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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Bennie Bashing Smokescreen

Want to avoid hard questions about punishing the most vulnerable in society by slashing their welfare for an economic global crises they had no hand in causing? Just find the 1% example that will enrage NZers so that the other 99% get no media air time whatsoever.


Hilarious, of course they will take the bait and here's the story...

Harris to get benefit axed after 26 years
Former gang leader Darryl Harris will lose the sickness benefit he has claimed for 26 years.

Social Development Ministry chief executive Peter Hughes said Mr Harris, who lives in Christchurch, had been told that his benefit would stop from January 10 because "he no longer meets standard eligibility requirements".

Mr Hughes was replying to an Official Information Act request.

The decision comes as the Government takes a harder line on benefit claims, including work-testing for sickness benefits from this May.

Mr Harris, who has three months to appeal against the decision, and his wife, Marcia Robins, made headlines a year ago when it was revealed they had been claiming unemployment and sickness benefits continually since 1984.

They had received $30,000 in special-needs grants since 2000, including payments for new tyres for their 2007 Chrysler saloon and to fence a swimming pool at one of their Christchurch properties.

Efforts to cancel Mr Harris's sickness benefit failed when he obtained a medical opinion from one of Work and Income's designated doctors that he was addicted to cannabis.

The agency had appealed against a medical opinion that Mr Harris was suffering "stress and anxiety" at being work-tested.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said yesterday that the Government believed those who could work should, "and if that is considered hardline, so be it".

...YAWN, of course this example isn't the fucking 'hardline', a white supremacist gang member claiming welfare is probably the greatest gift to Paula Bennett since Glasson's leopard print mega sale.

This Government have a policy of blaming welfare while ignoring poverty and inequality, it is predictable that the mainstream media would act as an unquestioning propaganda arm of that policy. Harris is an anomaly. Do some defraud Welfare? Yes, yes they do, Welfare fraud cost us $65million last year, but that figure pales into insignificance when you consider that Social Welfare themselves overpaid beneficiaries by almost half a billion dollars!

Using an example as extreme as Harris to justify policy cruelty aimed at society's most vulnerable is an easy way to avoid criticism, it is sad our mainstream media play along rather than challenge.


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