It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry sometimes. Apparently, the “welfare debate” could get “ugly”:
The welfare system is set for a shake-up. A working group is looking at radical changes like putting time limits on how long a benefit can be paid out or even a “user-pays” set-up. The Government says all options are on the table, and it is prepared for the debate to get controversial and ugly.
According to Bennet:
“This debate could spark prejudices; we may even see an ugly side of New Zealand”
Well here’s a newsflash. The welfare debate is already ugly. The Nats have worked hard to make it ugly. Paula Bennett the ugly side of New Zealand is you.
In opposition the Nats relentlessly attacked beneficiaries. In Government they’re just the same, openly beneficiary bashing, sticking it to the “underclass” with unseemly haste, and spouting their attack lines:
“The dream is over,” said Paula. There’d be “a kick in the pants” for those beneficiaries who needed it, said John.”
“I think that is a discrimination that most New Zealanders will see as being fair and reasonable”
Infamously, John Key thinks that parents on the DPB are “breeding for a business”. Paula Bennett herself, of course, initiated a witch hunt against two solo mothers, breaching their privacy and unleashing a tide of red neck / talkback / Kiwiblog bile on the women involved (“Beneficiaries debate gets ugly “, “Bennett: debate got ‘ugly'”).
So yeah, the next round of this debate is going to be ugly. That’s exactly the way the Nats have worked hard to make it, and exactly the way they want it, because they think it wins them more votes than it loses. And they might even be right, which makes me ashamed to be a New Zealander. What will people do when time limited benefits expire – starve on the streets? What a shining legacy for “state house boy made good” John Key to proud of.