Thursday, November 30, 2017

Life on a benefit drives to crime

A man was let off a charge of stealing around $180 worth of groceries because he said that life on a benefit is hard.

This poses a number of questions for me.

Why has this petty crime made headlines?

Is there still a moral discomfit about beneficiaries biting the hand that feeds?

Would someone on the minimum wage who claimed financial difficulty be let off?

If life on a benefit is hard, isn't  the better reaction to try and get off it?

Will this dismissal of a crime encourage more people to put up a defence of "life on a benefit is hard"?

Why didn't the offender go to a foodbank?


Mark Wahlberg said...

Lindsay you ask "Why didnt the offender go to a food bank?".

Can I suggest the "offender" has probably used up all their available credit at their local "food bank" and so resort to other means to fulfill their needs. Whatever they may be?

This person got caught stealing, so they switch into victim mode which is a survival tool for many. "Life on a benefit is hard" they say. Another well used excuse is " It must have been the medication I was on your Honour. I dont remember." One I thought showed great potential was " I have a friend who is desperate your Honour, I was only trying to help, I didnt mean any harm" Irony through altruism.

I was reading a newspaper clipping recently dated November 2002 describing the Salvation Army's planned Palmerston North Christmas food drive. The spokesperson told of the organisation giving out 5000 food parcels that year and the food bank needed replenishing.

Last week I read a similar report about this years food drive and how the food bank has distributed 8000 food parcels this 2017 and the well was dry. "Please give" was the message.

One particular food bank in Palmerston North is called "Just Zilch" and distributes food twice daily to all who arrive. "Build it and they will come" someone once said. The lines of people of all descriptions seeking charitable nourishment usually stretch around the block. They have tasty tucker there.

I got abused once when I was rumbled loading the boot of my sports car after asking if they had any petrol vouchers? I have taken to parking further away and worm my way into the front of the queue hobbling on crutches wearing a wig and false mustache.

Its hard living in retirement, I just got the rate demand for my weekend place in Queenstown and the wife refuses to fly economy on her shopping trips to Sydney. Did I mention my truck needs new tyres????

Anonymous said...

In response to Mark I'd comment that a church I was involved in some years ago ran a food bank and their policy was two handouts without question (two too many in my view) and after that more free stuff required a detailed discussion about budgets and circumstances. Most of the starving never came back after that which indicates most viewed it as something to scam.


pdm said...

Mark do you come through to Karamu Road, Hastings on Fridays at about 5pm? lol.

I drive past most Fridays on my way to work and see `well heeled' people in nice cars queuing up there for hand outs. As I understand it a local Lions Club runs it but I do not know what checks, if any, that they have.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Sorry if I have related this story before, but a foodbank volunteer in Petone recently described what a couple did when the food they wanted wasn't available. The first directed the second to "call a cab" to take them to "the Lower Hutt foodbank."
Then a few years back, as a community volunteer, I stupidly got roped into taking my teenage client to the local foodbank. For her it was like a convenience trip to the supermarket except it took much longer as I sat waiting for her in the car park for nearly one hour.

For mine, foodbanks encourage exploitation. I do not donate to them.

Mark Wahlberg said...

PDM unless they have a menu and mailout, Hastings is a tad to far when there are rich pickins closer to home.

Further to my original comment, this "Just Zilch" does not discriminate against anyone who may be receiving food parcels from other sources. They feed an average of 200 people a day 6 days a week. Its a soup kitchen serving more appetising fare than that those of the 1920's and 30's. Cream buns, macaroni cheese............