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?

Monday, November 27, 2017

National makes a valid objection, but timidly

The student allowance - which was paid at the same rate as the unemployment benefit - is about to increase by $50 per week.

There is a suggestion from National that, along with the first year free tertiary education, an incentive will present for some to swap 'benefits' without a genuine motivation to study. Well, I dressed that up nicely, as did the spokesperson Paul Goldsmith.

He was being interviewed by a disbelieving Guyon Espiner who said this was a most cynical view.

If it had been me I'd have conceded the point, but maintained that we are dealing with Labour's idealistic and naive view. The truth lies somewhere in  between.

In the past data showed that when the invalid benefit was paid at a higher rate than the sickness benefit there was definite migration to the former.

Mr Goldsmith might also have talked about the pressure that his government had put on work-capable people to find jobs. A year's break from that, along with a $2,600 bonus might be very appealing.