This is not about attacking beneficiaries. It's about properly understanding why some are reluctant to give up what they perceive as a/ an income comparable to what they would receive through working and b/ greater security than a job.
The following tables are from the latest (2009 financial year) MSD statistical report and show what other assistance beneficiaries get;
Temporary additional support or special benefit
Rates of payment (in here is the biggie that all carers on a benefit receive for dependent children - family tax credit.)
There are other tables available for supplementary assistance for child or adult disability, special needs grants etc. Assistance that people who are not on benefits do not receive, unless they meet the means-tested requirements.
I take you back to a comment made to Simon Collins of the NZ Herald earlier this year.
Connie Raiwhara, who runs the Pikorua community house where Ms Heremaia attends a sewing class, said many sole parents had no qualifications and would not give up the benefit for a minimum-wage job.
A sole parent with three young children paying the $332 average rent for a three-bedroom house in Papakura would get $206 in family support and $165 in accommodation supplement on top of the $278 DPB, a total of $649 a week.
"A lot of our solo parents get well in the $700s. They are not going to go from $700 to $400," Ms Raiwhara said.
"Even if you're in a fulltime job on $400-$500 a week [after tax], childcare is $240 a week. You're working to pay for someone else to look after your child.
"Maybe they should put the wages up and maybe that would give people the incentive to go back to work."
Now let's recall what Sue Bradford et al are saying;
"The alternative group, chaired by Massey University social policy expert Mike O'Brien and including former Green MP Sue Bradford, says current benefits of $194 a week for a single adult or $366 for a sole parent with one child are "simply too low to live on"."
The whole thrust of the Alternative Welfare Group's approach is to misrepresent the situation to garner public support for 'poverty-stricken' beneficiaries which then turns into political opposition to reform.
No, it is not easy being on a benefit. It is not easy being on a low income full stop. Neither is it easy working 5,6 or 7 days a week only to lose a good part of your earnings to someone who refuses to make similar efforts.