Rip-offs condemn poorest families

Rip-offs condemn the poorest families or so opines Doug Laing in the Bay of Plenty Times editorial.  (reprinted from 6 Feb Hawkes Bay Today)

Doug Laing, Hawkes Bay Today

As another Waitangi Day rolls by, there must be some question over whether the purpose of the treaty signed in 1840 was the same as the reason for which we are now encouraged to celebrate it.

That is now a debate that will never be resolved, the Treaty has been reinterpreted far too many times to get any sensible resolution to that question.

If it were about sharing, and a few freedoms for all of us, then the answer is probably “no”, as is highlighted by the Government’s Child Poverty Reduction Plan — effectively a mantra aimed at guiding itself and governments of the future for many years to come.

New Zealand should be looking for earlier returns, but it is doubtful we will all be on the same page in any great hurry, given that one person’s poverty is essentially driven by another’s greed.

What utter socialist claptrap!  The fact that some people choose to waste their (or probably our tax) money on pokies, cigarettes, meth, fast food junk etc is not driven by someone else’s greed. It is a choice, albeit abetted by a lack of parental training or whatever; but I have yet to see people frog-marched into the local gambling hall to be forced into feeding pokies.

While we have people who desire wealth way beyond their needs and can achieve it, then we will have people who will have debt way beyond their control and can do little or nothing about it.

True, there will always be people with more money than they need (and the ability to make even more). And there will be people with more debt than they can handle but the existence of the second group is NOT a consequence of the existence of the first group.

It’s an irony that the remedy focuses on increases in household income, when the increased spending that goes with it is simply part of the vicious cycle. The term “reduction” might be better applied to such things as reducing household expenses.

Or reducing expenditure on non-essential purchases.

This matter was covered in the fine print of the Children’s Commissioner’s Solutions to Child Poverty in New Zealand, December 2012, where recommendations 46-48 of the 78 in total cover “problem debt”.

In short, it recognised vulnerable families and individuals are ripped off and that consideration needed to be given to saving them. Five years later, vultures still circle.

You cannot fix stupid, especially by Government mandate.

Hands up anyone who has never been ripped-off by someone else.  As the saying goes, “Experience is a great teacher but the tuition fees are prohibitive.”

In one example of pre-Christmas prey, a mum signed with the door-to-door kind for a washing machine at a cost of more than $4500 once all repayments are met, when the whiteware was available down the road for under $900.

Again, it is parental training about the value of money and the dangers of hire-purchase and credit card buying that is needed. A Government transfer of money from the haves to the have-nots will not reduce the have-nots silly spending it will just make both groups “have-nots”.

One suspects the remedy – legislation to prevent such carryon – might not cost nearly as much.

So, let’s have another ban.  Collect the set!

If the Government was really serious about reducing poverty then education about budgeting; cooking and feeding a family on the cheap; avoiding hire purchase; ignoring the shop at home trucks, and so on would be a better way to spend the money.

(Doug really does look old enough to have worked this out for himself)


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Dr Seuss may have been describing WH when he wrote, “He was shortish. And oldish. And brownish. And mossy. And he spoke with a voice that was sharpish and bossy.”  WH, however, is tallish and only just fits in his MG.

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