The Herald has a story that opens:
The pension minus essential living costs equals a deficit of $129 a week for Papatoetoe superannuitants John and Marian Laurie.
Then later on we see:
They spend $120 a week on food, $30 on petrol, $40 on other personal needs and $150 a week paying off their credit card, which is the only way they have been able to cover their deficit.
Now it is quite misleading to include paying off the credit card as part of essential living costs. And I note that without the $150 a week towards that, then there is a $20 a week surplus.
My comments are in no way a criticism of the couple, who seem very reasonable – more a criticism of the story.
The couple also qualify for an accommodation supplement and a disability allowance, which bring their total income from Work and Income up to $633.50 a week.
This is an annual income from the taxpayer of $33,000 a year. An economy our size is never going to be able to offer much more than that to a retired couple – especially as the population ages.Tags: NZ Herald, superannuation