beneficiary bashing

Herald briefly stops Pimping the Poor

via The Guardian

via The Guardian

You have to wonder about the NZ Herald sometimes.  There is a definite anti-government, pro-left flavour to the body of articles.  But occasionally one of the senior people jump in with an editorial and shock us with some common sense.

The news that at least 21,000 beneficiaries have travelled overseas in the past nine months had a predictable response. The airwaves went hot with taxpayers’ anger and disgust at the supposed “rip-off” of the welfare system. Welfare defenders bristled with equal indignation, accusing minister Paula Bennett of “beneficiary bashing”. They seemed to consider overseas travel to be part of today’s average living standard that beneficiaries ought to be able to share.

Labour spokeswoman Sue Moroney said it was wrong to imagine a benefit alone allowed anyone to travel overseas. Often the cost was met by family members or was a gift. She is right, but she and others who talk about poverty in this country ought to remind themselves of this more often.

The Children’s Commissioner, who annually reports on the numbers in poverty as defined by household income and surveys of material possessions, ought to take note of the travel figures. On the income definition all beneficiaries and their children are below the poverty line.

Indeed.  Like Pavlov’s dogs we all were.  Including the cries for beneficiaries to be hung, drawn and quartered by Whaleoil.  Non-beneficiaries work hard for their money.  They pay their taxes, often a little begrudgingly.   To find that 21,000 beneficiaries enjoyed overseas travel, some multiple times, when you haven’t had a holiday for a few years is quite likely to get steam up.   Read more »