Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Anne Tolley makes a fine start

The DomPost has a page 2 piece about families feeling the pinch at the start of the school year.

Kauri Hori starts at a Wellington college this year and his mum, Aurora Hori, is feeling the pinch on an already tight budget....
Hori, who lives with Kauri, her 4-year-old son Tawera and 3-month-old baby girl Te Huriwai, receives $400 a week on the benefit.
Of that $300 is spent on bills which includes rent, power, phone and paying for wood in advance for the winter.
The benefit figure make no sense. Why don't journalists do a bit of research and question its veracity? Otherwise the rest of the article is a waste of time.

In the absence of a mentioned partner I will assume she is receiving sole parent support of $299.45 a week

Then the three children would qualify for family tax credit sum of $220

Then she will receive an accommodation supplement to help with rent. It would be individually calculated but for argument sake, according to Paula Bennett late 2013,

An average sole parent with two children under thirteen, living in South Auckland would receive around $642 on benefit, including accommodation supplement and a minimal extra allowance for costs.
Despite living in Wellington, where the maximum AS rate is lower than Auckland, why would a mother of three children be receiving far less?

The only explanation might be that she has debt to Work and Income. Even then they generally deduct it at a manageable level.

Anyway the journalists went to the Children's Commissioner and a charity and got the usual bleating.

But not from new MSD Minister Anne Tolley who quite clearly and uncompromisingly said

"We have a very generous welfare system . . . I don't think that any of us should back off from the fact it's parents' responsibility to feed their children," she said.
One other thing, both  mothers featuring in the article appeared to have had their youngest while already on welfare. Whose choice was that? Yours and mine? These mothers and all their apologists need to get real.

We are constantly being harangued to care about and pay for similar unhappy situations, which number in the thousands across the country, yet are powerless to prevent them. Only the individual at the centre can make a lasting difference.


tranquil said...

"...appeared to have had their youngest while already on welfare."

The government MUST bring in a disincentive for this. It's ridiculous that we pay people to have babies.
The only thing that does is to encourage people to have children that they can't afford to feed.

Come on, Anne Tolley - use some common-sense and bring this policy in.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

The current disincentive - adding a child will not exempt the beneficiary from work-testing - is not working. From an earlier post,

"The policy intended to reduce this habit has failed. Individuals - especially Maori - continue to have babies when they are already unemployed and without any independent means to raise their children. In the six months ending March 31, 2006, 5854 children aged under one were added to a benefit. In the same period prior to March 2014 the number increased to 6634 - a 13% rise."

Jim Rose said...

The media are surprisingly ignorant of how much money beneficiaries get, it's a cultured ignorance.

Anonymous said...

We have a very generous welfare system

That's not a good start - it's an admission of total failure

Anonymous said...

Here's some sensible anti-bludger policy:


the jobless should be made to 'catch a bus' in order to remove millions of cars from the road and therefore reduce traffic.