“Dopey is as dopey does”, according to Dear Leader
For a man who was raised in a state house; in a single-parent family; and who had all the benefits of a free tertiary education, John Key’s attitude towards those at the bottom of the socio-economic scale leaves a lot to be desired.
- John Key’s father died, leaving his mother a solo-mum, to raise children by herself,
- She would have received the DPB or widow’s benefit (and quite rightly so)
- She would most likely have been eligible for the Family Benefit, paid to families with children until Ruth Richardson scrapped it in her 1991 “Mother of all Budgets”
- John Key’s family enjoyed a state house, with low-rent and security of tenure
- And lastly, John Key was given a free, tax-payer funded University education (no student fees or debt)
When the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group (EAG) report was released, it’s recommendations included,
“ First, the group will call for a Warrant of Fitness for landlords. Given John Key has this weekend stressing the success of the Green-inspired home insulation scheme, but the disappointing uptake from landlords, it’s a timely bit of advice.
A WOF on rental homes would ensure poor kids don’t grow up in leaky, cold and unhealthy homes. Really, a safe, warm house should be a basic requirement if you’re going to charge rent. Who can argue with that?
Second, it’ll call for meals to be provided more widely in schools. Some, such as Deborah Morris-Travers from Every Child Counts says that’s a no-brainer. Children need food if they’re to learn and deal with the social demands of school. Some are less keen, however, arguing it takes the onus off parents and puts more pressure on teachers to feed as well as teach our children.
But another study shows this could just be the thin end of the school wedge. Every Child Counts’ Netherlands study this week talked about schools becoming a community hub, with not only meals but before and after school care, nurses, social workers and clubs.
It’s a bold prescription, but one that works overseas by helping working parents and keeping families connected to their schools.
Third, the EAG is expected to call for some form of long-term and universal state assistance for kids – maybe a Universal Child Benefit, or some money every week for every child born. Until 1991 we had such a thing – a Family Benefit. That went in the Bolger/Richardson years. “
These three options could put a serious dent into child poverty. A Universal Child Benefit – along the lines of the old Family Benefit – could add an extra $150 and extra food on the tables of low-income families.
John Key’s response? In Parliament, responding to a point made by Greens co-leader, Metiria Turei [error correction], he bellowed with great gusto,
“We are in an unequal society in New Zealand in her view because the rich are getting richer. And now she is on her feet telling me ‘give the rich families even more for their kids’. What a dopey idea that is.”
What a mean-spirited, shallow-thinking man we have as a leader of our nation.
without a doubt, John Key has a constituency of many other selfish, mean-spirited, short-sighted people in this country. There are a fair number of ill-educated and self-centered who think that the only solution to poverty is to do nothing, and let the poor struggle on. These people have no compassion.
That is the kind of shallow-thinking that will eventually doom a society to growing income-disparity; increasing gap between the Haves and Have Nots; and eventual social dislocation and violence.
Such people who think that the poor are poor because they deserve it are a far greater menace to the fabric of our social cohesion, than all the patched gang-members in our community.
For John Key to dismiss a proposed Universal Child Benefit as “dopey” shows us only one thing; he has forgotten his roots. He has forgotten where he came from. He has forgotten not just the sacrifices of his family – but the strong community support that he benefitted from, and gave him the opportunity to make himself rich.
John Key is where he is because other taxpayers contributed to his housing, education, healthcare, and well-being.
He did not do it by himself.
This blogger does not begrudge Dear Leader’s bulging bank account of $50 million.
What I find reprehensible is that he would deny other families the chance to access similar support to give their children a decent start in life.
Paula Bennett did the same with the Training Incentive Allowance. Bennett used the TIA to gain a free tertiary education for herself – and then cut the Allowance in 2009. Other solo-mothers can no longer use the same TIA to put themselves through University, and get of the DPB.
This blogger wonders at the like of John Key and Paula Bennett, and how they can deny others the same state-funded assistance that they themselves benefitted from.
What kind of human beings are these people?
How can they forget the assistance that they received when in need?
And what possible satisfaction do they get when they deny state assistance to their fellow New Zealanders? Especially the same assistance that Key and Bennett personally benefitted from?
The greatest poverty that a society can endure is not monetary. It is a paucity of leadership. It is a lack of hope. And it is a disconnect in social compassion.
When we allow cruelty over compassion, then we are in deep trouble.
It is said that when facing a problem, the three challenges are,
- Identify the problem,
- Come up with solutions,
- Have the Will to implement those solution.
We know the problem.
We have the solutions.
Our leaders are still looking for #3.
Previous related blogposts
= fs =
For a better New Zealand…
~ Cleaner rivers
~ No deep-sea oil drilling
~ Less on Roads - more on Rail
~ A Living wage at $19.25/hr
~ Marriage equality - Yay! Got that one!
~ Strong, effective Unions
~ No secret free-trade deals
~ Breakfast/lunches in our schools
~ Introducing Civics into our school curriculum
~ Cut back on the liquor industry
~ A fairer, progressive tax system
~ Fully funded, free healthcare
~ Ditto for education, including Tertiary
~ Fund Pharmac for Pompe's Disease medication & other 'orphan' drugs
~ No state asset sales!
~ Rebuild public TV broadcasting!
~ Keeping farms in local ownership
~ Reduce poverty, like we reduced the toll for road-fatalities
~ Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
~ Being nice to each other
- Awash with alcohol and lies in the Internet Age
- The slow dismantling of a Prime Minister continues
- So what is the rationale for private prisons?
- Letter to the editor – More useless reassurances from our Dear Leader
- Letter to the editor – More reassurances from our esteemed Dear Leader?
- Letter to the editor – If Serco was the answer, what was the question?
- National fiddles – while Cancer Kills
- Letter to the editor – John Key’s broken promises, a habit?
- On private prisons…
- Letter to the editor – John Key’s legacy?
- Letter to the editor – softening us up for another broken promise?
- National’s moving goalposts on climate change targets
- Another ‘Claytons’ Solution to our Housing Problem? When will NZers ever learn?
- One man’s “terrorist”, is another man’s freedom fighter…
- The Flag Referendum – A strategy for Calm Resistance
- The slow dismantling of a populist prime minister
- Treasury on Rail. Let’s play a little game, shall we?
- Why Labour should NEVER play the “race card”…
- 2015 – Ongoing jobless tally
- Letter to the editor – Contempt for Referenda? Now it’s our turn.
- WINZ, waste, and wonky numbers – *up-date*
- The Donghua Liu Affair: One Year On
- Letter to the editor – a Tale of Two Referenda
- From a story last year, predicting rocky-times for our “Rock Star” economy…
- An open letter to Pebbles Hooper…
- Poor people – let them eat cake; grow veges; not breed; and other parroted right wing cliches… (part rua)
- Hire a teenager, while they know everything
- Letter to the editor – a new angle in the flag debate
- Poor people – let them eat cake; grow veges; not breed; and other parroted right wing cliches…
- Letter to the Editor – Just how witless is our PM?!?!
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- 388,406 hits