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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why Paula Bennett is a hypocrite over welfare reforms

Bennett rejects 'hypocrite' claims

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has defended herself against claims she is a hypocrite for stripping away the rights of beneficiaries that she herself had as a sole parent.

Paula Bennett is beyond hypocrisy, she is in some special league of sanctimonious audacity. This is a woman who at 19 while on the DPB bought her home in Taupo thanks to a $56 000 Housing Corporation loan, this is a woman who while on the DPB was able to get a Training Incentive Allowance, this is a woman who said that when she worked part time she “pretty much fell apart because I was exhausted. I went back on the DPB"..

Right, so she benefitted from the welfare state, BUT NOW has killed off each of the policies that helped her? She is the same woman who is now demanding solo parents go back to work when she admits that doing so personally exhausted her and she had to in her own words go back on the DPB?

The only reason why this disgusting hypocrisy is allowed to stand is because as a nation we love bashing the dirty filthy bennie so much. The right consider Bennett a poacher turned gamekeeper, our love affair with bashing the dirty filthy bennie is alongside other favorite shire volk cultural treasures like Rugby, alcoholism and domestic abuse.

As Gordon Campbell brilliantly points out (a post the racist Holmes justifying Bryce Edwards ridiculously writes off as making 'obvious points')

Bennett and Prime Minister John Key both cited the large numbers of people on benefits as a sign that the current welfare system isn’t working. In Key’s opinion, the current welfare system is “on a pathway, in my view, to not being economically sustainable”. Well, it doesn’t take a vast institutional memory to refute the “not economically sustainable” claim. Less than ten years ago, a booming economy had reduced beneficiary numbers to historical lows. Meaning: when the economy is even reasonably healthy, welfare is eminently affordable. When it isn’t, the jobs don’t exist to make welfare reform socially sustainable.

Reason being, welfare is not the root cause of the problem. Blaming the welfare system for the current existence of poverty is like seeing the incidence of Third World diseases in this country, and blaming it on the existence of hospitals. Similarly, the social safety net does not cause people to live in poverty and be out of work – it is an effect, not a cause. And the current state of the welfare rolls is precisely what you would expect to find when the jobs market is barely off its sick bed after the global recession.

The current (and temporary) existence of large numbers on welfare is what people pay their taxes for: for help in time of need, a need which can happen to anyone. Instead, the current dire economic situation is being used as a pretext to shrink the social safety net, for reasons that have little to do with social need, or the vagaries of the business cycle. It has more to do with an ideology: Social Darwinism, thinly disguised as compassionate conservatism.

...this isn't about reforming welfare, it's about punishing those who have been determined as costing rather than contributing and the solution is a bloody great big stick wielded by a hypocrite who has no credibility.

That the weakest members of society must suffer because of an economic meltdown they had no hand in causing while the Government borrow billions in tax cuts for the rich is an obscenity.

Hilariously Paula Bennett was 15 mins late for her NZ Herald Live Chat today, hastily arranged in an attempt to counter the claim of hypocrisy. If she was unemployed and late for an interview, she'd have her benefit cancelled! The irony is simply too delicious, lap it up folks.

Paula Bennett deserves all the contempt one can muster.



At 29/2/12 10:51 am, Blogger Richard said...

Sorry Bomber, all I could think of after the first sentence was Obama's campaign slogan; "The audacity of Hope". Now I see Paula Bennett and John Key's campaign slogan; "The Audacity of Sanctimoniousness" It's perfect. I meandered through the rest because I pretty much agree with it. ;-)

At 29/2/12 1:01 pm, Blogger Kevin Welsh said...

But, but... I thought she was a Westie?"

At 29/2/12 11:48 pm, Blogger Ovicula said...

What happened to the father?

At 2/3/12 8:19 am, Blogger jane said...

Immaculate conception, probably, and you can bet Snow White's love child isn't hanging out in some dive waiting for her winz payment card to renew, on no, no, no! mummy (and daddy) will most certainly have bought her the best career money can buy, most likely in the music industry.

At 3/3/12 10:07 am, Blogger Frank said...

The simplest "cure" for unemployment? 170,000 new jobs that Key & Co promised last year.

But that policy has failed miserably, so National defaults to Plan B: blame beneficiaries for being out of work.

Hey, it works in other countries throughout history to demonise a sector of society.

Didn't we do the same thing to Chinese immigrants a hundred or so years ago?

With each passing week, Bennett's hypocrisy worsens. She is becoming a figure of ridicule, as was Jenny Shiply...


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