be a constant watch on extension of life treatment and major surgery on people over 70 say, particularly where they are having repeat triple heart by passes or such. The government is conflicted about this, as it is over any problem that requires deep thought and wide consideration. The health spending is missing for people such as one dying of cancer, who campaigned for more assistance before death, yet when someone, dying uncomfortably over a long period, is helped to die, this is a crime. At present the attitude seems to be that dying people should be made to have their full span of life, even if the last is distressing and painful. And that does not mention the idea that older people might like to choose their own time of dying, rather than waiting to fall apart.

              • Campbell Larsen

                @ prism
                “refusal to look at the problem of the cost of growing numbers of older aged people and talk in generalities isn’t going to help”

                I think that it is rather your talk of a specific and the attempt to make it a generality which is the problem for me.

                In medicine, and medical ethics these issues are already ‘hot’ topics. My objection is that rather than allowing these to be debated in ethical terms by the professionals charged with carrying out the ‘care’ you seem prepared to allow this process to become an accounting exercise.

                We already have good people working on a compassionate response to longevity and the issues it creates. This problem is not going to go away and we need a solution which is as respectful as possible and preserves human dignity – after all that’s what governments are for.

                Why do you seek to shortcut this process by invoking Christchurch?

                I don’t care if it was just something you happened on – if you genuinely care about these issues don’t mix up disaster politics with an issue that you believe needs serious consideration – because I will hold you to account

                • prism

                  @Campbell Larsen.
                  I wasn’t ‘invoking’ Christchurch – I was placing the item in its NZ location. There was no attempt to run down Christchurch or make it a special case. And why should the matter of medical ethics as applied to old age care not be discussed by interested citizens instead of being left to ‘the professionals charged with carrying out the ‘care’? Living to ever older ages and dying is a matter that involves us all and should not be just the business of trained specialists and academics.

                  I know that there is an economic cost attitude in my discussion which is truly
                  not what I would like to see as the criteria advocated. You say that people are working on this matter. But I hear people wanting to provide life extending measures and it is my perception that the public health budget is tipping towards later life. Also hospice people seem to be pro-active to keep people alive when the choice of assisted death is discussed.

                  We already have good people working on a compassionate response to longevity and the issues it creates. This problem is not going to go away and we need a solution which is as respectful as possible and preserves human dignity – after all that’s what governments are for. This sounds good but what is being discussed? Is there a Health paper on these considerations that one can read? Governments in a humane democratic society while providing these respectful solutions for those who can’t afford to pay for them, have to find the money and allocate it fairly. With the craze for less government, less services, it doesn’t bode well for idealistic solutions.

                  • Campbell Larsen

                    I wasn’t ‘invoking’ Christchurch – I was placing the item in its NZ location. There was no attempt to run down Christchurch or make it a special case.

                    Fair enough, it was just a mention, and without the source material or link to it there wasn’t much to go on. After all the talk of ‘we have no choice but to slash jobs and cut expenditure because of Ch-Ch’ it just raised my hackles. If you have a link to the material so I can put it in context that would be appreciated.

                    And why should the matter of medical ethics as applied to old age care not be discussed by interested citizens instead of being left to ‘the professionals charged with carrying out the ‘care’? Living to ever older ages and dying is a matter that involves us all and should not be just the business of trained specialists and academics.

                    I was referring to the Hippocratic oath – still regarded as the benchmark for medical practice. It says it all really:

                    Modern Day Hippocratic Oath:
                    “I swear to fulfil, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
                    I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
                    I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
                    I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
                    I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.
                    I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
                    I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
                    I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
                    I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
                    If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.”

                    I agree that the business of living and dying concerns us all but I don’t think that public opinion, primed with propaganda and threatened with the debt / fiscal deficit bogeyman is a good substitute for the advice and recommendations of medical specialists & academics. The dollar should not be redrafting the Hippocratic oath, nor should the Heralds ‘opinion’ polls.
                    I know that there is an economic cost attitude in my discussion which is truly.not what I would like to see as the criteria advocated. You say that people are working on this matter. But I hear people wanting to provide life extending measures and it is my perception that the public health budget is tipping towards later life.
                    Also hospice people seem to be pro-active to keep people alive when the choice of assisted death is discussed.
                    It is still Illegal here so it’s not too surprising – they could lose their jobs or be held criminally liable if found that they assisted a suicide – even if indirectly. Their attitude is I believe a healthy tendency to err on the side of optimism and to ensure that those on their way out do not feel neglected, unwanted or abandoned.
                    ….This sounds good but what is being discussed? Is there a Health paper on these considerations that one can read?
                    This is a medical ethics paper – as you can see the profession itself denounces treatment that prolongs needless suffering and there is a clear requirement to serve the needs of the broader community. An accountant should not be allowed to overrule the principles of medical ethics.
                    Governments in a humane democratic society while providing these respectful solutions for those who can’t afford to pay for them, have to find the money and allocate it fairly. With the craze for less government, less services, it doesn’t bode well for idealistic solutions.
                    I object particularly to the separation of patients into “those that can afford to pay for essential treatments” and “those that can’t” That is the reason that ethics is the realm in which medical treatment is discussed – because it treats humans equally regardless of wealth. If we are to deny poor people treatment because of marginal utility in outcome, then we should also deny someone who can afford to pay – anything else is simply immoral.
                    There is a concerted campaign to run down public health provision in order to prime NZ for the private health insurance model – see the PR from one vested interest:
                    Roger Styles: Vital more people get private health insurance
                    And the response:
                    Tim Dare: Why we need public healthcare
                    This attempt to portray the elderly as greedy consumers of the health budget is highly offensive. The elderly in NZ are already exploited by unscrupulous rest home operators and lack adequate representation. If anything we need to be listening to them more to find out how we can do better – not reinforcing the damaging stereotyping of the elderly as worthless because they are not working, or are no longer supporting children. We must defend the right to care of all New Zealanders, if we allow ourselves to be played off against one another then we will find that none of us will be left with any rights at all.

          • Vicky32

            Listening to a report on Christchurch Health. A 75 year old woman who has had multiple strokes is getting good care. Talk about ageist

            So what is your problem – and your solution? Say to her because she’s 75, “Sorry, die bitch, you’re too old?” We can afford to treat both young and old people and you play into the hands of the right, when you say otherwise.
            Which brings me to the whole issue of age. I am one of the women over 50 who is unemployed but because I am not on a widow’s benefit (despite having, ironically, been widowed 2 months ago) I am not being targeted. Yet. I am on an UB, and will probably be on one forever. Ms Petulant Bean suggested on RNZ this morning that people like me should try working in  fast food or as cleaners as these were ‘noble jobs’, but what makes her think I haven’t already tried to get such jobs?

            Fast food employers want people aged from 15-20 tops, and rest homes want people with the new HCA qualification. “Lower yer expectations” I have been told – so why did I recently pay thousands to get yet another tertiary qualification? Whether it’s a job filing, ESOL teaching, telemarketing or yes, in a rest home, I am told, illegally but honestly “You’re too old”.

            Is it any wonder that every time I hear that I should stop worrying about trying to live on $190 a week, and stop whining cos I should care instead about ‘yoof’ unemployment, it makes me want to scream. When I was the young one, in the 1980s, did the old people step aside for me? Did they heck as like! (They didn’t have to, but that’s not the point – no one would ever have expected them to.) And now, every time I see an20 year old hired instead of me, I want to projectile vomit.

            • Mark

              Vicky, as I understand it you are a Teacher? I am very surprised that you can’t find a teaching job, at 50 you should have lots of experience and a good CV. I’m interested to know why you think you can’t get a job in education somewhere.. I may be able to assist.

              • Vicky32

                I may be able to assist

                I am an ESOL teacher, and all the language schools I have contacted this year, are haemmorhaging money – and tell me they can’t afford to pay anyone… the school at which I worked for 11 weeks last year, is actually laying people off! 🙁 I am very sad for my former colleagues as well…
                If you really can assist, I would be hysterical with joy, and no I do not exaggerate! (I have quals in special needs teaching as well)

            • prism

              @vicky32 First I wouldn’t think of saying to her that she’s a bitch. And second you are being hit by a number of awful measures that make life difficult for poorer people. It’s really nasty and worrying for you. It seems that I have triggered you off by talking about old age. I too have had the word that I’m too old but not in the present harsh climate of unemployment and recession.

              I am trying to look beyond the present while keeping in mind the trend for less medical services for the poor, and fear that trend will increase with more expensive health services for most people.

  8. JamesGeorge 8

    is lastest attack on the poorest in the community is more about perception than reality, but what else would one expect from a govt whose leader blithely states “perception is reality”. (John Key- Jewish Joe Goebbels acolyte).

    The 1st obvious target is the sociopathic herald reader who prefers to blame unemployment on the unemployed than confront the truth that it is his/her dependence on the latest piece of apple frippery manufactured at a Taiwanese owned concentration camp that has destroyed the economic structure of NZ and many other societies.

    This is an easily sated target group, a set, much of which will be part of a common subset, the ‘no bail’ mob surrounding the Auckland courthouse today. Their misanthropy is likely to be at fever pitch with the realisation that not only will all those humans have less to spend on beer and bingo, they won’t get bail next time a nosy sociopath dobs them in to the local coppers for the crime of existing in a manner at odds with aforesaid sociopath’s sensibilities.

    Key lets a couple of dogwhistles rip then he can get back to the 2nd target- the real issue.

    That is providing a another squeeze albeit a preparatory one, to an economy that is being deliberately shrunk. Once poor families have been squeezed and there has been barely a whimper from the masses, it becomes that much easier to squeeze the masses, most of whom are not sociopaths and who can easily be made to feel shame for whining about their pay cuts after staying schtum when impoverished widows copped a cut.
    This is what is coming despite all claims to the contrary about wanting to grow the economy. That is the last thing the Nat corporate sponsors require right now.

    The process is very simple. Older citizens may remember as kids having institutions like the Civic theatre pointed out to them by veterans of the great depression. We were told “Kerridge built that on the cheap when wages were low”.

    Right now the 1% all over the planet including NZ are hanging tough not spending a brass razoo. They wait for their parliamentary sock puppets to do their thing. Sure Greece, Italy and Spain may cop it worst of all, but don’t be fooled. Everywhere else is gonna suffer too.
    That is how the boom, bang bust cycle works; every couple of generations when the victims of the last one are mostly dead so they can no longer warn the rest of us, the bust period is lengthened and ordinary humans are savaged.

    The 1% will increase their share of wealth in a great quantum leap.

    1890, 1929 busts featured this. Three busts a result of financial institutions acting in a seemingly self destructive way. Yet during the next boom cycle following the 1890 and 1929 busts, the surviving financial institutions & shareholders, became much wealthier and more powerful. Such cycles don’t take a conspiracy. Just a ‘free market’ – and of course greed.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Go long Guillotine manufacturers.

    • Foreign Waka 8.2

      Very well written and I am grateful that someone seem to have had History in their school years on the curriculum as this subject has been deliberately reduced to some 20 years of sammelsurium to make us all forget what our parents/grandparents knew.

  9. NickS 9

    And the other bit:

    Amusingly the poll result once more shows how easily lead by sound bites people can be, with the old “welfare cycle” meme leading strongly, ignoring the main problem, that if there’s no jobs how the fuck are you meant to find one? And it’s wage based cousins; “how the fuck do I live off minimum wage?”

  10. Vicky32 10

    Amusingly the poll result once more shows how easily lead by sound bites people can be, with the old “welfare cycle” meme leading strongly, ignoring the main problem, that if there’s no jobs how the fuck are you meant to find one? And it’s wage based cousins; “how the fuck do I live off minimum wage?”

    Yes, those poll results are pretty depressing! (I just voted, much good may it do!)

    “Sole parents on a benefit who have additional children will be required to work part-time when their baby is one.”

    That will affect how many people? When I was on the DPB I knew precisely one woman  who had another child whilst on any benefit. It goes without saying that she never intended to! The man who was  a Chilean overstayer was deported as far as I know –  leaving her stranded and alone.

    • burt 10.1

      I’ve know a few career solo mums Vicky32. I guess that’s neither here nor there – but neither is you ‘precisely one woman who had another child whilst on any benefit. It goes without saying that she never intended to!’

      The perception we have of this situation depends entirely on the social circles we move in and out of.

  11. TighyRighty 11

    So more people wanting to work under national? That is good news. Now that benefits don’t support a lifestyle, people want to get jobs. Great news. Now if only there was this pesky global recession and the greeks could find the desire to work and pay tax then their might be jobs for all those people. At least more people want to work though.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      So more people wanting to work under national?

      You’re getting that wrong. Sure, more people want to work but that’s because there’s less jobs – not because National are introducing any more incentives or any more work (actually, they seem to be doing their best to destroy jobs already there).

    • felix 11.2

      “So more people wanting to work under national? That is good news. Now that benefits don’t support a lifestyle, people want to get jobs.”

      lol, now that low wage jobs don’t support a lifestyle, a benefit and a bit of crime becomes a more and more rational choice.

  12. Vicky32 12

    “It’s the ‘get a job not pregnant’ era” says Hil’ry Berry, in a tone that I hear  as spiteful and triumphant. Honestly, 3 News are so predictable, but it still makes me angry.
    Metiria gets a chance to talk, but Jacinda Ardern is cut off in mid-word. Patrick Gower creams his jeans, as does Fatty Garner, at the promise of as Gower put it “More reforms to come”…
    ‘Yoof’ are not to get their benefits directly, but will get their bills paid by WINZ – wonderful.

  13. james 111 13

    Some really good ideas there to get people back to work rather than intergenerational dole dependancy that Labour seems to advocate.
    Also like the idea about making young people attend budegting, and education classes

    • McFlock 13.1

      If a lefty had mentioned mandatory classes, you would have been screaming about maoist re-education camps. But because it’s about making benefit entitlements punitive, you’re all for it.

    • Kevin Welsh 13.2

      Some really good ideas there to get people back to work rather than intergenerational dole dependancy that Labour seems to advocate.

      Sweet Jimbo, can you let me know where those jobs are? I know some people who are desperate to work.


      • TighyRighty 13.2.1

        I know that Christchurch has plenty of jobs available, though the unemployed may have to get over what they think they are worth and may not be able to chase their life’s dream. There are plenty of jobs though. Hospo, retail, service in particular. Seem to be offering good money for such positions in Nz. FOH with little experience, $18 per hour. Almost Queensland rates right there.

        [lprent: Sorry. Just removed you from auto-moderation. Been crook for a few days so it didn’t get updated yesterday. ]

        • Zetetic

          Is it your position that people have just become more lazy since Key came to power?

          how else to explain the 60,000 more beneficiaries if there’s plenty of jobs around?

          you have to realise there are always some jobs being created and other destroyed – people get jobs, other lose them- it’s the normal churn of things. So you’re always going to be able to point to some vacant jobs. But the problem is when there aren’t enough new jobs being created and too many destroyed to keep up with population growth. Then, unemployment will inevitably rise.

          • Gosman

            The best way to reduce unemployment is to encourage Labour market flexibility. Those countries with high unemployment rates in the Western world tend to be those who have more restrictive Labour market policies. You just need to look at youth unemployment in places like Spain and Italy to see this.http://www.economist.com/node/21528616

            • Colonial Viper

              The best way to reduce unemployment in Cambodia and China is to encourage Labour market flexibility in NZ and the West.


              Your idea that making it easier to lay off staff and casualise jobs is better for employment is twisted. Corporates make money by laying off staff and casualising jobs ie they pay their workforce less and retain more profits for shareholders. Of course you support this as a proponent of the Capitalist’s Good.

              • Gosman

                Care to explain the reason countries like Italy, Greece, and Spain have such high youth unemployment C.V? Or are your ideological blinkers so firmly fixed on that you are simply going to blame this on Capitalism without any analysis?

                • rosy

                  Severe austerity measures and education cuts seem to be something these countries have in common, as does the UK.

                  I’d quite like to see Capitalism fulfill it’s third of the education equation, I reckon that might improve unemployment (1/3 based on the country, the individual and firms all benefit from education/training).

                  The best way to improve youth unemployment in Europe, at least is to have strong training and apprenticeship schemes, it seems.

            • Frank Macskasy

              You mean like in China, where people work for 50 cents a day – and they still have 4.1% unemployment in that country??


          • TighyRighty

            Really? Gee thanks, never realised that churn exists in the job market. Completely forgot that, being an employer and all.

            You twit, I provide one example and I’m accused of only thinking micro economically. I wholesale, I talk business to business, about all aspects of my business customers needs. I know for a fact that there are jobs out there for the taking, in Christchurch in particular that are paying above what are considered market rates to get the right employee in. These aren’t contract or temping roles, these are solid jobs.

            You just sit there in your ivory tower though and know it all. That will help the economy, and bandwidth.

        • TighyRighty

          No worries Lprent, such is life. I’m to busy to sit around worried about moderation as it is. I trust you to get it right. System wise if not politically and real life wise.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.3

      We get inter-generational DOL dependency because of the capitalists destroying jobs.

    • Descendant Of Smith 13.4

      Compulsory education – you should apply James.

      I’ve noticed consistently your spelling and grammar is poor (see above for the latest example), your mathematical ability even worse e.g. you can get more on a benefit than working, you lack totally any original idea ( obviously when community education existed you qualified in “parrot” ), and your comprehension level wouldn’t pass any NZQA unit standard.

      I thank my stars I had a public education – I hope yours wasn’t private cause it was clearly a waste of money.

      I always said daddy state would be worse than so called nanny state – it’s so clearly true.

      My prediction will be that many sole parents with disabilities will now move to an Invalids Benefit. Many of course have disabilities (physical, psychiatric and intellectual)  and haven’t needed to bother with applying for any benefit other than DPB because they could get DPB.

      I wonder if the right wingers will be as vocal this time saying National are reducing the figures by moving people on to Invalids – the same thing they accused Labour of doing.

    • Drongo 13.5

      You could start by getting into an education class yourself – to learn how to spell. Then after that perhaps a bout of Politics 101, mixed with a dose of basic social theory.

      What are you doing back here, anyway? Thought you’d scarpered after getting sprung re-posting one of hateful Odgers’ most despicable posts as if it were your own:

      Resignation-watch: Tariana Turia

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 13.6

      “Seem to advocate”? Well do they or don’t they? Answer, no, they don’t. Were you hallucinating when you dreamt that up, or asleep?

      I see you like the idea of making people do things. Do you find it works well for you personally, being made to do things by Nanny State?

      I see government spending is up 4%.

  14. chris73 14

    Awwwwwwwwwwww Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
    This is why I voted National! Its a good start but theres still more work to do.

    • felix 14.1


      You voted National so a couple of thousand women would be 8 bucks a week worse off?

      Gotta dream big I guess.

      • Kevin Welsh 14.1.1

        Fits in well with some of his more ‘extreme comments’ of late.

        • chris73

          I think you’d find that my ‘extreme comments’ are actually quite mainstream

          • prism

            Go and mingle with your fellow creatures if you’re so mainstream and get the hell off a blog that attempts to think its way through policy.

      • chris73 14.1.2

        Yes Felix thats exactly why

        Also I think automatic payments to landlords and power companies is a good step in the right direction.

        [Another permanent ban for being an amoral arsehole. Don’t come back ever…RL]

  15. fabregas4 15

    Tell this to the Pike River miners wives John. Tell them they have to go to work. Tell them despite the fact that the mine bosses ignored safety requirements to make bucket loads of money that they have to get back to work. For fucks sake!

  16. Foreign Waka 16

    I am somewhat speechless by this heartless approach to address a serious issue. To target women in particular says just about all about this government. We are going to be shortly either in the middle east (philosophically) or in the 1800.To actually get the once over on widows is not just tasteless but also callous. Women older than 50 are already marginalized in the workplace (and so are men) and with so few employment opportunities the whole exercise just smacks of opportunism to get people running scared. I think National just has lost its way and does not know what to do, there is no other explanation for attacking the weakest in society. How ghastly.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      I think National just has lost its way and does not know what to do,…

      Nope, they haven’t lost their way – they’re getting people scared of not having a job so that they’ll be willing to work for less and thus push up profits.

      • tc 16.1.1

        Yup they’ve never lost their way, Muldoon, Ruthenasia is in good company with this lot, they’ve just got a shed load smarter controlling the message and keeping the sheeple in check.

        • starlight

          Also what actual economic achievement did the nats get by slashing benefits, they got
          nothing in real terms only a more impoverished society and made lives much harder for
          a certain section of the community,roll on today and the nats are still chasing their
          tail and taking advice from the worst money sucking section of the community,
          act and national elite, if key wants to correct the economy he wouldn’t pick
          on the weakest link,he would bring in a capital gains tax an tap into $14b-$20b+
          untaxed profit going offshore,he would keep jobs in nz,but no that would not
          be the answer for key,he would rather stick it to the people and have the
          population fighting over the same piece of bread,while he sits back with
          amusement,his sort of entertainment.
          His throwing people out of jobs is a hobby of his,he has done it before
          without any remorse or care,its not in his nature to give a toss.

  17. Drake 17

    Wait… so now you’re issuing perma-bans because people are being ‘amoral’ – i.e. they simply have a different point of view? I fail to see why welfare deductions to landlords/power companies is such a bad thing, given those are essential living costs and it is already in practice for housing new zealand tenants. In homes with alcohol or drug abuse this might ensure that money is spent more prudently and ensure the welfare of children in that home.

    [That is not why chris73 has been booted…RL]

    For what it matters I also generally agree with these reforms – so do I get permanently banned as well?

    • Descendant Of Smith 17.1

      Currently it’s unlawful for someone to require someone’s benefit to be paid to them.
      When I was an advocate in the 80’s landlords tried to push the payment of benefits to them directly and have been doing so ever since.
      Where someone is infirm or incapable of managing their affairs there is currently within the SSA provision to pay directly to landlords and power companies, etc.
      There are many problems with paying direct:
      1. Why does the state become the debt collector for landlords and their ilk. Most people pay their rent.
      2. It increases dependency and reduces flexibility in someone’s budget. If all the money is being paid to the landlord etc when something untoward happens e.g. family death, broken window, etc there is no ability to negotiate with the landlord to say reduce the rent for the week and play catch up. The only remaining option is to get the state to pay for additional assistance.
      3. It means that things that I did when I was young such as paint and wallpaper the flat for reduced/free rent become much more difficult. There are now three parties involved – not just me and the landlord.
      4. By far the majority of people are on and off benefit so the setting up and cancelling of automatic payments when moving between work and benefit becomes highly problematic. Think how difficult this will be in seasonal regions where some weeks benefits can be  on one week and off the next due to the weather. 
      5. It used to be and I would assume still is the case that landlords can’t be told why the rent didn’t get paid in any particular week from a benefit due to privacy laws e.g. the person may have gone to prison, started work, left to go overseas. I can imagine the waste of public servants time responding to snotty landlords demanding that their rent be paid.
      6. If it’s good enough to take rent out of benefits why not directly out of wages? I know plenty of people who have jobs who don’t pay their rent on time and go from place to place leaving rent bills.

      • Bill 17.1.1

        Those are pretty compelling bullet points of reasoning/argument.

        If I might add, it is currently legitimate to withhold rent from a landlord who refuses to undertake necessary repairs/maintenance within a reasonable time frame. And I believe (and I stand to be corrected) that it is legit to use with held rent monies to pay for said repairs or maintenance. Presumably there will be no similar leverage available to a tenant where their rent is paid directly to the land lord.

    • Vicky32 17.2

      and it is already in practice for housing new zealand tenants

      Actually no. It’s voluntary for HNZ tenants. My rent comes from my bank account, not my benefit – it’s up to me how I pay it and always has been.

  18. When these morons are signaling out women over 50,ok some might be fit and healthy but some
    may have health issues and disabilities,or is it work at any cost?
    Its a short-sighted peice of targeted propaganda to show to their sector of voters that
    ‘see we will deal to those despots’ i can hear the cheers from the caucus room.
    Bennett herself gained from good policy in obtaining a course paid by the tax payer and
    yet now because she is rich and famous throws an arrow at those who will definatley
    not be able to find work,when 350.000 prosepective employees rush out the door to
    try and get perhaps at a stretch 100.000 available jobs,what then? demean those that
    missed out,demean those with disabilities and health problems,demand an answer as
    to why they didnt find work,the whole scenario of ‘we will show them bludgers’
    looses relevance somewhere when a governing body has no idea and no plan
    on just where jobs are going to come from,the logic in all of this is confusing and
    Apparantley Britian has just reached a double dip reccession.
    Judging by our growth we are still on the door step as well and how does
    key and co expect to grow the economy when key himself is throwing workers
    on to the scrap heap and expecting 350.000 more people to look for work, when
    key himself cant do his maths in regard to his right wing policies?
    Perhaps wider nz needs to put his job up for grabs,we only need 1 to throw key
    into a spin,if he looses in parliament on a vote, anything is possible.

  19. MrSmith 19

    Just another diversion people, Nationals second term (groundhog day) with the same old failed ideas that make headlines, so while you sit in-front of the box they can slowly continue stealing our democracy and deregulate the country for there mates.

  20. lefty 20

    It all makes perfect sense just as it did in the 90s when National slashed benefits at the same time as they gave their boss mates the Employment Contracts Act to go on an offensive against workers.

    Now its happening again. I guess the aim is to have the unemployed, solo parents and sickness and invalids beneficiaries competing for the new minimum wage and casualised jobs at the Ports of Auckland and AFFCO.

    We need to unite and tell them to go fuck themselves.

  21. felix 21

    Ok so we know the government side. No surprises there.

    How about the opposition? Where’s Labour on this?

    • burt 21.1

      Still crying into their Chardonnay about falling union membership numbers.

    • Colonial Viper 21.2

      Well, Labour clearly need to be tougher on beneficiaries in order to win over the middle class vote and be seen as trustworthy economic managers, right?

      Sure I read that on a PR consultants report somewhere.

    • Rosemary 21.3

      As far we know Labour pretty much supports Nact’s welfare policies, in principle anyway. This is because the last time we heard what Labour thought about welfare they were busy abolishing the special benefit, excluding people without children or employment from the extra help they said would more than compensate getting rid of the special benefit, started work-testing people receiving the invalid’s benefit and changed the law so that the purpose of social welfare is no longer about providing income support to those on the lowest incomes. As far as we know this is still Labour’s position because they haven’t said anything else to the contrary.

    • Mark 21.4

      in 2010/2011 NZ has contributed around $32M to the UN, including peacekeeping activities. How much of that covers Ms Clark’s tax free salary I wonder.. and how much is she, Cullen & Co. contributing to the society  destroyed by theft & bribery over the last 15years or so?
      How many jobs has anyone here created? 

  22. RedBaron 22

    Does it ever cross the minds of these Nacts that the women may just give up looking after the kids and dump them on the ex?
    I suppose they attacked the widows first because there is no chance of that. As far as mean and petty go this one takes the cake. Just for the record I wouldn’t mind if they call it a widower’s and widow’s benefit – these people are definaetly on their own.

    Still I’m happy to fix their problem for them. Uncap the child support act and widen the income definitions. Judging by the $’s involved in the WFF scams a couple of years back this, at say 10,000 pepole @ $5000 each and another 20,000 @ $2000 each gives oh around about a $100m – at a minimum.

    • Descendant Of Smith 22.1

      Sounds like a good protest – the day the reforms come in (assuming they do) – or the day the legislation is presented to parliament – hand all the kids over to the fathers for the day (except for the abusive ones naturally which is a minority). 
      Just imagine the lost productivity as all those fathers have to take the day off work.

      • burt 22.1.1

        What, be radical and force the kids to stay home to inconvenience the parents… a bit like a teachers strike or something…

        Come on Descendant Of Smith… keep up. The evidence I see is that who takes the day off work is not automatically the mother. It’s the person with the most sick leave, the lowest hourly rate, the person who didn’t do it last time – or it’s just the person who’s least inconvenienced on that particular day…

        Have you not noticed the decline in stay home mothers over the last 2 decades? Excluding the welfare mums and the wives in high single income families – the notion of a mother at home is just that – a notion.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          Duh – I was talking about the children of the sole parents that the righties so like to have a go at. That seemed pretty obvious to me.

          The mothers who care for the kids every day. The ones whose fathers when there is a teachers strike are unaffected and not inconvenienced.

          The ones who care for their disabled kids cause dad has run away.

          Give them to the fathers for the day.

          Course according to you righties that would inconvenience a lot of fathers cause all these women have multiple children to multiple fathers.

          Assuming the seven children to seven fathers is on the outer limits lets say it’s an average of three children to three different fathers:

          114,000 x 3 x 3 = 1 million and 26 thousand fathers.

          • burt

            Give them to the fathers for the day.

            Well assuming there is a percentage of solo mothers who would love the father of their child back in their life – you might be onto a winner.

            The mothers who have made the hard decision to go it alone in the best interests of their children and themselves – good luck convincing them to hand their children to the man they deliberately walked away from !

            The ones who already have a shared custody arrangement – what’s your point again ?

            • Descendant Of Smith

              In my experience it’s generally the father who walked away but you know in the righties world it’s always the women’s fault.

              Admittedly I’m probably a little lopsided as my experience has been mainly with disability issues which may skew me slightly – many of those women would love the father to have those kids for a day, a week, a month. Some respite care would be cool.

              I guess you missed the point it was about one day as a collective form of protest.

              Your comment

              Have you not noticed the decline in stay home mothers over the last 2 decades? Excluding the welfare mums and the wives in high single income families – the notion of a mother at home is just that – a notion.

              of course makes the point perfectly well that’s it’s nigh on impossible for someone to raise a family on one income, that in fact it’s got harder over the years for women to do that as wages have dropped, further exacerbated by women earning less than men in general, and that these reforms without a significant lift in minimum wage will not result in these women or their children being very much better off by the time they pay for child care etc.

              • burt

                No argument with the issues you raise – Yes I did misunderstand your initial comment about ‘make the fathers stay home’.

                Your simplistic “righties=heartless” is somewhat irritating because I’ve not seen any correlation between political leaning and parental attitudes, other then the so called ‘righties’ (working people who dislike welfare fraud) do tend to have stronger work ethics than multi generation welfare dependents. A form of cultural capital if you like. Yet you seem to have it sorted – right = heartless toward children – oh so simple in your world Mr Lefty.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  Not really I was referring to rightie attitudes towards sole parents.

                  I suspect you underestimate how many sole parents are at least in a significant part sole parents due to their children having disabilities and the father leaving – it is ever so often the women who ends up with these children.

                  I’ve posted previously how in our times at Starship and Ronald McDonald house and Wellington Hospital we so often stood out as one of the only of few couples – in fact in our weeks at Ronald McDonald House the only couple.

                  I’ve seen men walk away at very early stages including from pregnancy and in the hospital when the child is born and is oh so not perfect. I’ve seen men deny their child because they can’t possibly have produced that from their sperm. 

                  According to MSD figures at least 4,000 children on benefit have disabilities severe enough to get Child Disability Allowance. As a proportion of payments it is about 55% compared to those not on benefit.


                  As less than half of all parents are on benefit then there is definitely a greater likelihood of being on benefit if you have a child with significant disability.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Your simplistic “righties=heartless” is somewhat irritating because I’ve not seen any correlation between political leaning and parental attitudes…

                  So, you’ve missed all the insults thrown on solo parents from the RWNJs?

                  • burt

                    So, you’ve missed all the insults thrown on solo parents from the RWNJs?

                    I hear the insults thrown at multi-generation welfare dependents… Is that only from RWNJ’s ??? I would have though they only people defending multi-generation welfare dependency would be the multi-generation recipients themselves. But hey I can see how LWNJ’s would like multi-generation welfare dependency … it shores up the flagging left voter base.

                    • McFlock

                      only RWNJs believe that such a thing as “welfare dependency” exists.
                      Mostly because they think the dole is a summer camp that sane people would never want to leave. In actual fact it is a soul-crushing marginalisation and alienation from the “society” we are fed by consumer mass–media.

                    • No, Burt – we just want the 170,000 new jobs National promised us.

                      The rest will take care of itself.

            • Rosemary

              And when the responsible non-custodial father attempts to be part of their child’s life, by doing a bit of babysitting or taking the kids to or from school Work and Income’s braindead fraud squad try to ping the mother for being in a relationship, often because some anonymous neighbour who hasn’t got a clue what’s going on has listened to a bit too much talkback radio that week. What’s worse, the idiots in the Work and Income fraud squad don’t understand the criteria and go ahead with whacking the woman with huge debt or worse. It’s an all-too-often scenario.

    • Mark 22.2

      @RedBaron – Did it ever cross your mind that it is not just Nacts and their voters that breed indiscriminately and take no responsibility?
      Did it ever cross your mind that due in large part to feminazi and anti family policies of the left that a woman earning $150K can leave her partner, take the kids, and collect $24k per year in CS from that partner, while he has to still provide housing, clothes, transport etc for his “every 2nd weekend” access?

      • Vicky32 22.2.1

        Did it ever cross your mind that due in large part to feminazi and anti family policies of the left that a woman earning $150K can leave her partner, take the kids, and collect $24k per year in CS from that partner, while he has to still provide housing, clothes, transport etc for his “every 2nd weekend” access?

        Your complaint is oddly specific, Mark! Angry at your ex-wife, are you? I can’t comment on your (possibly exaggerated) situation, but I do know that most women who leave their husbands end up in much worse situations. I raised a child on the DPB, a child whose father was frankly rich. Whenever we had contact, he’d bleat about how much he resented paying child support – even though because I was on a benefit I never saw one red cent of it! He knew that and didn’t care – and because of his resentment, he never saw our son. His choice, not mine. I would have happily given him every second weekend, hell, every weekend if he’d wanted it, but he said our son would, and I quote – “cramp his style”. 🙁

  23. burt 23

    What I find most interesting (about this post) is that this post was made @ 8:33am when the announcements were much later in the day. The conclusion I form from this is that Eddie had a predetermined position of ‘no solutions, more bashing’ before even knowing what the welfare policy changes were. I call that myopic partisan stupidity.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      I call that myopic partisan stupidity.

      Or a 100% accurate prediction of 100% predictable NACT bene bashers.

  24. Hami Shearlie 24

    Did you notice Paula’s demeanour when she announced the policy at the press conference. She sure didn’t look like she really believed in it, a bit like Blinglish with the asset sales! They know this policy won’t achieve anything, but it will appeal to nact voters and makes it LOOK like they’re doing something about unemployment!! LOL – of course it doesn’t occur to them that job creation is the answer, just too stupid I guess!!

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      The free market will create all the jobs we need. Promise.

      • fender 24.1.1

        Yep with this drip in charge the trickle-down will become a tsunami any day now.

        memo from 9th floor: if you are on a benefit please hold your breath

    • muzza 24.2

      “just too stupid I guess” – Never let politicians off that easy, they are far from stupid (so far as access to info goes), and know exactly what they are doing on this front…

    • I don’t believe that the current bene-bashing is meant to achieve anything – except deflect responsibility from National to welfare recipients, for the stagnant state of the economy.

      Yup, it’s as simple as that. National has no way of growing the economy; creating new jobs; and giving people an option to escape welfare – because that would mean they have to abandon their “hands off”, Friedmanite economic ideology, and adopt interventionist policies.

      That would be an admission of free market failure.

      Demonising beneficiaries takes the “heat” of National.

      Demonising a vulnerable group in society, to make a government look good – it’s happened before in history.

  25. johnm 25

    If the Greens ever do a deal with the Nact party I’m for the Mana Party.

    Where are the jobs?
    Posted on February 27, 2012 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases

    “The welfare reforms announced today only punishes those who need a helping hand” says MANA Leader Hone Harawira. “How can John Key and Paula Bennett stand there and tell beneficiaries they want them to work when there are no jobs out there? Just look at the contribution the Government has made towards creating beneficiaries – 50 from TPK, 300 from MFAT, 440 from Air NZ and Housing NZ are shutting their offices. That’s almost 1000 public servants joining the dole queue! The Government isn’t creating jobs – they are taking them away!”

    “The creation of electronic food stamps for youth is punitive – how can we teach the youth of today self-responsibility by reintroducing measures that were last seen fifty years ago? How can we say that we want babies to have the best start in life when we are demanding that their mothers return to the workforce before they turn one? I’m all for putting people into work, but the Government needs to take leadership on the issue rather than creating cycle tracks that employ no-one”.

    “For Maori and Pacific Island people the situation is going from bad to worse. Together, Maori and Pacific Island people make-up one in four of those who are unemployed and constitute over 50% of those who access the DPB. Today I heard not one thing about what the Government plans to do for Maori and Pacific Island people. Maybe that responsibility will fall to Tariana Turia who says that she is angered by the high rate of Maori unemployment, but keeps supporting a Government that is willing to do nothing about it”.

  26. Treetop 26

    Warning a bit sensitive if you are age over 65.

    About two weeks ago on the radio someone from the Salvation Army estimated that there were 30,000 people over the age of 65 who worked either full or part-time.

    I would like Bennett to release the stats and to ask her the following question:

    Are you proposing to pass legislation so that anyone over age 65 cannot be in a paid job?

    It has now come down to scrapping over jobs.

  27. Horizon 27

    If you think the answer is to throw money at people and leave them to rot, you don’t really care about these people. Welfare reform harsher then this worked like a dream under Bill Clinton, and was one of his best achievements. Watch these reforms have a huge positive effect across the welfare sector in New Zealand. A little incentive combined with some penalties will have a big positive impact. We’ve been leaving thousands of people to rot, out of sight out of mind for far too long. Now there’s a light shining on this part of society and it’s going to do a lot of good.

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      Except there aren’t any fucking jobs around you moron, didn’t you hear that Air NZ just dumped over 400 workers with more losses on the way and Yellow Pages just dumped another 120 good positions.

      Motivate senior executives with 10% pay increases, stock options and bonuses, motivate the poor with whips, starvation and more threats

      Fuck you Tories are dumb, don’t you understand people at all

      Welfare reform harsher then this worked like a dream under Bill Clinton

      During a massive economic boom and expansionary monetary policy, dick head.

      What I want to see is taxation on currently untaxed asset wealth, also massive taxation on banking and corporate super profits. That’s where the rot in this economy really lies.

      Your going on about “leaving people to rot” and the way to save them is to kick them harder and strangulate them financially even further is evidence of sadistic stupidity.

    • fender 27.2

      I doubt the stress being felt by single parents right now could be classified as positive. It needs a more multi-pronged approach where people are recieving assistance to obtain work, not just given an ultimatum.
      How about rolling out job creation initiatives in conjunction with these directives to show how serious our leaders are.
      While you are there, can you check that JK’s 170,000 jobs are still on the horizon.

    • Treetop 27.3

      Horizon Where do I say “If you think the answer is to throw money at people and leave them to rot, you don’t really care about these people?

      1. I was a single parent for 16 years, after I ended my marriage (I turned into a widow).
      2. I went and did some correspondence school courses, then to polytechnic, then onto do three university level diplomas, (Work and Income assisted with the training incentive allowance which National cut ).
      3. I did cleaning jobs, (with a painful scoliosis/five disc bulges) and I did home based child care for five years, then I was a benefit rights service advocate (part-time) for three years and for four years (part-time I did family advocacy.

      Theory is one thing, working at the coal face is another.

      I recieve the invalids benefit and I am not even assessed for training because of multiple conditions.

  28. johnm 28

    Bennett’s a “bloody hypocrite”
    Posted on February 28, 2012 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases

    I like Paula but she’s a bloody hypocrite” says MANA Leader Hone Harawira about the Minister for Social Development’s welfare reforms.

    “When she was only 19, Paula Bennett was on the Domestic Purposes Benefit but was able to buy her own house in Taupo for $56,000, courtesy of a Housing Corporation loan. Bennett said she’d worked part-time but that she “pretty much fell apart because I was exhausted. I went back on the DPB”.

    “But now she’s a minister it’s a different story” said Harawira.

    “It was OK for Paula to go back on the DPB because it was too hard to survive, but it’s tough luck for her sisters today.”

    “It was OK for Paula to get a Housing Corp loan back then, but National made sure that it’s no longer available today.”

    “It was OK for Paula to stay on the DPB to raise her daughter, but she’s making sure that young woman won’t have that privilege anymore.”

    “It was OK for Paula to get a paid tertiary education back then, but not today. In fact she was the Minister who abolished the Training Incentive Allowance”.

    “Paula Bennett basically set herself up in life with direct assistance from the state, but now she’s the Minister of Social Development, she’s gonna make sure nobody else can ever get that kind of help.”

    “Her hypocrisy would be laughable, except it’s so bloody tragic.”


    For further comment please contact Malcolm Mulholland on 027 765 6380<

  29. Hateatea 29

    I am not going to track through the thread and read all the usual ‘blame the beneficiary’ comments that I am sure that some of our regular bene bashers will have posted but I wanted to give a brief insight into someone’s experience – mine.

    I became a single parent, in employment, after I left my physically, emotionally and verbally abusive husband of more than 15 years. I worked and supported my child and then because of employment issues, became a full time student. I took out a student loan and supported my child and myself on that. I took in lodgers to help with the mortgage but it was a struggle. At the end of the year I went on DPB and thus began my involvement with WINZ.

    I got a job, but was actually financially worse off once child care, transport, student loan repayments etc were paid and ended up really struggling. Worse still, the job was an annually funded one and the funding wasn’t renewed so back to the benefit for a time.

    I eventually met a lovely man and things were great. Unfortunately, he was inconsiderate enough to die leaving me to apply for Widow’s benefit. Rich I am not. I have had employment but when you have your hours cut from 15 to 5 then to nothing because the government dept has ‘changed it’s priorities’ it leaves you feeling undervalued.

    Now, I have at last got a job but first, 90 day trial, then only 6 month contract plus in the education sector so no pay in the school holidays, suddenly you wonder if it is worth it. Tomorrow I try to find out if I may suspend my Widow’s Benefit for those weeks when I no longer get paid or will Paula and Bill have decided that I don’t really need that back up because, you know, I asked to be beaten up and I wanted my darling to die just so I would have the luxury of the Widows’ Benefit.

    I don’t want anything more than I worked hard for all my life as did my father, grandparents and their parents before them. I don’t want much – a roof over my head, food in the cupboards and pride in the society in which I live.

    Now, bash away

    • RedLogix 29.1

      I became a single parent, in employment, after I left my physically, emotionally and verbally abusive husband of more than 15 years.

      Shit …nothing I can say can possibly change that. But it sucks just to read it.

      Unfortunately, he was inconsiderate enough to die

      Even more lousy. It’s a story so similar to a friend of mine and it was hugely sad and painful. In behind those few words is a whole other story.

      I got a job, but was actually financially worse off once child care, transport, student loan repayments etc were paid and ended up really struggling.

      That’s not your fault; it’s a feature of the stupid, obsolete tax/welfare system we have. It could be easily, easily fixed… but we’ve become too stupid and hidebound to change it.

      Now, bash away

      I loath with every fibre of my being the bashers. My own family has it’s own deeply tragic story about life before the DPB. For while the existing system falls way short of perfect, it is still a million times better what we had before.

      • KJT 29.1.1

        Agree. The abatement rates from benefits are stupid.

        A beneficiary who tries to earn a bit more is hit with a higher marginal tax rate than a millionaire.

        You could not find a bigger disincentive to picking up some part time work if you tried.

        More ammunition for a GMI. Gareth Morgan has got it right.

    • KJT 29.2

      Good on you.

      Your story is typical, though its sounds like you have had it very tough, of many of the DPD recipients I know.

      Including one I trained as a Teacher with. Bought up two boys when her husband left. He is stinking rich but contributes nothing, all his business income is hidden in a trust and offshore. Even when he has the boys she has to give them money for food.

      Also noticed we were one of the few couples still together with a disabled child.
      Though it is not necessarily anyone’s fault the relationship broke down. A handicapped child puts a lot of extra pressure on a relationship.

      I fail to see how forcing a solo mother to work when her children are young is going to help her or the child. Economically it is a nonsense to replace a mother with much more expensive child care worker so she can work. What as, a child care worker? I suppose that will make the employment and GDP numbers look better?

      Offering training, including help such as the TIA, so they can work when the children are older is likely to have a much better outcome. Or do the RWNJ’s only want beneficiaries to get level 4 and below so they cannot compete with their spoilt brats.

      • RedLogix 29.2.1

        Economically it is a nonsense to replace a mother with much more expensive child care worker so she can work. What as, a child care worker? I suppose that will make the employment and GDP numbers look better?

        Exactly. According to these Tory numbnuts:

        Parent looking after their own child is “Not Work”.

        Parent finds crappy job to pay for someone else to look after their child is “Work”.

    • Treetop 29.3

      You are doing the best that you can with what you have. Kia Kaha.

    • rosy 29.4

      Hateatea, far from bene bashing, I think it’s absolutely brilliant that you left your abusive husband. As a child of parents in an abusive relationship I can attest that life was a whole lot better, albeit poorer, and very imperfect, when not having to watch, be blamed for, and at times having to intervene in incredibly violent arguments. (Of course, I don’t know how it was for your child, that’s my experience).

      I’m so glad you later had time with a loving partner, even though it was far too short. and well done for making it through so much adversity, so far. It’s beyond me how some people think that others should be able to avoid bad things happening, and that lack of adversity is their good planning rather than, at times, straight out good luck, and that includes the luck of having a childhood that built skills and resilience, not despair.

      Despite your hardship, I’m certain your child is a whole lot better off because you keep on keeping on. Best wishes to you, and hope thing work on the job front. Although I wouldn’t wish these sorts of things on people, sometime I wish the bene bashers could just get some insight. *sigh*.

  30. Mark 30

    @Hateatea, sorry to hear about your situation, however..
    Why get involved with a man who doesn’t have life insurance.. it is very inexpensive – please teach your children some financial literacy.
      “Economically it is a nonsense to replace a mother with much more expensive child care worker so she can work.”  There are so many people out there that can organise themselves with other parents to cover after school care, with playdates, swapping etc.
    Child Support.. it is virtually impossible to escape obligations here.. and I know this for a fact. Talk to IRD, they are very helpful if you are a custodial parent.. 

    2 parents working 40 hours each @ minimum wage still equals over $1200 gross per week.. is this really a poverty wage?

    The majority of our Society manages to live happily and adequately, a minority who are genuinely in need receive ample support, if they are prepared to help themselves as well.

    A minority don’t give a shit.. they ruin it for the rest of us, don’t waste your breath and our efforts on them.. they should be sterilised at best.. 

    • just saying 30.1

      Did that feel good, you sanctimonious prick?

    • fender 30.2

      Yeah yeah, all you single girls remember the first question to ask a prospective new partner is if he’s got life insurance, ask for proof and reciepts to ensure premiums are up to date.
      Mark can sell you some cover if needed, he’s very industrious, but PLEASE read the small print, these types are very slippery and will spend your entitlement on measures to avoid paying up.

      • Mark 30.2.1

        First question I would be asking, and checking, is if he is wearing a condom.
        Unless of course you believe that hard working taxpayers should fund you to have a family with someone/anyone. 

        • McFlock

          Being a “prospective partner” is simply about non-reproductive copulation? Not an emotional connection at all? 
          I mean, no small talk beforehand?
          Condoms have a failure rate, so really you shouldn’t be having sex without the intention to reproduce (after first creating the trust-fund required to raise the offspring).

    • fender 30.3

      Mark says: “2 parents working 40 hours each @ minimum wage still equals over $1200 gross per week.. is this really a poverty wage?”

      13x 40=520, 520×2=1040 (gross)

      Mark you might want to try sleeping with the light on

      • Mark 30.3.1

        My mistake, must be those eco bulbs I sleep with.
        However, if we base it on a couple from 1/4/2012, with 3 kids under 12, both working 40 hours @$13.50. Total payments WFF are $660 per week approx.
        Just 1 parent working 40 hrs, WFF is $680 or so.

      • Interesting how certain folk think that, because they can do a few sums on a calculator, that they can then automatically surmise the financial situation of another household they have no experience or knowledge of?

        And isn’t it interesting that because a solo-mum (and it’s always a solo-mum – never a solo-dad) receives state assistance – that right wingers then feel compelled to comment and judge a solo-mum’s situation – despite not knowing anything about her situation?

        And wouldn’t it be ironic if those same right wingers who judge solo-mums (but never solo dads?!) should themselves be judged and criticised when they receive state assistance?

        Every time a right winger has to go to a public hospital for treatment, perhaps we should look at their eating habits; smoking; lack of exercise; too much meat; not enough veges; etc, etc…

        After all, if a solo-mum can be judged – then we should all be open to it, eh?

    • Treetop 30.4

      Mark what is your experience of raising a child on your own?

      Are you even a parent?

      What a load of croc about the good will of other parents being able to look after your child. E.g. A child requiring the removal of tonsils/adenoids or both can be off school one day a week. I suppose you expect parents to have medical insurance for the child?

      How about an apology to Hateatea for being so out of line?

      • Mark 30.4.1

        Yeah, I’m a parent, I have 2 girls, if I need to go without because I haven’t organised my life well enough I do. They get tons of love, enough food, help with their homework, encouragement to be good citizens.
        Although their mother and I don’t love each other, we love them. We are their parents, we take responsibility for that , whatever it takes.
        And if either one of us didn’t, the other with some blood sweat and tears, and help from the state, will.

        • fender

          “And if either one of us didn’t, the other with some blood sweat and tears, and help from the state, will”
          You better see Paula about your “help from the state”, don’t you follow the news?

          • Mark

            Yeah, I follow the news.
            Something about “you give a bit of blood, sweat and tears” and the State will help.
            You don’t, and you don’t give a fuck, and you are stupid enough to believe that socialists care about you.. eat shit and die. 

            • fender

              With your charm I’m sure you found a new woman to love you, or a tui billboard to inspire.

        • Treetop

          Thank you for your response. I gather that you have not raised children on your own. Just about every parent puts their child/rens needs before their own and those parents who neglect their child/ren is what the government needs to sort out, not to degrade single parents. Do not have the notion that a single parent does not take responsibility for the situation they can find themself in or that they love their child/ren any less than a two parent family.

          I am pleased to see that you acknowledge that the state plays a part in the welfare of children being supported when there is the need to do so. Attacking a single parents circumstance or taking the moral high ground serves no purpose. No one is immune from falling on hard times or being left to fend on their own.

        • Frank Macskasy

          I wonder how you’d feel, Mark, if the same judgementalism that was heaped upon solo-mothers was suddenly turned upon you and other other fathers?

          You’d be damned angry, I suspect. (And justifiably so, I might add.)

    • hateatea 30.5

      “Why get involved with a man who doesn’t have life insurance.. it is very inexpensive – please teach your children some financial literacy.”

       The issue of insurance was not at the forefront of my mind, or his, when we got together but he couldn’t have life cover because of a congenital condition, ironically, not related to the eventual cause of death. That said, are you seriously trying to tell me that a loving, kind man who was a good father to his children and wonderful to me was less worthy than the eminently insurable and insured violent abuser that I left.

      My ex (and his new lady) constantly complained about the child support that he had to pay, initially to me but later to IRD. He did everything in his power to reduce it and never gave a cent extra for Christmas or birthday treats for his child. 

      I haven’t ‘enjoyed’ being on the benefit either time but I also paid taxes and cheerfully supported others in need for all the years that I was employed. It takes a community to raise good, caring, intelligent, loving children. A wonderful community helped me raise my child and I have paid that forward. Now he is raising his own children in a manner that makes me proud.

      Are you able to see yourself in that light or are you too self righteous, pompous and bigoted about a world of which you have no experience? 

  31. Mark 31

    Just felt honest, I know that’s not very pc here..
    Is that you Mallard?.. first person that springs to mind when personal abuse is a response to reasonable comments. 

    • just saying 31.1

      You attacked a widow in hardship for choosing a partner who didn’t have life insurance.
      And then whine about “personal abuse”.
      Imo you got the boot in because it felt good for you, gave you a bit of a buzz, I’m sure you got a bit of a spring in your step.
      Aren’t you a clever boy?

    • Descendant Of Smith 31.2

      And you also had the gall to say your comments were reasonable.

      The only mark you made starts with “skid”.

      1. Life insurance
      It’s not cheap when you are on a low income – food or life insurance – let’s choose life insurance. At least that way when we starve to death our kids will have some money.

      2. Get involved with a man
      Yeah human beings are totally controlled by un-emotional logic aren’t they. Actually humans can’t function without emotion – try reading Descartes Error by Damasio for a start. But even if they were I’m not sure logic would have males having life insurance on top of the list of things you would look for in a partner. It’s not all about money. The more I here right-wingers talk here and elsewhere about people the more it seems to me the tendency to psychopathy is borne out. There’s a complete lack of any sort of empathy to what you have said. What shines out is it’s total absence.

      3. There are so many people out there that can organise themselves with other parent.
      Yep and equally there are so many that can’t. Urbanisation in particular has broken down many of those networks and they aren’t easily made up again. It takes time and willingness and opportunity. Christchurch with it’s newly disrupted communities has people across the whole spectrum of being able to re-establish themselves in a new community to committing suicide as their are totally bereft of being able to.
      Rightwingers don’t believe that populations are distributed on bell shaped curves – they believe there are two columns us and them – us who can and them who can’t.
      Lets of course also remember that for Maori deliberate government policies broke down traditional supportive ( and particularly hapu) structures.
      Removing the ability to build housing around marae, pepper-potting Maori within urban areas to assimilate them, etc.
      Add to that the racism inherent in much of this country (though less so than in many other countries much due to the generosity of Maori rather than of the settlers) and life is much more difficult than you think for many.

      4. Child Support. it is virtually impossible to escape obligations here.. and I know this for a fact.

      Plenty of men get out of this. Intimidating women to not name the father is common place, being paid to bank accounts offshore, the setting up of trusts and payments under the table are all common place. 
      IRD are helpful but it can be difficult to prove and establish real income levels. I know two people who have taken photos to IRD of million dollar homes being built by jerks who have no official income who still are not getting a cent.

      5. Your lack of any real empathy for Hateatea simply results in what you are saying turning into abusing her. But then you probably do not understand anything at all about power imbalances and how these can effect people.

      What you said was and is abusive and you indeed it is sanctimonious.

      • Mark 31.2.1

        1. Monthly premium, $300,000 cover, 50 yr old non smoker, $60.
        2. Choose a partner.. choose to do your homework, choose to not drink drive, choose to not beat your kids, ffs, we are the higher primate, we see, we learn, we act.
        3. Your kids go to school , kindy, daycare, sport, whatever with their peers, who have parents, who are often in the same situation, don’t play the fucking racist card, urbanisation has nothing to do with it.. my kids grandparents, aunties, uncles etc live nowhere near.. have kids, do what it takes to raise them properly.
        4. Intimidating women to not name the father ? Must be a real RWNJ trait eh?
        Whatever your income, there is a minimum to pay.. the DPB, plus WFF, plus accommodation supplement negates your argument here, except of course for those who you have encouraged to breed as a lifestyle, to “prove” your theories about the great JK led capitalist conspiracy.
        5. I have great sympathy for Hateatea, however she and her children are not helped by you and your ilk blaming only the current government for her situation.   

        • Descendant Of Smith

          Where did I blame just the current government? Didn’t even mention them.

          Where did I say that intimidating mothers was a right-wing trait – didn’t say that at all.

          The minimum you have to pay used to be $12-50 but that doesn’t mean it’s paid and it is close to zero as I said.

          That’s a pittance of a contribution.

          One wanky father I know has gloated for years he hadn’t paid a cent of his maintenance or child support. He turned 65 last year and is all pissed off cause it’s coming out of his super.

          Way too late for the kids to be helped and supported – they are all grown up now. 

          Nah you don’t care about her cause you said it’s her own fault for making shit choices.

  32. Mark 32

    I didn’t say that she made shit choices,  you did.
    But her choices are also not my fault.
    The difference is, current welfare policy changes are designed to stop people making shit choices.
    How can you argue against that? 

    • Descendant Of Smith 32.1

      But her choices are also not my fault.

      See you said it again. Only bad choices would have a fault attached.

  33. hateatea 33

    Thank you to everyone who posted thoughtful and supportive comments. I wasn’t looking for sympathy or praise although I am, of course, glad to accept it as it helps lifts one’s spirits to know that not every person out there sees people like me as the authors of our own misfortunes.

    I merely wanted to demonstrate to the people who persist in thinking that every person on the DPB, UB, or indeed any of the other benefits, is uneducated, illiterate, drug and / or alcohol addicted, promiscuous, irresponsible, profligate and any of the other pejoratives flung around like so much confetti at a wedding.

    The reality is that every individual in receipt of state support has a back story, some happenstance, some through choices that could have been better made. What they all have in common, however, is that they are someone’s child, parent, sibling, friend. They have feelings, needs and, most of all, the right to be treated with dignity and respect. We never know when it may be our of need. Few of us know how we might deal with some of the situations that life may present us until the moment of crisis arises. All of us live in glass houses. We should be most wary of throwing stones.

    • Treetop 33.1

      You are welcome Hateatea.

      Breaking down stereotype thinking about single parents is the way to go. Some people have the view that single parents neglect their children when they are doing the job of two people and they are expected to be in two places at once e.g. work and available to children in the home 24/7.

      The government do not want educated beneficaries (DPB, widows, invalids) this is why they cut the TIA. The way they do abatements for partial payment or suspended payments needs to urgently be remedied

      I will reiterate what I mentioned the other day. Changes should not have been made to any parents recieving Work and Income assistance until all submissions (closed 29 February 2012)have been heard regarding the Green Paper (child welfare). Bennett is not interested in the feed back from health professionals, child advocacy groups and the general public because she is so out of touch with single parents in 2012. Johnm (see above 28) has got it right.

    • just saying 33.2

      It’s so important that voices like yours get heard Hateatea.

      People in hardship have been disgraced and sent into a kind of coventry by their wider community. Speaking out is usually punishable by a lynch mob of hate.
      It’s so sad to see news stories of individual tragedy and poverty, in which a person struggling to survive on a benefit is at pains to dissociate themselves from other beneficiaries and makes comments like “I’m not one of those bludgers”. It reinforces the community’s smug belief that the “deserving poor” are but a small minority of beneficiaries, and at the same time allows the bigoted to reassure themselves that their sympathy for the ‘exceptions’ proves they aren’t heartless bastards.

      One of the problems is that discrimination is inevitably internalised by those discriminated against, and unchallenged, it causes all kinds of damage, and hinders the kind of solidarity in hardship, that could make a real difference.

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