Paula Bennett admitting benefit reform is scary is like your dentist assuring you that this is going to hurt
Bennett: Welfare reform is 'scary'
Social welfare minister Paula Bennett is trying to dampen fear about her welfare reforms, saying she knows it is "bloody scary" having a National government in charge of welfare reforms.
Paula Bennett proved she has all the bed side manner of a brain eating zombie this week by admitting that the crippling of the welfare state would in fact be 'scary' for beneficiaries.
Yes, after last months benefit numbers that showed 1000 were made ineligible and 2400 hadn't completed the purposely dense reapplication process, I imagine the looming form of the Princess of Yeah Nah to amputate more state assistance would put the shits up society's most vulnerable.
And there in lies the problem. We know from the last great pruning back of public services in the 1990's that our suicide rate tripled, we can't pretend to not know what the social collateral damage is because we've walked this path once before.
We are going to attempt to force back to work in a high unemployment environment 100 000 solo mothers, disabled and mentally unwell people by threatening them with their benefit. What impact is that kind of stress going to have on those who are already on the edge? Look at the spike in violence in Christchurch after the shock they've had, look at the spike in depression felt by everyone trying to get through the recession, hell Hubbard has people concerned about his welfare and he's cost us all $1.7billion dollars! How come the 11 000 children of beneficiaries directly targeted by these initial cutbacks receive nothing more than an admission by their Minister that the stick over carrot approach is going to be scary.
National's message to the most vulnerable is simple, close your eyes and think of Paula. How reassuring.