Crime and access to welfare

Paula Bennett is horrified that people claim to have committed crimes because of poverty and difficulties accessing welfare. She claims welfare is accessible for those in need and is enough to live on.

My experience is that welfare is only accessible to some people, and often only if they know how to fight for it or if they have an advocate. In my days as a beneficiary advocate some unemployed people came to our advocacy service in Gisborne saying that if we couldn’t help them get help they would be committing crimes to survive. Of course we did not condone this. We took them to Work and Income and tried to get them some help. These people were often not long term beneficiaries, but mainly desperate younger people who had lost jobs or were way behind on their bills and had huge debts.

They appeared to not be able to access support for a range of reasons. Many were young men in contract seasonal work, who either hadn’t been paid or hadn’t known that Work and Income could support them between jobs. Stand-down periods and confusing messages had made them feel desperate. They were ashamed that they couldn’t support themselves, and if burglary led to food and cash they were considering it. We all know that burglary really leads to jail, but coping with the bureaucracy at Work and Income is harder for some people to cope with than breaking a window and grabbing a plasma TV to sell.

The most heartbreaking stories were not always about crime. One young mother came to us desperate to keep her children – she had worked in a massage parlour for two nights, out of desperation not choice, and then she hadn’t been paid. She had no power in her home and two children under four. Her mother was about to take her children and all she wanted was a way to look after them herself.

Paul Bennett might have amnesia about being a poor solo parent, she might think the welfare system inspires confidence in the citizens at the bottom of this heap, and that the assistance provided by Work and Income is enough to live on.

Newsflash Paula: There’s a huge black-market out there of people struggling to survive on low wages and benefits who do all kinds of things to supplement an inadequate income. It’s not always pretty or justifiable, but it reflects the low level of benefit payment and the barriers to regular income for some Work and Income clients.

There is a need to raise benefit levels to meet real cost of living and to train Work and Income staff to look for solutions for desperate people by providing them with full and correct entitlement rather than placing barriers in their way.

57 thoughts on “Crime and access to welfare

  1. And this is why we need to change to a Universal Income. People need to be supported at all times and not just when government has decided that they’ve jumped through enough hoops.

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  2. The problem here is not that the welfare state is too harsh, but that the prison system is not harsh enough. If you offer people three warm meals a day, warm prison cells, Sky TV and all these other items that would seem like luxuries, then people will of course be incentivised to commit crime.

    On the other hand, if prison were like what it is meant to be – i.e. a place of punishment, then perhaps people would not be wanting to go there.

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  3. String ‘em up I say! Go Dickensian on their asses. To the poor house! It worked in the 19th century, right? Right?!

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  4. This is a failure of Working for Families also, which made welfare and income support so complex as to be inaccessible, particularly trying to do battle with both IRD and WINZ, which have very different cultures and processes but are both necessary to get full entitlement.

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  5. Hey, john-ston, are you being sarcastic there?

    If you are then a friendly hint, sarcasm never comes across well in text and usually needs /sarcasm tags.

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  6. Note that the first alternative to welfare handouts that occurs to Delahunty and her constituency is crime.

    They do not even consider for a moment getting a job and earning an honest living in order to support their lifestyle choices.

    The benecriminals that comprise her electorate expect society to pay, one way or another, for their lifestyle choices.

    The need to dismantle the welfare state could not be more clearly outlined than by the attitude towards crime and welfare that Delahunty demonstrates. Decent Kiwis need to be freed from the overwhelming economic and social burden that the benecriminals represent. Disabusing them of the notion that their lifestyle choices are everyone else’s financial responsibility can’t happen quickly enough.

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  7. Note that the first alternative to earning an honest living that occurs to Key and his constituency is crime. defrauding the public of their assets.

    They do not even consider for a moment getting a real job and earning an honest living in order to support their lifestyle choices. 1.7 billion dollar bailouts. Rorting the NZ currency.

    The financial criminals that comprise his electorate expect society to pay, one way or another, for their lifestyle choices.

    The need to dismantle the corporate welfare state could not be more clearly outlined than by the attitude towards crime and welfare that Key demonstrates. Decent Kiwis need to be freed from the overwhelming economic and social burden that the financial criminals represent. Disabusing them of the notion that their lifestyle choices are everyone else’s financial responsibility can’t happen quickly enough.

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  8. @oob 9:11 PM

    The issue you miss, oob, is that there are not enough jobs to go around.

    So there will always be people who are unemployed. it is not their fault. They are unemployed because there are more people wanting jobs than there are job vacancies.

    Try to get a grip on it oob, rather than be a wannabe neo-con hero, because that you are not.

    Even though the criminal Garrett who stole a dead child’s identity made it to an electable position on the ACT list, you are not even in the running.

    You seldom comment here, and for that at least, we can be grateful.

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  9. It’s not just that there are not enough jobs to go round; there is a skills and ability mismatch between the people on offer, and the jobs available.

    There is an alternative to a welfare system, for those who call for such a thing, it is of course the criminal justice system. The handouts under that system are about $1700 per week.

    It doesn’t make finanical sanity we have people who are happy to contribute to the $1700 a week, but baulk at contributing to a few hundred.

    Wealth redistribution is wealth redistribution. I (and every other taxpayer) is going to pay one way or another. The money doesn’t care whether it is redistributed to welfare or to prisons. I’d rather pay less to support the unfortunate than more. Thats why realistic welfare benefits are a better alternative than jail.

    The jail’em experiment is an ongoing facet of American life. The pros and cons (ugh – terrible pun!) of that system are visible to all. It could simply be put that either you acheive the American dream, or you go to jail.

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  10. The problem here is not that the welfare state is too harsh, but that the prison system is not harsh enough.

    Are you speaking from experience john-stone?

    They do not even consider for a moment getting a job and earning an honest living in order to support their lifestyle choices.

    Would that be all those jobs that don’t exist oob? Remember unemployment has risen under National and we’re working longer hours for it… another campaign promise broken by Shonkey Honkey.

    Disabusing them of the notion that their lifestyle choices are everyone else’s financial responsibility can’t happen quickly enough.

    I am sure I have said this before; beneficiaries do not choose to be unemployed.

    Note that the first alternative to earning an honest living that occurs to Key and his constituency is crime. Defrauding the public of their assets.

    There is still one law for the rich and another for the poor. 1.7 billion dollar bailouts, rorting the NZ currency, trying to steal our inheritance through privatisation… the list goes on.

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  11. Is Catherine the only person in the country sucked in by the tranparent excuse by a drug dealer with quarter of a million dollars of drugs, that he couldn’t live on what every other pensioner lives on?

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  12. Photonz. – are you the only person in the country who is incapable of reading the news that this “dealer” got as much as $15k in income for her efforts?

    The exaggeration of drug bust values by police is well understood by all of us, and her “work” (and she was actually working Photonz, free-enterprise, remember?) doing what she had the resources to do to earn a buck, was to supply a demand that is not going away no matter how stupid and oppressive this country gets about it.

    We imprison them. It is just like having debtors prisons. The crime is being poor. Key and his criminal mates have taken the money. They’re running again too… but with bankers destroying 7 $ for every 1 $ they add to the economy we really ought to form a gauntlet rather than a line for the polling booth.

    Paula Bennett disgusts me. Key appalls me. You… on current form, deserve their company.

    BJ

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  13. something for lock-em-up photonz..

    look to texas…!..young conservative..!

    http://whoar.co.nz/2011/is-this-the-year-america-wakes-up-to-its-prison-disaster-why-conservatives-are-finally-jumping-on-the-bandwagon/

    “…Struggling with chronic budget crises, lawmakers in more and more states are embracing sentencing and other reforms in a bid to hold down corrections costs.

    But while sentencing reform has long been the domain of “bleeding heart” liberals – now conservatives are driving those efforts in some states.

    It’s not just about dollars.

    Although fiscal concerns are a driving force among conservatives –

    – there are also signs they are recognizing and confronting the failures of our drug and criminal justice policies.

    In a recent Washington Post op-ed, none other than former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote of “more humane, effective alternatives” to the national imprisonment binge.

    Still, as their states bleed red ink, some of them are shifting from “tough on crime” to “smart on crime.”

    Leading the charge is a newly formed advocacy group, Right On Crime –

    – endorsed by big conservative names including Gingrich, taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist – and former drug czar William Bennett.

    Based in Texas, Right On Crime is touting the success the Lone Star State has had with sentencing reform to make such reforms more palatable to conservatives.

    In 2003, the state passed legislation ordering that small-time drug offenders be given probation instead of prison time –

    – and in 2007, the state rejected prison-building – in favor of spending $241 million on treatment programs for offenders.

    Crime rates declined at the same time the incarceration rate did.

    And the state has saved about $2 billion by not building an additional 17,000 prison beds it once thought it needed.

    Now, conservatives in other states are pushing similar reforms…” (cont..)

    so…texan penal-policy is more enlightened than new zealand penal-policy..?

    whoar..!

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  14. Getting other peoples’ money via welfare is just as much a crime as getting it via stealing plasma screens. They both equate to taking other peoples’ property by force. Can you not think of an alternative? I know of several. Just use your imagination instead of using the same old policies that in the past have produced no improvement. As a mental experiment please just try for a minute to take force out of the equation.

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  15. There are many reasons we have unemployment; one is that mechanization undertakes many manual jobs these days and another is that globalization has outsourced many jobs under a “free” market structure. People are no longer required to do the work they used to. This means that the money that used to go to the people through wages, stays in the hands of business owners. It is the responsibility of a civilized nation to make sure that its people have enough money to house, clothe and feed themselves and their families. Therefore we have welfare. It is the bare minimum and often does not cover the cost of living. Apart from a truly cashless society (not electronic), I can think of nothing to replace welfare within our modernized society.

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  16. Sallydeb

    I pay taxes and I vote for the people who run the system. I prefer taxation to theft, and the inability to differentiate that Libertarians often display, is rather a matter of the blindness of idealism more than an injustice that the wealthy have to bear.

    BJ

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  17. Sallydeb.
    Oh the injustice! The people who benefit the most from the things supplied by taxes and other peoples work are expected to pay more.

    The tax working group found that half the wealthiest people in NZ paid little or no taxes. You who go on about welfare bludgers, which has been shown to be less than 1% of recipients, should front up and admit their own bludging from society.

    You want to find the bludgers look at yourself. Especially if you are one of these people. http://www.metafilter.com/88184/Leading-bankers-destroy-7-of-value-for-every-pound-they-generate or these. http://johannhari.com/2010/07/02/how-goldman-sachs-gambling-on-starving-the-worlds-poor-and-won or http://stuffedandstarved.org/drupal/node/410 not to mention the many equivalent rorts in NZ from the likes of Goldcorp, Hotchin, Fay, Brierly etc.

    I pay my taxes. I suspect a lot more than most of the right wing wannabes that pop up here. I also do useful and needed work. Every time state services have been reduced to reduce taxes I and most other people have ended up paying more than the tax cuts for an inefficient corporate or corporate style supplier.

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  18. One point not often mentioned is the compliance costs of dealing with WINZ and IRD.

    It takes time, so the recipient cannot spend that time looking for work or saving money in other ways.

    Often the recipient has children to look after, and there may be a cost in getting someone else to look after them while dealing with the departments, even if it is just a transport cost.

    And of course most departments want to see the recipient so that adds transport costs as well.

    And repeat as demanded by disorganised departments who shuffle the recipients from one counter to another.

    The recipients are never compensated for all of this effort and cost – it all has to come out of the benefit that they are entitled to or out of their own pocket if the department eventually concludes (rightly or wrongly) or if the would-be recipient concludes (rightly or wrongly) that they are not entitled after all or the would-be recipient simply gives up.

    Trevor.

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  19. I agree with photonz, regarding the pensioners excuses – the pension, unlike benefits, is sufficient to prevent recourse to crime.

    Of course there may be problems emerging here over time with lower home ownership and the continual rise in the cost of energy.

    Trevor, some parents on the DPB will soon find that it costs money to look for work (when under work test) and there is no compensation for it.

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  20. sallydeb – if taxation is theft, then the funding of police and prisons via taxation is also theft.

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  21. What I hate is that our society finds fault with those falling through the cracks. “Well she isn’t working hard enough.” “He made poor choices.” These comments are often made by people who have been given the benefit of an education and don’t understand how difficult it is to get out of poverty.

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  22. These comments are often made by people who have been given the benefit of an education and don’t understand how difficult it is to get out of poverty.

    Melanie, the problem is that there are a lot of tales of people who were in poverty and worked very hard to get out of poverty. Not only that, but there are few tales of people in poverty who made all the correct choices and still landed up in poverty.

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  23. “but there are few tales of people in poverty who made all the correct choices and still landed up in poverty”.

    Ask all those who finished high school in Northland recently with good grades who are on the dole or working for McD’s.

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  24. BJChip says “Photonz. – are you the only person in the country who is incapable of reading the news that this “dealer” got as much as $15k in income for her efforts?”

    Perhaps you should check your reading BJ – Catherines link said – quote “Earlier this week, a South Dunedin pensioner admitted growing cannabis with a potential sale value of $240,000 because he said his pension was not enough and he “needed the money to survive”.

    So in your eyes had the elderly drug dealer magically lost 40 years, got a job, lost $225,000 of drugs, and had a sex change?

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  25. John-ston,

    The only reason you hear few tales of people in poverty who make all the right choices but still end up in poverty is because you don’t talk to the right people.

    I know lots of people in this situation; the common factor is often that a close family member gets sick and there are high costs associated with providing the necessary care. What’s more, this type of poverty not only affects those on benefits, but working people as well. Having said that, most of these people don’t resort to crime, and consequently quietly go unnoticed.

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  26. Sallydeb,

    There is nothing better for social harmony than the cries of the rich as they get taxed.

    I cannot remember who said that (or something along those lines), but I believe it is very true.

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  27. What we need is more financial skills taught in schools.

    Kiwis in general are pretty stupid when it comes to basic finances – and that’s across the social spectrum.

    The amount of money people waste, from those on benefits to those at the top end is staggering.

    My wife’s job takes her into the homes of struggling families several times a week and a common factor, almost without exception, is a large wastage of money on things that should be prioritised below their childrens welfare – not before it.

    Sky TV, large flat screen, alcohol, pub, movies, junk food and takeaways, V8 car and it’s pertol bill, pokies, drugs, feeding a pack of tough looking dogs, clothes, jewellery, makeup, tatoos, etc are all things that she comes across every week that people have prioritised over food, health and clothing for their children.

    Most people leave school without even being taught the most basic budgeting skills needed for life.

    The billion dollars that made little difference to early childhood education might be better spent on some life skills education.

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  28. There is nothing better for social harmony than the cries of the rich as they get taxed.

    Especially those Maori trusts receiving income and paying minimal taxation right now.

    Something the Greens endorse

    http://www.greens.org.nz/speeches/taxation-annual-rates-maori-organisations-taxpayer-compliance-and-miscellaneous-provisions-

    And if trusts are to be taxed at full rates how would this Maori Trust be effected, seeing its operations are commercial but the gains are on behalf of a trust.

    http://www.ngaitahuholdings.co.nz/

    Hopefully an accountant can go through their books are published on line and work oput their effective tax rate.

    Their finacial summary says they pay zero tax on gross turnover of $55M.

    http://www.ngaitahu.iwi.nz/Publications/Annual-Reports/2010/Financials/Summary-Group-Statement-Of-Financial-Position.pdf

    Wonder how loud they will squeel.

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  29. Growing Cannabis with a potential sale value (as claimed by police) and she had possibly sold as much as $15,000 worth. Read it Photonz. The police estimated the value, and they have incentive to overstate. Her costs are not deducted, that was 15K ex expenses and tax (oh yeah, no tax).

    IF she’d succeeded in harvesting and selling more it would have been at some cost in her labor and the only reason you are highlighting the figure is because it helps to mislead us about her “wealth” while being on the benefit.

    This is an excellent example of the hidden benefits of keeping Marijuana illegal as well. It allows us to throw a beneficiary in jail where the miserable low-life belongs. It keeps the price high so that people in dire situations can be tempted to grow it. It is pure free-enterprise too, the state doesn’t get a cut.

    grrrrrr…. there is so much wrong with this picture that it almost deserves a prize… a “Darwin award” for national policy. It would be hard to pick though, there are so MANY National policies deserving of such an award.

    BJ

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  30. Sky TV, large flat screen, alcohol, pub, movies, junk food and takeaways, V8 car and it’s pertol bill, pokies, drugs, feeding a pack of tough looking dogs, clothes, jewellery, makeup, tatoos, etc are all things that she comes across every week that people have prioritised over food, health and clothing for their children.

    I’m a top rate taxpayer with left home kids, and I still can’t afford that stuff. Not that I want many of those things (ink? no thanks), but the principle holds…

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  31. Ask all those who finished high school in Northland recently with good grades who are on the dole or working for McD’s.

    Kerry, to be frightfully honest, in this day and age, even good grades at secondary level isn’t going to get you much more than a menial job at McDonalds. If it were all those who finished University with good grades who are on the dole or working for McDonalds then it would be a different story (I grant that there have been some issues with recent graduates, and the Global Financial Crisis did not help).

    The only reason you hear few tales of people in poverty who make all the right choices but still end up in poverty is because you don’t talk to the right people.

    I don’t talk to anyone – if you look at many of the stories that are out there in circulation, the tales of poverty almost invariably started with a drug or gambling addiction.

    I know lots of people in this situation; the common factor is often that a close family member gets sick and there are high costs associated with providing the necessary care. What’s more, this type of poverty not only affects those on benefits, but working people as well. Having said that, most of these people don’t resort to crime, and consequently quietly go unnoticed.

    How many of these people are affected by this compared with those who made bad decisions?

    I’m a top rate taxpayer with left home kids, and I still can’t afford that stuff. Not that I want many of those things (ink? no thanks), but the principle holds…

    dbuckley, next time you are able, take a trip through Otara or Glen Innes and you will see an alarming number of Sky TV dishes compared with other parts of Auckland.

    Furthermore, tattoos don’t exactly help the situation – if a potential employer has two candidates that are both the same, but one has a tattoo and the other one does not, it is more likely than not that the tattooless one will get the job – there is still that association between tattoos and criminals.

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  32. Methinks Ms. Bennett has been riding ‘high on the hog’ for so long now, that her days as a humble beneficiary are long forgotten. We all do what we need to do to thrive & survive. The more this N-Act Govt. insists on treating the lowest paid workers & beneficiaries as second class citizens the more the crime rates will increase.. hey Mr. Key & Ms. Bennett what about creating employment instead of resentment ! Kia-ora

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  33. “”Kerry, to be frightfully honest, in this day and age, even good grades at secondary level isn’t going to get you much more than a menial job at McDonalds. If it were all those who finished University with good grades who are on the dole or working for McDonalds then it would be a different story (I grant that there have been some issues with recent graduates, and the Global Financial Crisis did not help).””.

    So anyone below university level is supposed to go on the scrapheap in your brave new world.
    Just goes to prove that most of those on the dole are because of lack of jobs, not because they are bludgers. Do you really think that 20 000 kids in Northland are unemployed from choice.

    “”I don’t talk to anyone – if you look at many of the stories that are out there in circulation, the tales of poverty almost invariably started with a drug or gambling addiction.””

    Not correct. You need to stop listening to anecdotes and ask some people in the real world..
    A bankrupt drainlayer because of a whole winter of wet weather.
    A builder who had 3 years of illness followed by an injury. Couldn’t get ACC as it goes on the last year of income.
    Kids at the school I was teaching who see their mates go on to the dole or McD’s no matter how well they do. Having brown ski does not help. Tertiary education is not possible because they cannot do the further three years of little money, unlike middle class kids supported by their parents.
    Apprenticeships are very few and far between so they are not generally an option..

    “How many of these people are affected by this compared with those who made bad decisions?”

    By far the majority just going by the ones I know which are a large sample.

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  34. Photo. Agree also. The 35 mil spent on NACT standards would have paid for commercial education for all the current generation of school kids.

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  35. bj – so lets all become drug dealers whenever we need more cash.

    Are all drug dealers ok, or do you have to be on a benefit?

    Is it ok to be a small-time drug dealer, but not a big one?

    A poor one but not a rich one?

    Individuals, but not gangs?

    Do you have a favourite list of drugs that are ok, and those that are not, or is it anything goes?

    What types drug dealing is ok in your book?

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  36. Kerry says “Photo. Agree also. The 35 mil spent on NACT standards would have paid for commercial education for all the current generation of school kids.”

    $35 million on NS may do some good (it has led to significant improvements with my kids).

    Whereas the nearly billion extra (2-300% increase) spent on early childhood education made virtually no difference to the number of kids being taught, and little difference in attendance hours.

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  37. Kerry states “You must be one of the few to have had improvements with your kids with education being forced back to the 50’s.”

    Which is of course hysterical nonsense.

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  38. Why should we pay 35 million for an initiative which only works for photos kids.
    It has failed for the majority of kids in the USA and UK where it has been already tried. Even former advocates of narrow National standards have changed their minds.
    Why follow the education systems of the UK and USA which are already considerably inferior to ours.

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  39. Kerry – I sense your problem isn’t actually wirh National Standards – they’re simply something to use as a club against the govt.

    As such, you’d rather they fail than be successful.

    Yo’re going to be absolutely gutted if Kiwi kids do well under them, like our kids and their classmates are.

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  40. Legal drugs – alcohol and tobacco. Both are just as bad for people as the illegal drugs.

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  41. “Sky TV, large flat screen, alcohol, pub, movies, junk food and takeaways, V8 car and it’s pertol bill, pokies, drugs, feeding a pack of tough looking dogs, clothes, jewellery, makeup, tatoos, etc are all things that she comes across every week that people have prioritised over food, health and clothing for their children.”

    Anecdotal evidence … presumption of what one sees or perceives, followed by an assumption about the circumstances. Evidence in support of any stereotype only needs one apparent evidential witness to be prove it true it seems. Then what is true on one occasion and on another is then gathered into an array of characteristics that are part of the same stereotype. And then repeated here on every occasion anything to do with welfare is discussed. I doubt if any unemployed parent family actually conforms to the litany of accusations above.

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  42. Photo. Like your problem with ECE perhaps.
    No. I was also against Mallards meddling with education.

    What ever happened to evidence based policy.

    Finland pays for well trained highly qualified teachers and lets them get on with it. UK and the USA’s attempts to micro manage education have been failures. Which model does the evidence say we should follow.

    I will be gutted when Nationals repeat of the 80′ and 90’s has the same consequences, even though I will not be surprised.
    We cannot afford to be robbed of our future again.

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  43. A Sky dish on a rental property doesn’t mean the current tenants pay for Sky. Even if the property is owned by the occupier and has a Sky dish doesn’t mean that the occupier is still paying for Sky.

    Stories of people who don’t get off the benefit don’t circulate because they are not interesting stories.

    Trevor.

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  44. SPC says “I doubt if any unemployed parent family actually conforms to the litany of accusations above.”

    I doubt many do ALL those things. But many waste money on the majority of those things, as do many people on above average wages who also seem to have little left at the end of the week.

    Trevor says “A Sky dish on a rental property doesn’t mean the current tenants pay for Sky”

    No – but a hungry and soiled toddler playing beside the stinking dog shit in the corner, while the step dad drinks beer watching sky sport, does mean the current tennants pay for sky.

    Lucky her – she gets to go inside these houses several times a week and try to educate no-hoper parents how to inprove the health of their children.

    It’s simply a matter of priorities and in some houses, children’s welfare comes last.

    How do you change these disfunctional families?

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  45. Photonz1, If you (and presumably your wife) hates these people so much, why doesn’t she find another job?

    Janine, at least we get a cut of the profits.

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  46. There are some parents who do some, but not many, of those things. Maybe they got the pets when working etc and get pet food donated by family who have left home etc, some people smoke whereas others drink, others do neither but gamble etc etc. The V8 car could have been bought second hand years ago – and rarely used, been a doer upper to raise money even.

    Because it’s tough on benefits, some look for any supposed flaw in the parents so as to apply the deserving and undeserving poor labels, as if this explains the predicament of children on benefits.

    The truth is here, all beneficiaires struggle with low incomes and self-sacrifice by parents is the only way children can survive unscathed. Of course to require this deserving poor label martyrdom, all others have to be categorised as undeserving poor and the fault of their parenting raised as the issue of welfare, rather than the lack of jobs and meagre amount of support to the surplus labour and or sole parents or parents with work incapacity.

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  47. Todd asks “Photonz1, If you (and presumably your wife) hates these people so much, why doesn’t she find another job?”

    She likes trying to help the kids, however it often all seems a bit hopeless.

    There is a really high burnout rate in her dept, and dealing with dysfunctional families daily and not being able to make any long term difference is very draining on moral.

    So much so that there is counciling for everyone who does this work, and it is very frequent, and compulsory.

    And then I get to hear about all the things I don’t really want to each day when she gets homes and has a de-stress.

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  48. John-ston,

    You asked “How many of these people are affected by this compared with those who made bad decisions?”

    Of the people in poverty I know, I would estimate about half are there because of situations largely beyond their control (such as non-preventable illness with themselves or a family member), the other half are there because of stupid decisions and behaviour. But I would hesitate to say which half any individual was in, because its often not a black and white issue.

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  49. Our last burglars were so dirt poor, they broke in to steal all (limited)foodstuffs from the house. I know the culprits and they are so shamefully poor I reckon they stand a good chance of freezing to death this winter.

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  50. We have now found a reason for photonz1’s attitude towards the poor, his wife comes home and complains to him about them. An emotional response is not helpful within this forum.

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  51. Trevor says:

    A Sky dish on a rental property doesn’t mean the current tenants pay for Sky.

    Some decades ago, I lived in a big town in the UK, and cable TV came to town. Which we all thought was cool. However, we were dismayed when they stared up their operations in the rough end of town. It took years before we we connected.

    They were quite open about it. The takeup of paid-for TV services was proportionately much greater amongst the less well off then it was by those with more money, and so they followed the money.

    I see no reason why it should be different with Sky, other than Sky covers the entire geograhic area in one go, rather than needing the roads dug up…

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  52. Buckley. I think if I was too poor to go sailing I would need a cheaper form of recreation such as Sky. Being drunk or drugged would also help to cope with the shit life the low waged and beneficiaries are expected to have in this country. So Photo can afford the gas for his seven series..

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  53. so lets all become drug dealers whenever we need more cash

    Are all drug dealers ok

    This would be more fun if you were less predictable.

    Sure, as long as they are licensed, pay taxes and adhere to quality and access standards. Sort of like bottle shops. What is good for one is good for the other.

    The problem Photonz, is that you almost ALWAYS get the wrong lesson out of one of my questions. Perhaps you live in a parallel universe. Seems, from the peeks we get through your posts, to be inherently black and white that place you’re from. No perceptions of colors or even shades of gray.

    The problem you missed me addressing is the illegality of the drugs.

    The fact that this poor person could do what she did is entirely predicated on that illegality, which makes the drug growing lucrative far beyond her meager farming effort. Now it is her effort plus the efforts of all the cops to catch her and all the other crims who are evading cops… and the risk, and all that goes into the price.

    But making the drugs legal doesn’t affect her FINANCIAL problem, that isn’t even considered. Just removes incentives… and financial support for gangs and the like. It is remarkable how stupid NACT can get when it imagines that some poor person is having a good time.

    BJ

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  54. BJ says “The problem you missed me addressing is the illegality of the drugs.”

    No – I didn’t miss it. I just ignored it.

    What’s the point in us having a long winded discussion on something neither of us is going to change the other ones mind on.

    I was just saving you and me a lot of time.

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