- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Paula Bennett becomes Big Sister


Bennett gets tough with outspoken solo mums
Details of state benefits received by two solo mothers have been made public by the Government after the pair criticised cutbacks to a training allowance. Staff from Social Development Minister Paula Bennett's office gave the Herald a tally of each woman's weekly income from the state - including benefits and other allowances - after the women spoke out in the Herald on Sunday and Labour used their stories in Parliament last week. The details were handed over without the knowledge of the mothers, Jennifer Johnston and Natasha Fuller.

The message is clear, anyone who dares question the Government’s slash and burn of social welfare will get dealt to by Big Sister, especially if it points out that Big Sister benefited from the very benefit she is slashing.

REMEMBER - Big Sister loves you

14 Comments:

At 28/7/09 9:43 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does this mean the overly sensitive privacy laws don't count for single parents???

What a farce.

NS

 
At 28/7/09 10:50 a.m., Blogger Jeff said...

To be fair does also show those two are getting a pretty redicolous ride at the expense of the state. If you are going public you have to expect the full story to come out otherwise you are doing disjustice to the argument.

I am pissed because I am a supporter of the training allowance and the evening education classes which are getting slashed and Labour are making an absolute meal of the cases they are putting forward, I know better ones personally and I have no resources to investigate them.

$750 a week is above the average wage / salary, and she is getting it as a benefit, that is going to destroy her crediability, which was National's plan clearly.

 
At 28/7/09 10:55 a.m., Anonymous amelia said...

She's such a truely wretched beast.. Women on the dpb are not the lepers she makes us out to be.. many are disadvantaged because of the moral panic right wing neo liberals put on us and of most catogories of people on benefits pay back debt to the govt faster and come of benefits faster. Very little are actually long term.. For some one who has been a solo parent she is a disgrace to the sisterhood.. Who ate all the pies Paula??

 
At 28/7/09 11:04 a.m., Anonymous amelia said...

Also for peoples information those benefits have multiple layers to it.. your core benefit is only about 460, IRD give ALL parents between one to two hundred per week depending on numbers of children and the rest is accomodation that ALL low income earners are entitled too. My benefit is 620 (including ird) with two kids and my rent in Auckland is a cheap (??) 360 per week.. i cant have flatmates, i dont have a partners pay packet and i tell you its fricken hard work.. try feeding two growing kids and the rest in whats left. Im at uni and claim another 80 for transport and pay all my own fees and books.. its all for you to see and if you'd like to walk a few days in my shoes your more than welcome.

 
At 28/7/09 11:12 a.m., Blogger Iri Ani said...

I think it needs to be pointed out that training allowances are not part of income. They merely offset the costs of the courses that solo parents are engaged in, for example, course fees, texts, stationery etc, travel (bus or train fares to an institution or petrol costs) and childcare costs. If the training allowance wasn't there, these costs would need to come out of grocery costs because most benefits have absolutely no room for manoeuvre anywhere else and few mothers would be prepared to take food from their children to enable their own study.

The original article stated that "Ms Fuller gets $28 a week." Given the probable costs encountered for tertiary study mentioned above, that seems quite reasonable to me. Ms Fuller "... also got the allowance from 2004 to 2006" which would be quite unsurprising for a solo parent tackling a degree course part-time.

While "big sis" Ms Bennett is clearly happy to supply details of what she insist on calling income(a totalled amount of benefit and training allowances and probable rent subsidies etc, no mention is made in the article of probably outgoings. Solo parents too often have to cope with very high rents in order to provide reasonably decent housing for their children, especially if they live in our cities and most rents are worth about 50% of benefit even with a subsidy in place.

I wonder if Ms Paula Bennett would now like to supply a total amount of all the benefits, supplements, and allowances she received in her solo parent days which enabled her to get to where she is today.

 
At 28/7/09 11:54 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

..... in 2006-07 was given $9560 under an Enterprise Allowance to start a cleaning business. She said yesterday this had since closed because she had ongoing illness problems.

Whoa! Is likely to be paid back? Prior to reading this article I was unaware that the government was in the business of handing out thousands of dollars for people to try and start a business. That is bullshit - I want to know who else they are dolling out cash to and what provisions are being made to get such money back.

 
At 28/7/09 11:55 a.m., Anonymous Curious George said...

amelia said...

...IRD give ALL parents between one to two hundred per week depending on numbers of children...

That is news to me. I have four children and the IRD doesn't give me a cent for any of them.

 
At 28/7/09 1:02 p.m., Anonymous Bob said...

The lesson is ..."don't criticise us or we'll use the might of the State against you".

 
At 28/7/09 1:31 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

$39000 net.
The "average" yearly wage is less.

No travel cost
No workplace expenses
No clothing bills
No 50+ hours a week away from your children

I'm sorry, but whilst Paula Bennett should'nt have released the information, don't these women realise that people out there work 9-10 hour days and get paid less.

Our friend Burgess the struggling property investor last week,
our struggling DPB mums earning more than the average wage this week,
is there no, real struggling people that can be used as political pawns?

 
At 28/7/09 1:46 p.m., Blogger Jeff said...

Amelia

You realise the average median income in New Zealand is $537 a week (June 2008 - I imagine its gone down in the last year). Accordingly earning $620 you are in the top 50%. Sure its no easy ride but that is still substantive support by the state. If you limit it to people who are earning wages it is $729, so you are earning a fraction less than that.

I have no clue if there is a child support element, or if that gets kept by the state.

I believe in state supporting people, but at the same time people have to take some sort of self responsibility. The two women that complained to the media, one received more than the average wage for a working adult per week, + learning allowance + had received a $9000 grant to set up her own business which by the sounds of she just gave up 'for health reasons'. There is a limit to the extent the state is to support to people as someone has to pay for it.

Personally I am not for slashing the DPB, and am a supporter of asssisting people go to Uni, it makes practical sense. However we do have a problem with someone people who choose it for a life style. This isnt some right propoganda, its a fact. Its this group we need to gently shove in the direction of the workplace. Capping the child allowance or putting in a limit on how long some one can be on the benefit for are potential ideas, with clear nets needed to ensure people dont fall through the cracks who have done nothing wrong.

The thing is that now, in a recession, is not likely the greatest time to make these changes. They were during Labour's reign who did a) reduce unemployment to an all time low but didnt b) deal with the abuse of the sickness benefit and c) get those off who had been on the dole for their whole life.

 
At 28/7/09 2:09 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, we have three children and we don't get anything from IRD either... how do we get it??? Would almost cover childcare...

NS

 
At 28/7/09 2:40 p.m., Blogger Bomber said...

You realise the average median income in New Zealand is $537 a week (June 2008 - I imagine its gone down in the last year). Accordingly earning $620 you are in the top 50%. Sure its no easy ride but that is still substantive support by the state. If you limit it to people who are earning wages it is $729, so you are earning a fraction less than that.

I have no clue if there is a child support element, or if that gets kept by the state.

Good points Jeff but are the majority of solo mothers living in pretty impoverished economic conditions? Isn't that putting resources directly where tghey are needed?

I believe in state supporting people, but at the same time people have to take some sort of self responsibility. The two women that complained to the media, one received more than the average wage for a working adult per week, + learning allowance + had received a $9000 grant to set up her own business which by the sounds of she just gave up 'for health reasons'. There is a limit to the extent the state is to support to people as someone has to pay for it.
Okay, and there is some good points in that, but does the state of the right to put the eye of mordor upon someone? Shouldn't the media have done that digging? Isn't it deeply unsettling seeing that power at work for people who complain?

Personally I am not for slashing the DPB, and am a supporter of asssisting people go to Uni, it makes practical sense. However we do have a problem with someone people who choose it for a life style. This isnt some right propoganda, its a fact. Its this group we need to gently shove in the direction of the workplace. Capping the child allowance or putting in a limit on how long some one can be on the benefit for are potential ideas, with clear nets needed to ensure people dont fall through the cracks who have done nothing wrong.
And what happens when we go down that line? $10 hookers? If you just stopped paying or supporting where do they go? Wouldn't the result of that just be like an atomic bomb in those communities? You can't be serious?

The thing is that now, in a recession, is not likely the greatest time to make these changes.
You are justifying Disaster Capitalism, Pinochet used in, Suharto used it - right out of Milton Friedman's black book. Oh you're good Jeff, it's like you are purring while tea spooning out the poison to Amelia.

They were during Labour's reign who did a) reduce unemployment to an all time low but didnt b) deal with the abuse of the sickness benefit and c) get those off who had been on the dole for their whole life.
A little bit of credit balanced with some tsk, tsking. Nice touch.

 
At 28/7/09 8:55 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

While other New Zealanders may be inclined to blame educational underachievement on low income students like beneficiaries and solo mum's these reactions are ill informed and unhelpful.As Dr Pita Sharples points out many bright students from low income families are currently failing to gain entrance to auckland university in particular for reasons that have nothing to do with their intelligence or personal merits.

 
At 28/7/09 8:58 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if Ms Paula Bennett would now like to supply a total amount of all the benefits, supplements, and allowances she received in her solo parent days which enabled her to get to where she is today.
HEAR HEAR

AUSA

NZUSA

 

Post a Comment

<< Home