Thursday, July 29, 2010

Another infant death and another out-pouring

I was working yesterday and when eventually got free to call, couldn't get through. Danny Watson, NewstalkZB, was putting two and two together and calling for an end to the "free money" that has created the dysfunction culminating in what was then another child assault.

Dear Danny

Yesterday you called for an end to "free money". People rang in and said "enough is enough". Now the assaulted baby is another infant death statistic. The outpouring yesterday was a replay of the outrage we heard after the death of Lillybing and too many others. After that particular case I got mobilised and started up a petition calling for a parliamentary review into the DPB. I wrote to every newspaper , advertised, called talkback, knocked on doors, as did many others. What happened? We collected 1400 signatures. A hugely disappointing result. Time and time again people wrote to me that they were having difficulty getting others to sign because everybody knew somebody - a friend or family member - on the benefit. Or that they supported the DPB system. Personally it was a very difficult time with a good deal of the opposition to my petition getting nasty via threats and public ridicule. I have continued to do what I can through articles, submissions to select committee, standing for parliament twice and working in the community with needy families. My point is this Dan;

There is not enough political support to stop the "free money" and all of the devastation it visits on children. You will find no support for ending or substantially reforming the DPB from the Maori Party , Labour, the Greens or even National. In fact, the formation of the unofficial Welfare Working Group comprising Sue Bradford, the Child Poverty Action Group, academics and the mainstream churches is gearing up to fight for the status quo, or even higher benefit levels. Your listeners seem to want the sort of change you were advocating yesterday yet at election time they vote for parties that refuse to form policies that would see an end to the cash for babies programme.

It doesn't have to be the way it is in NZ. The only other countries that have DPB-like benefits are England, Ireland and Australia. Elsewhere support is temporary and conditional. In the US teenage mothers must stay at school to be eligible for financial assistance and they must live at home or in an adult supervised setting. Their teenage birthrate, which is high like New Zealand's, has been falling steadily along with the abortion rate and dare I say it, their child abuse and general crime rates. They have a long way to go but at least they are going in the right direction.

Meantime our politicians are too afraid to grab the bit between their teeth and do something decisive despite many knowing that the level of child abuse and neglect New Zealand is experiencing has everything to do with incentivised and casualised child-bearing. Because the state will provide on an indefinite and no-questions- asked basis, mothers are abandoned by or get rid of the fathers of their babies, and are then latched onto by new males who want sex and a roof over their head with no obligation to be a breadwinner. They do not make wonderful step-fathers. It's just dreadful what we have let develop under the guise of a 'caring, compassionate' welfare state.


Anonymous said...

The only solution is just to stop the benefits - not just the DBP but the Dole, WFF, codger-dole, and all the rest.

Not just for teenagers who have kids and stay at school or live at home or wherever.

Just stop the FREE MONEY.


Gooner said...

Dunne wants another government agency.


Anonymous said...

The thing is though, where was the mother while her baby was being beaten to death? She must have known her boyfriend was violent, yet this was on-going abuse. The police always say how the 'family are co-operating' after the event, which I always think big deal, where were they when this baby needed them most? You can't just blame the DPB, what about personal responisibility?

Lindsay Mitchell said...

"You can't just blame the DPB, what about personal responisibility?"

Let's blame a lack of personal responsibility then. If everyone exercised personal responsibility there would be no DPB to blame.

Child abuse and neglect can be blamed on a number of factors but welfare (which Bob McCoskrie neatly described this morning as "rewarding dysfunctional behaviour") is almost always one of them

James said...

This just re-enforces the truth behind Ayn Rands profound statement that the "moral is also the practial".

Welfare is involves theft and force being used against peaceful people to extract their property (money) to give to others in order to serve the ends of those who do the extracting (Politicians)

The objective reality we live in doesn't allow contradictions to can't.Therefore the practice is also doesn't solve the "problem" and indeed worsens it.This same principle applies across the board to drug prohibition,prostitution,State intervention in our economic affairs etc etc...

Until this fact od objective reality is recognised and respected then we will not see any improvement anytime soon...

Oswald Bastable said...

Heard the same on Law's show this morning.

Looks like SOME folks are figuring out that funding consequence-free breeding is not working.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the baby get hurt while the mother was out working?

halod1 said...

Funny thing is, like the mothers, we (the public and the system - CYFS etc) know this is going on and we let it.
We let the abuse of children continue.
I don't favour wiping any safety net, in fact I have no problem my taxes funding more costly intervention for these children and the abusers but I expect and demand the abuse stops.
The priority has to be the safety of the children not the 'rights' of those contributing to, or doing nothing about the abuse.
It'll happen - yeah right.

Anonymous said...

Let's blame a lack of personal responsibility then. If everyone exercised personal responsibility there would be no DPB to blame.

Right. more to the point: the cause of the lack of personal (or familial) responsibility is the DBP.

The DBP should be abolished - along with the dole and all other benefits including health & education. Benefits are not "almost always one of '" the causes: they are the underlying primary cause.

The priority has to be the safety of the children

Right. and the only way to achieve that is to terminate all benefits immediately. This is not a complex legal maneauver: it can be done literally overnight, by setting all benefit rates to zero.

This is what ACT stands for - and it is disgusting they have not even achieved this much in government.

Mo said...

they should be phased out over time.