Monday, December 09, 2013

Talking Child Poverty on Newstalk ZB

On NewstalkZB earlier this evening talking to Tim Dower about the latest Child Poverty report.

One of the e-mails that Tim read out later was, he said, representative of  "a developing theme". It said,

"I assume extreme poverty is being able to afford Sky Sport but not Sky Movies."

I didn't support the line that there is no poverty. I've seen kids in houses where they get sick because of crowding and unhealthy, unhygienic surroundings. Probably the same house has Sky.  But  the chronic poverty of benefit dependence exists. It's spirit and soul sapping.


Anonymous said...

I had a rental property in Porirua East some years ago. It was very cheap rental for an older but very well maintained four-bedroom home with nice carpets. Four out of the five people who rented it left in an appalling condition. Problems included cockroach farming (vast numbers of them), an inability to put any rubbish out when it was much easier to simply store it under the house, tipping household refuse out of the kitchen window, stacking disposable nappies with dirty washing in the laundry, closing the house up so it became very mouldy although it was not a damp home, writing on internal walls and so on. After every tenant, bar one, vacated the dwelling needed to be repainted inside and at least couple of trailer loads of rubbish removed. Prospective tenants always presented beautifully but that was a simple facade and they were consistently crap. And, they tended not to pay the rent either but probably got a suplement for it from the tax payer. This is my limited experience but it is the only experience I have. The capital gain made the whole nightmare look economic on paper but even then I suspect the many hours of work was probably poorly compensated for. I remain of the view that many of the supposed poor are that way because they are knowingly useless but are happy to continue in that way because no one is calling them out. While I am not averse to supporting children through charity such as Angel Tree, and do so, many parents appear to need a kick up the arse rather than more money.

I still encounter many rental property owners with property in areas like Naenae and Taita. Their stories are frequently similar to mine but nowadays the capital gains is looking decidedly flimsy so there is potentially relatively little compensation for providing housing at the cheap end of the market.


Lindsay Mitchell said...

Thanks Anon,

None of your experience surprises me. Nor should it anyone else. Perhaps it comes back to education eg not understanding that accumulated rubbish is a health hazard.

So would a capital gains tax be another nail in the coffin or the straw that breaks the camel's back?

Anonymous said...

I think its something more fundamental than education. The default position of some people is hopeless, and they know it, but are too lazy to change. As I said they would make an effort to get in the door but effort stopped after that. I think that's because they assumed no further effort was required until eviction and after that there would be another house somewhere else to wreck. I'd have liked to publish their names so living like a pig has consequences. Be tidy or be on the street may resonate perhaps? Being nice certainly didn't.

I recall a recent Quadrant article making a good looking case for economic pressure being the key. When it makes economic sense to be clean and tidy people will be but the govt doesn't expect anything from them except a vote.

Anonymous said...

. I've seen kids in houses where they get sick because of crowding and unhealthy, unhygienic surroundings. Probably the same house has Sky.

There's nothing we can do about that. Nothing at all.

But the chronic poverty of benefit dependence exists. It's spirit and soul sapping.

But this we can end overnight. All it takes is the will.

Hint: is NZ more or less "rightwing" than in 1991 under Ruth Richardson.

gravedodger said...

Bugger!!, I have just revamped my Sky setup, removed movies and The rugby channels, installed multiroom and mysky, and added the country channel.
So now we are living in "poverty".

Thanks a bunch, a lot about my life 70 years ago was rather deprived and now the wheel has done a turn.
Bugger bugger bugger, all that hard work scrimping saving and going without for jackshit.

Keep up with the analysis and the hard work Lindsay, I certainly appreciate your efforts.