Food Banks

February 17th, 2011 at 7:20 am by David Farrar

Claire Trevett in the Herald reports:

When Labour’s social development spokeswoman Annette King asked about Salvation Army reports of high demand for food parcels, Mr Key responded by saying it was true that the global recession meant more people were on benefits.

“But it is also true that anyone on a benefit actually has a lifestyle choice. If one budgets properly, one can pay one’s bills.

“And that is true because the bulk of New Zealanders on a benefit do actually pay for food, their rent and other things. Now some make poor choices and they don’t have money left.”

The PM is right that the majority of those on a benefit do not use foodbanks. Those who do use foodbanks probably fall into three categories:

  1. Those whose expenses regularly exceed their income – which probably does indicate a budget prioritisation issue
  2. Those who have a temporary one off high priority expense, such as medical bills (note special need grants are also available)
  3. Those who prefer free food to paying for food

I don’t know what proportion of foodbank goers fall into each category. But I am reminded of what happened when VUWSA set up both a fund (free cash) and a foodbank (free food) for students.

Year after year they would report that demand exceeded supply, and that this proved how more and more students were living in poverty, and hence why they needed to double the budget for said funds. And even after said doubling, the following year they would again run out of free money and free food. And again they would declare this proved how more and more students were living in poverty.

My theory was simpler. My theory was simply that students like free money and free food.

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156 Responses to “Food Banks”

  1. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    Have you ever noticed that poverty and food banks only seem to exist when National is in government?

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  2. nasska (10,674 comments) says:

    “My theory was simply that students like free money and free food”

    I wonder if the Salvationists have ever considered such a radical thought. My bad …….it has to be God’s will.

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  3. tvb (4,205 comments) says:

    Beneficiaries cannot afford to smoke and drink and pay for drugs. Yet many do. On bene day the pubs and takeaways are full. The police cells are full that night with drunks.

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  4. arekaywhy (3 comments) says:

    Have you ever noticed how many fat people are in the queue for free food…and smokers?

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  5. Inventory2 (10,100 comments) says:

    It would be interesting to take a survey at the queue at the Lotto shop on a Saturday. I see many people who I know are on benefits lining up for their tickets each week in the vain hope of their boat coming in. It never does; all that happens is that they waste their money.

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  6. Manolo (13,367 comments) says:

    I feel so sorry for the poor buggers, bludgers and parasites. I really do. :D

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  7. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    DPF I challenge you to go to a food bank and asl for food.

    Come back and tell us how it felt.

    Try a little practical over the theoretical and see how you conclusions differ.

    Take arekaywhy with you so we can get some actual observations rather something pulled out of its ass.

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  8. tankyman (120 comments) says:

    Murray – I understand what you are saying.

    Sadly the people being talked about here have no shame (indeed some take pride) in how much they can bludge.

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  9. YesWeDid (1,029 comments) says:

    I’m 100% with Murray on this.

    Well off blogger moaning about poor people not being able to budget…… sad.

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  10. tvb (4,205 comments) says:

    The criminal courts are full of beneficiaries with ALCOHOL related crime. How can they afford to get drunk. But they do. So they go to food banks to get food, they default on paying their fines, they steal. That is what we are dealing with, not the majority, but a significant and expensive minority.

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  11. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    Have you ever noticed that poverty and food banks only seem to exist when National is in government?

    Amen to that. In fact I could list quite a few things that mysteriously dissipated when Labour came into power last time. Remember all that moaning that the reduction in unemployment was “low quality jobs”?

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  12. Herman Poole (297 comments) says:

    YesWeDId,

    Infantilisation of poor people… sad.

    Inability to address clear economic incentives due to feigned empathy… sad.

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  13. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    I wonder if the Salvationists have ever considered such a radical thought. My bad …….it has to be God’s will.

    Unlike government benefits or student association food banks, no one is obligated to give to the Salvation Army. It also probably never occurred to you that the sallies actually have a lot more involvement with many of their clients than simply handing them food.

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  14. tankyman (120 comments) says:

    “it has to be God’s will”

    Its easy to find out – call up Bishop Brian and ask him.

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  15. AlphaKiwi (686 comments) says:

    I know America has food stamps and other countries have a Basics card, where welfare recipients receive the card in lieu of cash. Only essential items can be bought with the cash value on the card.

    Is there a reason why it’s never been done in NZ?

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  16. dime (9,430 comments) says:

    Murray – a lot of these people dont have any pride. they see no shame in going to winz and asking for extra money to buy whatever.. food bank is one step down.

    its a slippery slope.

    hell i would feel like the scum of the earth applying for something like working for families.. bet plenty that read this blog have though.

    its all relative :)

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  17. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    AlphaKiwi (238) Says:

    February 17th, 2011 at 9:09 am
    I know America has food stamps and other countries have a Basics card, where welfare recipients receive the card in lieu of cash. Only essential items can be bought with the cash value on the card.

    Is there a reason why it’s never been done in NZ?

    Yes. its called dignity.

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  18. Fisiani (953 comments) says:

    Honest John is telling it like it is.
    If you make good choices you will be fine. If you make bad choices you will have problems.
    The left want to compensate people for bad choices.
    The right want to encourage people to make good choices.
    The Left take money from the people who make good choices and give it to the the people who make bad choices.
    The people who make bad choices are told to vote for the left to get more money from the people who make good choices.

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  19. big bruv (13,292 comments) says:

    Fuck dignity Jack, the parasites should never be given cash.

    Vouchers are the way to go.

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  20. kowtow (7,625 comments) says:

    TV3′s resident utopian,Campbell went out of his way last night to refute the bene bashers talking about the fatties and smokers in the queue.

    The socialists defend the shameless bludgers qing up for handouts in the west, whereas in “socialist” countries these fat bludgers would hve been forced to work. These people made a decision not to study at school, that’s why they’re there. It’s about decisions right through life.

    Food stamps……. there’s a thriving trade in those too. Again ,decisions, they decide to trade them for drugs,tobacco and alcohol.

    tvb. What the news and court pages don’t report is the huge part that CANNABIS plays too. Alcohol gets the blame cos it’s obvious. How many of these people are on a cocktail? This country is awash and neck deep in that shit and that’s another reason we’re going down the sewer and these peoplle are pulling us down like drowning man ,a dead weight that can’t be helped and we just keep spending more and more. Hopeless.

    We need the old values of hard work,self help and pride. All blown away in a storm of “equality” and “human rights”.

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  21. big bruv (13,292 comments) says:

    Fisiani

    That is the best statement Key has made for some time now.

    Sometimes he does show glimpses of being a true National leader.

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  22. AlphaKiwi (686 comments) says:

    @ MNIJ

    Dignity? Dignity gets zapped when you’re on the benefit in the first place, not because of a card.

    There’s no difference in the amount of dignity between spending taxpayers money through cash or on basic cards. The only difference is that the money isn’t able to be spent on fast food, booze, cannabis and smokes, which too much benefit money is.

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  23. Nick R (497 comments) says:

    What a magnificent application of logic! What insight! So – let’s take this to its obvious conclusion. We can abolish poverty by closing the food banks and stopping all benefits. That will do it. While we are on it, we can close all the hospitals, so nobody will be ill any more, and close all the prisons and disestablish the police so there will be no more crime.

    Another brilliant “Let them eat cake” moment from the Government.

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  24. gravedodger (1,515 comments) says:

    “My theory was simpler. My theory was simply that students that students like free money and free food”.
    Many of the dopey little cretins then move on to a life in the great socialist network and come to believe that all “free” things in life are just that and the basic economic fact that they were all just paid for by someone else under the compulsion of the law totally escapes them.
    Perhaps if they had to PAY for their education that simple basic fact might just sneak into their intellectual black hole.

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  25. jims_whare (398 comments) says:

    A few years ago as a cop I dealt with a loser in Levin who had driven up to Palmy to get a free food parcel of a weeks worth of groceries.
    After picking them up on his way out he steals a plastic pot plant that was on their counter.

    The food bank knew who he was and didn’t want him charged just wanted their plant back.

    After some argy bargy with the moron he threw the pot plant outside on the lawn and it was returned to the food bank.

    I mean what dumb asswipe does that to a foodbank? People like him need to be put in stocks for a few days and publicly humiliated cant see any other way to get the message through

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  26. Fishfurta (15 comments) says:

    Yep if I had a spare $50 Mill I would tell the poor buggers using food banks they are stupid and are miss-managing their benefits too. Let them eat “grass” ! Or smoke it even ?

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  27. YesWeDid (1,029 comments) says:

    ‘The right want to encourage people to make good choices.’

    Nope, the right just want to demonize a certain section of society and blame them for all the problems.

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  28. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    AlphaKiwi (239) Says:

    February 17th, 2011 at 9:35 am
    @ MNIJ

    Dignity? Dignity gets zapped when you’re on the benefit in the first place, not because of a card.

    There’s no difference in the amount of dignity between spending taxpayers money through cash or on basic cards. The only difference is that the money isn’t able to be spent on fast food, booze, cannabis and smokes, which too much benefit money is.

    Yes, dignity gets zapped when unemployed, but you want to ensure every last shred of it is removed. You want people to be embarrassed whenever they buy their groceries.

    fast food, booze, cannabis and smokes, which too much benefit money is.

    bet you can’t back this up with evidence.

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  29. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    i dare not react to what farrar wrote..

    it wd be a long piece…

    and wd get me a life-ban…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  30. AlphaKiwi (686 comments) says:

    @MNIJ

    Guilt, embarrassment, and fear can have positive effects on motivating people to change their own behaviour for the better sometimes. Humans can be motivated by both push and pull factors.

    When I lived in Invercargill in the 90′s I knew plenty of unemployed people. The majority of the ones I knew smoked. I haven’t done any empirical studies if that’s what you’re implying I need to to do to have proof.

    The idea “too much” is subjective, but I can’t bring myself to say not enough benefit money is being spent on fast food, booze, cannabis and smokes either.

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  31. Grendel (951 comments) says:

    the closest thing Yesweidiot has ever said to being right. except its not about blame for your problems, its about accepting responsibility.

    You are responsible for all your choices and the situation you are in, as am i. You always have a choice with how to deal with adversity as do i.

    You have the right to ask for help if things get tough, but no right to demand what is someone elses is taken from them.

    There is no problem in taking charity, but you have no right to expect it and are expected to make the right choices to reduce your need for it as soon as possible.

    Its pretty simple, live your life and don;t expect others to fund it through force.

    The genuinely needy out there need twice as much as they are getting now, but becuase of the people Yesweidiot champions there is not enough money to go around. because we waste money supporting those who are capable of supporting themselves but choose to waste the money they demand from us on drink, ciggarettes, cars they cannot afford, and more, there is not enough money to help the physically and mentally disabled, those genuinely in need.

    welfare bludgers and i include those who go to foodbanks when they spend their food money on booze etc (whether on welfare or not) are thieves, nothing more and deserve nothing more than our contempt, not our money.

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  32. big bruv (13,292 comments) says:

    phool

    Nobody gives a shit if you react.

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  33. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    save to say through bleeding tongue..

    ..that of course this is part of the beneficiary-bashing meme from national that farrar is a mouth-piece for..

    ..that they are fine-tuning for the election-campaign..and what will run ’till then..

    the tactic is standard/classic divide and rule…

    ..this ‘lifestyle-choice’ (they aren’t really hungry..they are just greedy.)..stigmatising of the unemployed/sole-parents isn’t aimed at the rich..

    (oh..!..they will nod along in agreement…)

    ..but this meme is aimed at the low-paid/middle-class…

    …and is designed to make them resentful of those targeted groups…

    ..and make them forget that it is the rich who are fucking them over….

    ..not the poor…

    ..and this is a continuation of farrars’ yellow-journalism arc…

    ..stretching through from ‘tania heke’…the fake-beneficiary…

    …anyone remember her…?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  34. jinpy (237 comments) says:

    jims_whare,

    Strange when I read that story I had empathy for the guy throwing the pot plant, what an awful place to be in life where you are in such difficulties and frustration, perhaps he had mental health issues? Whereas you think he should be put in stocks. I bet you don’t believe in reincarnation.

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  35. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    politics in this country..is getting fucken disgusting…

    a multi-millionaire prime minister preaches on the ‘lifestyle-choices’ of the poorest..

    excuse me while i projectile-vomit…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  36. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    The welfare system needs a radical change. Each beneficiary needs to have a sensible budget drawn up for them, and should then be provided with a benefit that covers that budget. Their ‘entitlements’ should be everything they need to provide the essentials (which excludes alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs) for themselves and their family. If it means they get $1000/week then so be it. But for it to actually be successful then most of their benefit needs to be paid in vouchers, not cash.
    Benefits should be determined by needs, not ‘entitlements’.
    As for ‘dignity’ – you get as much of that as you need. You’ll get housed, clothed and fed, and you won’t need to beg on the street unless you need money for alcohol, tobacco or drugs. Then you choose between dignity and vice.

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  37. YesWeDid (1,029 comments) says:

    @Grendel – Certainly there are plenty of people who are poor that largely have themselves to blame and there are people on benefits who make poor decisions decisions on what to spend money on. I am not ‘championing’ these people (and never have done).

    But what I don’t understand is why people on the right feel so threaten by this small section of society that they take every opportunity to bash them. At times this blog feels like a certain scene from ‘A Clockwork Orange’.

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  38. AlphaKiwi (686 comments) says:

    @ RightNow

    Very well put. :)

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  39. decanker (222 comments) says:

    Fisiani: “The people who make bad choices are told to vote for the left to get more money from the people who make good choices.”

    So how does that work with the bankers and failed finance companies? Didn’t realise they were all lefties.

    I’ve made mostly good choices in life, and some bad, doesn’t mean I expect finance company execs who made grossly shitty choices to put their hands out for more public money, or for the banks to avoid paying taxes due.

    What was the stat? Aus/NZ banks illegally avoided $2200m in tax last year and beneficiaries scammed $16m in unwarranted benefits. The amount of beneficiary bashing going on is grossly disproportionate to the amount of bank bashing.

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  40. jinpy (237 comments) says:

    RightNow,

    Perhaps they could be institutionalised, maybe we could call it a poor-house?

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  41. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    Thanks AlphaKiwi.

    Another thing that would help is real budgeting education in schools, say from the age of 13 and up. Have lessons that show take home pay for 1)the unemployment benefit, 2)the minimum wage, 3) the average wage. Then show average living costs.
    Then show how smoking a pack a day will cost $84/week (now).

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  42. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    jinpy – certainly a great deal of them should be institutionalised. I think it’s a mistake having so many people in the community with mental health issues when even a half-way house would make their lives much more manageable.
    There should also be a lot more work for the dole programs, even if it is clearing gorse.

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  43. Inventory2 (10,100 comments) says:

    Phillip Ure said

    i dare not react to what farrar wrote..

    it wd be a long piece…

    and wd get me a life-ban…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    For the first, and possibly only time I say this Phil; “write away”; I’d like to hear how you justify the purchase of cannabis whilst on a DPB.

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  44. big bruv (13,292 comments) says:

    Phool

    “a multi-millionaire prime minister preaches on the ‘lifestyle-choices’ of the poorest..”

    In your case, and, in the case of many long term bludgers the PM has it dead right.

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  45. AlphaKiwi (686 comments) says:

    @ RightNow

    I think Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki would be an excellent book for required reading by all high school kids. There’s also another older book which is now free to grab as it’s public domain called “The Richest Man in Babylon”. Both books are great at teaching the very basics of financial literacy.

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  46. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    and y’know..!

    i reckon key stepped over a line with that ‘lifestyle-choice’ sneer..

    i reckon there will be many out there/conservatives sympathetic to him who will be disgusted…

    …at such an un-caring comment…targeting the poorest/worst-off

    (let’s not forget one child in five lives in poverty…and the rise of formerly banished diseases-of-poverty…)

    …from the prime minister…

    ..it is obvious he just dosen’t care..eh..?

    and the clearest message we can take from this/him…

    ..is that nothing will be done about/for those one-in-five children…

    (was that their ‘birth-choice’..?…mr key..?..when exactly does the ‘lifestyle-choice’ kick in..?..at what age does that happen..?..)

    ..nothing for them..nor that rise of poverty-diseases…

    ..while he/national are in power…

    the choice for the voters couldn’t be more stark/clear…

    with the big question being..will key/bennett/farrar be able to whip up enough hatred/resentment..

    ..between now and the election..

    ..will their stigmatising/marginalising of the poorest/worst-off..work..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  47. Inventory2 (10,100 comments) says:

    @ Phil – said multi-millionaire Prime Minsiter gives the bulk of his salary to charity, without fanfare. Funny that you don’t mention that.

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  48. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    oh..!..cry me a fucken river..!..eh inv..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  49. mattyroo (975 comments) says:

    Anybody know where this “Alternative Welfare Working Group”, that the pock faced Bradford is on, gets it’s funding from?

    I’ve long believed that beneficiaries should have something like 80% of their benefit paid to a card that can only be used to buy essentials, in NZ, with the remaining 20% or so paid into a bank account.

    This would also help identify, who is not living in NZ, who is not utilising their benefit fully (if at all) and correctly, and then those benefits can very easily be withdrawn.

    Something like this would have certainly slowed the Mr. Freedom down on his worldly travels, that we read about the other day, with simmering blood.

    Finally, it would make the likes of Bradford scream until she went insane, which of course, would be the icing on the cake.

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  50. mattyroo (975 comments) says:

    Actually on second thoughts, Bradford is already a fuckin nutcase, hopefully she would just blow-up in a puff of smoke then, when my policy was implemented.

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  51. big bruv (13,292 comments) says:

    Phool

    “i reckon key stepped over a line with that ‘lifestyle-choice’ sneer..”

    So do I Phool, Key may well have stepped over the line that shows he is on the way to being a real National party leader.

    Starting to feel a bit uneasy are you Phool?

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  52. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    so..inv..are you arguing that despite his (gleefull/vengefull) boot on the throat of the poor…

    ..that he is a benevolent-despot..?

    ..really grasping for straws there….aren’t you…?

    and is the fact that both he and bennett are apostates..

    ..help explain their hatred of their origins..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  53. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    RightNow (2,208) Says:

    February 17th, 2011 at 10:29 am
    There should also be a lot more work for the dole programs, even if it is clearing gorse.

    Why?

    if there is work to be done, then employ people to do it. Don’t expect a free ride.

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  54. Manolo (13,367 comments) says:

    For the first, and possibly only time I say this Phil; “write away”; I’d like to hear how you justify the purchase of cannabis whilst on a DPB.

    Yes, we all want to know. :-)

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  55. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    There are few less pleasant sights than the comfortably off sticking it to the poor.

    No-one should have the right to comment till they have lived on a benefit for at least six months. When they have had to dothe juggling beneficiaries are faced with as they try to pay rent, food, power, petrol, car maintenance, WOF, insurance and fight off the final demands, persuade the power or phone company to give them just one more week to pay….Please?

    Benefit levels were never restored to the rates paid before Ruth Richardson took her axe to them. If you budget very carefully and the wind is in the right direction you might make it most weeks. But then the fridge packs up, the washing machine breaks down and there is simply no money left.

    Livi9ng on a banafit is NOT a lifestyle choice. Who would want to live in poverty?

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  56. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Inventory2 (5,795) Says:

    February 17th, 2011 at 10:43 am
    @ Phil – said multi-millionaire Prime Minsiter gives the bulk of his salary to charity, without fanfare. Funny that you don’t mention that.

    Doesn’t change the fact that he gets those $$ from the taxpayer. Nor does it change the fact that entitles him to a big tax deduction against his other income. I assume he does report all his income to IRD.

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  57. LiberalismIsASin (288 comments) says:

    Ok, lets be clear plenty of people on the benefit make poor choices for sure. But not all. As with your other post about the beneficiaries ripping off the system a minority is getting used to beat the majority. Everyone seems to accept there are not enough jobs for full employment. And to be honest, who needs to be on a benefit to use the foodbanks? We got the working poor in this country where work is only psychologically better than being on a benefit, not financially. I am reminded how Christ said “You shall always have the poor”…

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  58. Manolo (13,367 comments) says:

    Living on a banafit (sic) is NOT a lifestyle choice. Who would want to live in poverty?

    Comrade Maggie, you should rephrase your question: Who would like to work and study hard in order to obtain the necessary skills and avoid living in poverty?

    Life is not a bed of roses. Even less for the lazy and indolent.

    You make your choices in life and pay for the consequences of your own decisions.

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  59. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    fwiw..i don’t/can’t afford to buy dope…

    friends help me out..and i am parsimonious in my use…

    ..not that it is any of yr fucken business..eh..?

    enough with the ad hominen/diversion…eh..?

    back to the topic..eh..?

    (and the debate will not now veer off into yet another examination of the minuitae of my life..subject-closed..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  60. Hagues (711 comments) says:

    MNIJ “if there is work to be done, then employ people to do it. Don’t expect a free ride.”

    If there is work to be done, then people recieving money from tax payers can help out in return for getting a hand out, Don’t expect a free ride.”

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  61. jinpy (237 comments) says:

    RightNow,

    Excellent, well its a tried-and-tested method the poor house — any thoughts why it didn’t work then and why it will now?

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  62. OliverI (125 comments) says:

    The article went on to say “An Auckland beneficiary leader last night challenged Mr Key to live for a month on the single adult dole of $194 a week” hmmm well that is more than what most students live off…

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  63. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    MNIJ,

    “if there is work to be done, then employ people to do it. Don’t expect a free ride.”

    Exactly – no free ride. Which is why providing labour services in return for the dole is not an unreasonable position.

    “Doesn’t change the fact that he gets those $$ from the taxpayer.”

    So what are you suggesting there Jack? That all beneficiaries (who also receive all of their $ from the taxpayer) should be donating the majority of their $ to charity as Key does?

    You seem a muddle of confusion on this topic

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  64. big bruv (13,292 comments) says:

    “..not that it is any of yr fucken business..eh..?”

    Oh but it is our business Phool.

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  65. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    In Manolo’s strange world people choose to be unemployed, sick or an invalid. The mind boggles.

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  66. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    many of those sole-parents being targeted/stigmatised…aren’t even ‘sinners’/unmarried…

    large numbers of them are there because of marriage break-ups…

    …and them being left to raise the children of that marriage…

    (was that yet another ‘lifestyle-choice’..on their part..d’yareckon…?)

    ..and most are women…

    (and why aren’t conservative-women up in arms about how their fellow sisters/mothers ..and their children..

    …are suffering/being attacked..

    ..for being in a position that they could well find themselves…?

    or is being conservative/national….

    ..just also automatically mean..

    …that they also…just do not care….?

    and they must believe..those gleeful/hectoring well-off….

    …that no such misfortune/marriage break-up/traffic-accident/w.h.y…

    ..will ever befalll them..

    ..eh..?

    truly..they are fools as well…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  67. emmess (1,369 comments) says:

    If somebody gathered up a bunch of prostitutes and started a free sex charity
    Would only those that couldn’t get laid turn up?

    Of course not

    And if that hypocrite Bradford doesn’t agree, why has she been bitching about The Rock’s ‘Win a Wife’ competition?

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  68. kowtow (7,625 comments) says:

    Note well Maggies comment at 1056. That’s the left for you.

    …..No one should have the right to comment unless….

    Oh dear, welcome to the start of the pogrom.

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  69. Viking2 (11,129 comments) says:

    After 2.5 years Nationals leadership has given up on the aspirational society and the growth tragedy that they loudly proclaimed and have reverted to true form as I predicted they would. Their constant kowtowing to the racists, and the ignoring of advice from the only Finance Minister to ever make a difference to NZ will never make a positive difference to NZ and the signs are that they are failing in most things, their efforts to make NZer’s healthy, wealthy and wise are going backwards not forwards and its all the beneficiaries fault.
    That’s not leadership.
    That’s a failure of leadership and reading so much of the posting here one can see why. Too many of you beleive its someone else’s fault rather than the failure of leadership that it really is.

    If the CEO of a company behaved this way the company would fail. That’s what happening to NZ.
    Continual appeasing of socialist groups and racists groups is the ultimate fail
    They have no clear principles on which they operate and apply to legislation.
    The refuse to send the noise makers and anti humans packing.
    They refuse to address the fundamental issues of parental responsibility by allowing good citizens to determine their own futures.
    They refuse to allow young people to move into the work place by discriminating against them.

    They refuse to consider the real weight of public opinion re the foreshore legislation.

    In fact they are every bit as bad as Hulun and Cullun.

    Why would anyone vote for them?

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  70. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    In Manolo’s strange world people choose to be unemployed, sick or an invalid.

    Yep. And that strange world is called NZ.

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  71. RichardX (321 comments) says:

    MNIJ – “Nor does it change the fact that entitles him to a big tax deduction against his other income” – Bollocks.

    IRD states

    “Individuals’ tax credit
    Section LD 1 provides that a person who makes a charitable or other public benefit gift in a tax year and who meets the requirements of section 41A of the Tax Administration Act 1994 is entitled to a tax credit equal to the amount calculated using the following formula:

    Total gifts x 33 1/3%

    “Total gifts” means the total amount of all charitable or other public benefit gifts made by the person in the tax year.

    So for his entire Prime Ministerial salary going to charity, he gets a refund of less than the tax he has already paid on his salary

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  72. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    @AlphaKiwi 10.35am – spot on with those books. The Richest Man in Babylon should be required reading in schools, around 4th form/5th form level. I started applying the principles in it about 12 years ago and my only regret is I didn’t start doing so 12 years sooner.

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  73. Manolo (13,367 comments) says:

    In Manolo’s strange world people choose to be unemployed, sick or an invalid.

    Wrong again, comrade Maggie.

    I propose a radical welfare reform where assistance is given to those in real need, the elderly, and the infirm.

    Fully-capable people of working age should be encouraged to actively seek paid employment, and dole benefits terminated after a given period. Breeding at taxpayer’s expense should not be allowed and the DPB terminated after your second child is born.

    Those measures will sort out the parasites and bludgers that infest society today.

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  74. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    jinpy 11.04am – sorry but you’re on your own with the whole ‘poor-house’ thing. I haven’t advocated it, play amongst yourself.

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  75. Inventory2 (10,100 comments) says:

    @ LIAS – I agree that not all beneficiaries are bludgers. Unfortunately though, there is a hard core of benefit abusers (the Harris family in Christchurch comes to mind), and they spoil it for those who are in genuine need. The real dilemma is this IMHO; where do you draw the line?

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  76. Viking2 (11,129 comments) says:

    # Manolo (3,303) Says:
    February 17th, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Living on a banafit (sic) is NOT a lifestyle choice. Who would want to live in poverty?

    Comrade Maggie, you should rephrase your question: Who would like to work and study hard in order to obtain the necessary skills and avoid living in poverty?

    Life is not a bed of roses. Even less for the lazy and indolent.

    You make your choices in life and pay for the consequences of your own decisions.

    Unforunately Manalo you don’t always get to make the choices that you want. you will undoubtably learn that as you grow older. Many times the choices are made for you by others e.g. employment. You are in your job at the mercy of your company. If you got sent packing their is no garantee that you will find something else.
    Many people simply do not have the mental where withall to take in a high education but are still very competent people at other things.
    Attacking beneficiries is not the way to solve the problem. Mostly they can’t or wont defend themselves so while it might make you feel good to vent your spleen you actually haven’t created any worthwhile jobs that will make them and you wealthy. And that’s where the failure is. Shouting at your computer screen has no effect.

    That’s not to say we shouldn’t clean up the system where beneficaries are out of control or are rorting the system.

    We need a change of leadership that recognises that unless we change the system and change the way we view people as people as customers of each other rather than as punters looking to be manipulated by the latest ideology of some political group.

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  77. Viking2 (11,129 comments) says:

    Comrade Maggie, you should rephrase your question: Who would like to work and study hard in order to obtain the necessary skills and avoid living in poverty?

    Thosands ofpeople have in many countries of the world. They remain unemployed.
    Education is notthebe all and end all of earning an income.

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  78. BeaB (2,058 comments) says:

    If the Kiwi poor are fat unlike poor people elsewhere in the world who tend to be very thin they must be consuming lots of calories which equal lots of energy so why not get off their butts?
    You can watch these families coming through our schools, their hands out all the way, always on the bludge, stealing from the school secondhand uniform shop and anything else that isn’t nailed down, lazy and badly behaved in class, early leavers, no quals, unemployment, early pregnancies, drugs, fags, booze etc etc.
    Compare that with the solo dad on the DPB with four sports-mad daughters who paid a small automatic payment from his benefit to help with sports trips, uniforms, stationery, school fees etc etc. Probably by the time the last girl left he and the school would just about have broken even. And he brought those girls up with a strong work ethic too and they are all now good citizens working for their whanau and iwi.
    I guess the poor and useless will always be with us but they should never be allowed to be better off on a benefit than people who are prepared to work a full week for a low wage. And money that should be for their kids should be paid in vouchers for school shoes, food etc so their breakfast isn’t only a bottle of coke and a packet of chips.
    Don’t make me laugh aout dignity. What dignity is there in a family where the only one who gets up in the morning is the kid struggling to get to school on time.

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  79. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    MyNameIsJack 10:54 am “Why… if there is work to be done, then employ people to do it. Don’t expect a free ride.”

    Simple MNIJ – There ISN’T work to be done. There’s no realistic prospect of there ever again being enough manual/low-skilled jobs in NZ to attain optimum levels of employment. Manufacturing moves to where labour is cheap, there’s nothing comparable to replace it with. It is what it is, and nothing short of a miracle (e.g. the unionisation of labour in China, India and Mexico with a resulting minimum wage in those countries comparable to ours) will bring it back.

    So we’re going to have increasing numbers of unemployed, no matter who is in government. But it’s better to have people occupy their time (idle hands being the tools of the devil etc) so I suggest environmental clean up is the best outcome we can get from the vast pool of potential labour which we fund through benefits. Might be good for improving our ‘clean green’ image too.

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  80. jinpy (237 comments) says:

    “sorry but you’re on your own with the whole ‘poor-house’ thing. I haven’t advocated it, play amongst yourself.”

    RN, I often do at this site ;) I fear its the burden of viewing the world as a multilayered and interrelated complex.

    To be fair your specific recommendations weren’t altogether advocating the poor house, I was just trying to point out that much of the debate in here, the attitudes around poverty etc., has been done before.

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  81. dime (9,430 comments) says:

    In maggies world. All those on a benefit are genuine and are victims!!

    and yet, i knew 100+ bludgers growing up in west auckland.. hmmmm

    they had no issue with lying to winz for extra benefits etc no pride. so fuck em

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  82. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..If the Kiwi poor are fat unlike poor people elsewhere in the world who tend to be very thin ..”

    untue..it is also a mark of poverty in most developed countries…

    the fat rich are that way from personal-greed/over-indulgance…too much ‘rich’ food/drink…

    ..the fat poor are there because the crappiest/most unhealthy/fattening food/drink is the cheapest…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  83. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    jinpy – IMO I was advocating the opposite of the poor house. The salient point was: pay people what they need to house, clothe, feed, educate themselves and maintain their health. But do it case by case, with a budget plan, and do it in such a way that their benefit payments can’t be subverted to pay for alcohol, tobacco etc.

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  84. Grendel (951 comments) says:

    I hate this whole “challenge x person to live on the dole for a week” crap.

    the point is the PM does not need to live on the dole, he worked his arse off to get where he is.

    If the challenge was reversed, challenge the unemployed person to work the 60 hour weeks that currency traders do, and wake up for an hour every morning around 2-3am to check New Yorks market (i know someone who did this for 10+ years) and see if they can hack it.

    Maggie, lots of people juggle tight budgets and have to make sacrifices. but they do it with their money that they earn through hard work. they don’t have their hand out for our money and then whinge its not enough.

    I am happy to have the dole – the determined person who uses it as a stop gap while they are working full time to find a job needs it. its not their becuase you don;t want to work.

    I am happy to have the DPB – women who have been dumped with the kids after a relationship breakup need some space to get themselves together, get some qualifications (most women who solely look after kids find their skills errode compared to the market) so they can start to support themselves. its not their to pay people to breed time and again kids that they don;t care about just to avoid a job.

    I am more than happy with the invalids benefit for those unfortunates who are not able to work at all. they need our care and support. but a sore head, a shitty childhood, or not liking crowds does not make you an invalid. i would prefer you to have taken out income cover etc to cover yourself, but appreciate that not everyone knows this, and that some people are invalided before they are working.

    I am more than happy to support those who are mentally not able to look after themselves – or their families if they are to be caregivers. however from what i saw at a karate camp over teh weekend, at least for teh two downsyndrome boys, they have no lack of desire to do it themselves. bringing back sheltered workshops would be a good idea.

    I have met very few people who do not beleive that Welfare is a social good for those genuinely in need. what we all object to is paying people who through their choices, or refusal to make a choice expect our money so they can avoid work.

    What disapoints me with most of the left is the expectation that we pay people who feel work is ‘not for them’ (and this is an actual quote from someone i met).

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  85. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Gee, there’s nothing like a chance to put the boot into the poor to bring out the best in people. Out from under their rocks they come, stuffed full of self righteous cliches about bludgers and the useless.

    Fascist Manolo suggests term limits, good to see he has been thinking and come up with an original idea. He might like to do some research and look at how term limits have worked in the USA.

    Among the delightful outcomes were an increase in ex-beneficiaries taking up prostitution and drug peddling to make ends meet. Then there was the wonderful experience of the bludger who managed to find a menial job when her welfare was cut. Being a good capitalist, her boss wouldn’t let her bring her baby into the factory. She couldn’t afford chaldcare, so left the infant in the car where he suffered heatstroke and died.

    You are all heart, Fascist Manolo. You know where your heart is, just under your wallet.

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  86. somewhatthoughtful (452 comments) says:

    AlphaKiwi, the fact that you just recommended Kiyosaki’s well-rebuked work of fiction shows just how out of touch and intellectually shallow the NZ right really are. Is that seriously the best you could do? There are so many other titles I could think of that would’ve made your point more effectively.

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  87. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Thank you Viking for highlighting a typo. Unlike your good self, I’m not perfect.

    And the world loves a smart arse with nothing better to do.

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  88. big bruv (13,292 comments) says:

    Maggie

    I note that in typical left wing/union scum fashion you have not bothered with the truth.

    “Gee, there’s nothing like a chance to put the boot into the poor”

    Nobody is putting the boot into the poor, what people are putting the boot into are the parasites, the ones who blow all their money on booze, drugs and fags.

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  89. jinpy (237 comments) says:

    RightNow,

    I don’t disagree that sounds like a sensible plan and teaching of such skills and advocating personal responsibility is crucial. I guess its the way that we do it, and why we are not doing it, or why we are not doing it effectively, that I am interested in.

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  90. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Grendel (220) Says:

    February 17th, 2011 at 12:02 pm
    the point is the PM does not need to live on the dole, he worked his arse off to get where he is.

    Nope, he made some succesful bets.

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  91. kowtow (7,625 comments) says:

    Maggie

    Prostitions’ a proper job. Tim Barnet and his Labour mates said so .

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  92. Manolo (13,367 comments) says:

    Gee, there’s nothing like a chance to put the boot into the poor

    Comrade Maggie, you do appear to be thick and keep going back to cliches, don’t you?

    I am not that putting the boot into the poor, only into the indolent and lazy people who have chosen a lifestyle of idleness and prefer to rely on the taxpayer to fund their existence.

    There are many worthy recipients of welfare benefits: those who are weak and elderly, ill, or simply down in life for unforeseen circumstances. They need to be supported, but never the ones who are dodging work or bringing children to the world without considering the consequences.

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  93. Michael (896 comments) says:

    The Sallies have an excellent foodbank system. If you ask for help, they give you food and help to budget, make sure you are getting all your entitlements and offer drug/alcohol programmes and work ready training. The Sallies are a properly motivated organisation who want to move people from welfare to self sufficiency.

    WINZ, on the other hand are supposed to this too. But for some reason, they aren’t as sucessful as the Sallies by a long way. So you have to wonder if it is time that we gave the multi-billion Government welfare/benefit/work programme over to the Sallies and others in the same space to do the job properly.

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  94. Viking2 (11,129 comments) says:

    # Maggie (305) Says:
    February 17th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Thank you Viking for highlighting a typo. Unlike your good self, I’m not perfect.

    And the world loves a smart arse with nothing better to do.

    Well the typo was not the point and not even a consideration. I copied the post as it was and don’t edit that stuff.
    More important was what I had to say.

    FYI I work 10 hour days despite being the owner of a Govt. Gold Card.
    I employ people and have for the best part of 40 years.
    I have spent plenty of time doing charity work and helping others.
    I have been unemployed in the 90′s when unemployment hit 11% where Ilive.

    But I don’t whinge and moan like you do.

    I dislike to current bash a beneificary as much as you but I will tell you that having spent years dealing with the bad attitudes of Union Officials towards their members and the companies that provided their employees with money I think I know what works.
    Yours is a lost cause. Over taken by knowledge and world events.

    The only issue is whether you are able to rationalise that in your own mind and stop being angry at those that you perceive are the enemies of your political beleifs.

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  95. dave (985 comments) says:

    Each beneficiary needs to have a sensible budget drawn up for them, and should then be provided with a benefit that covers that budget.

    WINZ often draw up sensible budgets for beneficiaries – but they don’t provide a benefit that covers that budget. Instead, they provide them with food grants that John Key says are for people who can’t budget and make poor choices. They also provide advances for power, which puts beneficiaries into debt. What WINZ does not tell homeowners – either beneficiaries or low income famiies – is that if they have done essential maintenance on their house, such as plumbing etc, that they can claim it back off WINZ, reducing their debt or avoiding it in the first place.

    Most who go to foodbanks do so because their WINZ food grant allotment has already been used up. And that includes families who earn about 33k as well, who are also entitled to food grants.

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  96. Inventory2 (10,100 comments) says:

    Maggie said

    Then there was the wonderful experience of the bludger who managed to find a menial job when her welfare was cut. Being a good capitalist, her boss wouldn’t let her bring her baby into the factory. She couldn’t afford chaldcare, so left the infant in the car where he suffered heatstroke and died.

    Is that a fact Maggie, or an urban myth? I certainly don’t remember reading or hearing about that anywhere, and I’m sure it would have made the TV news …

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  97. AlphaKiwi (686 comments) says:

    @ somewhatthoughtful

    Please don’t label me as being part of the NZ right. I get labelled enough by those on the right as being part of the NZ left. I take things on an issue by issue basis.

    Both books are in fact works of fiction, that’s why they’re great for young minds and very readable. There are thousands of books on the subject. Those two offer good foundations and wanted me to read and learn more about financial literacy.

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  98. nasska (10,674 comments) says:

    MNIJ @ 12.22pm

    I’m inclined to agree with you that the PM has made some successful bets. I’ll go further & say that by nature he is a gambler but this is only one of the traits that has made him a success. Quite a few things have to line up before success becomes a possibility never mind assured. Education, a work ethic, ambition, the mentioned risk taking, sociability are some & then the big one…..luck.

    Every self made person will wheel out the old saying that the harder they work the luckier they get. IMHO this only part of it. To be truly successful along with the prementioned factors you have to be the right person in the right place at the right time.

    This can’t be arranged but as it is only part of the game I see no reason to envy or begrudge someone who makes good.

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  99. magic bullet (776 comments) says:

    DPF:

    “Those whose expenses regularly exceed their income – which probably does indicate a budget prioritisation issue”

    Of course it could just mean that they like their family to eat healthily? As in 1990, when National purposefully made it impossible for people on benefits to eat a nutritionally balanced diet (that’s 100% true), National sees the health of children as less important than tax cuts for the already wealthy.

    I’m afraid you’re defending the indefensible here again DPF.

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  100. dime (9,430 comments) says:

    term limits on benefits lead to more hookers??? why arent we implementing this now!!!

    we have a RWC coming up! there is gonna be a hooker shortage! big time!

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  101. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    dime- if you recall there was a application to establish a ‘mens club’ in Auckland recently where upon the ACC promptly ordered the building demolished.

    40,000 randy rubgy fans are coming in Oct, you’d thinking someone is missing a business opportunity there.

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  102. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    “40,000 randy rubgy fans are coming in Oct, you’d thinking someone is missing a business opportunity there.”

    More than anything I think we’ll be missing a taxation opportunity.

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  103. big bruv (13,292 comments) says:

    “As in 1990, when National purposefully made it impossible for people on benefits to eat a nutritionally balanced diet (that’s 100% true)”

    And I happen to know for a fact that Helen Clark eats babies (that’s 100% true)

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  104. lastmanstanding (1,204 comments) says:

    Oliver1 and others. I betcha JK could live on the benefit for 6 months and still have some cash left over. Why Because he has the smarts to spend wisely and not waste and fritter the money away.

    For decades some of us have been calling for basic budgeting financial literacy to be part of the school programme from the time children and read and write.

    It aint rocket science. If a child learns good skills at an early age they will manage much better than if they dont.

    I betcha I could give 2 families $1000 on a Monday and by Friday one would have not only have nothing and nothing to show for it whils the other would have change and have fed clothed paid the bills etc.

    Its all about education. 40 years of shit crap education in NZ has led to the current situation.

    Even most of the teachers are financial illterate cripples Ask them to explain compound interest and their eyes will glaze over

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  105. dime (9,430 comments) says:

    When i started high school in 1990, we spent a term doing “consumer economics”. not sure if they still run that though?

    it was a good basic class.

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  106. Rex Widerstrom (5,261 comments) says:

    Even for a Tory son of privilege this would be a sad reflection of a complete lack of understanding of the world and of other people. But coming from a self-made hard worker it’s… unbelievable. Let’s start with the reasoning:

    Those whose expenses regularly exceed their income – which probably does indicate a budget prioritisation issue

    When you’re employed you commit to things. From a mortgage to car payments to sending your kid to a good school. You might run up a manageable (when you’re earning a wage) amount on the credit card. When you lose your job you cut back as much as you can, but a mortgagee sale or repossession of anything bought on credit (like a car) will see all the money you’ve earned and spent on it so far pretty much wasted, and a balck mark against your name.

    A benefit is set at a level that assumes all one needs is humble accommodation, basic food, utilities and maybe the occasional item of clothing. Which is all you need… but only once you’ve unentangled your life from all the commitments you’ve made when you were working. And that takes years in some cases.

    Those who have a temporary one off high priority expense, such as medical bills (note special need grants are also available)

    What, like the married couple I recently let share my house because they were living in a car? (Housing shortage, nothing wrong with them). He’d worked all his life, then been injured. He was undergoing rehab and looking for work. But because they’d been living in a car, their 5 year old daughter had been taken from them – quite rightly – and placed in state care. Immediately – and again quite rightly – the benefits they received for her ceased.

    Having the run of my home (they were charged rent, never missed a payment) got them their daughter back. But they’re told it’s four weeks delay before the payments they receive for her are re-started. And that’s right at the time they need to buy her a school uniform, books etc. Because they’ll eventually get the money to which they’re entitled, backpaid, no special grants are available.

    So would you suggest they keep their daughter home from school? Not pay me rent? Steal?

    Those who prefer free food to paying for food

    I’m not sure what the foodbanks are like in NZ but the ones here are far too savvy to go giving sparse supplies to lazy boozing students. They ask a lot of questions, and have been in the game long enough to tell the fakers. There might be a few who pull a fast one but they’d be a very small minority and it wouldn’t happen more than once or twice.

    It’s not so much “get a life”, DPF (and others who think they know what it’s like on a benefit without ever actually having been on one – I have), it’s “get outside your life” and at least take the time to put yourself in the shoes of someone who’s on a benefit. It’s not hard… just imagine that you walk into work one day and the doors are locked and the furniture’s gone, as happened to me twice.

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  107. thedavincimode (6,532 comments) says:

    My tip, little demented magpie, is that if you are serious about securing your life on the bludge, then you better head out to McGehan and get your leg over before your present excuse expires.

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  108. Rex Widerstrom (5,261 comments) says:

    As for AlphaKiwi’s idea of a rechargeable card that can be used to buy food etc but not smokes, scratch cards etc, I’m all in favour.

    I’ve made the point before that if the government were to say to the supermarkets, the petrol stations etc “We’ll give you this captive market of hundreds of thousands, what will you offer in return?” they could negotiate significant discounts in reward for securing the guaranteed clientele. Those savings could be used both to reduce the burden on the taxpayer and help increase beneficiaries’ buying power.

    Yes, there’s an embarrassment factor. I’ve used cards given to me by a charity and, though they were standard gift cards, the fact that I had about a dozen (in $10 increments!) and they were all I had to pay with made it pretty obvious. But that’s the price I paid for a full belly and anyway, like I give a shit what the snobs behind me in the queue think?!

    The Australian government is already doing this in the Northern Territory (Google “NT intervention” for info) and there’s talking of it spreading further. That will provide an empirical test of the advantages and disadvantages… so for once, NZ doesn’t have to be first canary down the mine on something. Let’s see whether it works and, if it does, do it. Early signs look promising.

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  109. AlphaKiwi (686 comments) says:

    @ dime

    I started high school in 1989. Went to Auckland Grammar (don’t hold it against me). We didn’t have anything like that. What high school did you go to?

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  110. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    rex, it ain’t a new idea.

    google “susso”; that was before Oz had a decent social welfare system – and many families, especially in rural towns, got the dregs from the local shopkeepers, the broken biscuits, the mouldy fruit and veg, the stuff that no one else would buy.

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  111. Manolo (13,367 comments) says:

    The Australian government is already doing this in the Northern Territory.

    The idea is original and laudable, but what New Zealand political party is going to have the balls to implement it?
    Our politicians are already paralysed by fear and very afraid of losing votes, so imagine if you add to that the public outcry of civil libertarians, priests, feminists, and do-gooders of all colours.

    John Key fears his own shadow, so this one is a no-goer. A rechargeable card system does not have the slightest chance of ever being implemented in our country.

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  112. Rex Widerstrom (5,261 comments) says:

    MNIJ:

    That was the 1930s. Things are slightly different now.

    - A media more than willing to highlight social inequality. There wasn’t in those days.

    - Large supermarket chains competing with one another to be seen as a “friend of the consumer” and relying on this to sell to the well-off. I doubt Woolworths will keep a stack of weevilly flour just for people on the “susso” and if they did, there’d be a wave of protest. People with a benefit card can buy the same items as anyone else. The stupid part is, it’s at the same price.

    - People in receipt of benefits far more willing to complain.

    - The means to do so, via the internet, television “current affairs” (read “tabloid trash”) shows etc.

    If I thought people would be treated like second class citizens I wouldn’t support it. The main person in Australia saying so to date is Clare Martin, now working for social services’ peak body but previously a failed and unpopular NT Labor Chief Minister. Aboriginal activists like Noel Pearson have endorsed the moves.

    But as I said, NZ needn’t be first out of the blocks on this as we stupidly did with so many other things (e.g. privatisation). Let’s be the country that sits back and learns from others’ mistakes this time… let the Australians sort it out, then copy it.

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  113. Inventory2 (10,100 comments) says:

    # Inventory2 (5,797) Says:
    February 17th, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Maggie said

    Then there was the wonderful experience of the bludger who managed to find a menial job when her welfare was cut. Being a good capitalist, her boss wouldn’t let her bring her baby into the factory. She couldn’t afford chaldcare, so left the infant in the car where he suffered heatstroke and died.

    Is that a fact Maggie, or an urban myth? I certainly don’t remember reading or hearing about that anywhere, and I’m sure it would have made the TV news …

    Anyone seen Maggie this afternoon. I was hoping that she might have been able to produce verification of this story about a nasty capitalist boss …

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  114. dime (9,430 comments) says:

    alpha – Kelston Boys bro!!

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  115. big bruv (13,292 comments) says:

    Oh look…

    Comrade Kurran is pissed off with DPF

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2011/02/17/whats-david-farrar-going-to-say-next/

    How ironic, a Labour trougher is pissed off with the comments of many of us yet she will not allow free debate on her own site.

    Tough luck Comrade Kurran, suck it up, the public have had enough of being ripped off by the parasites that Labour kept tossing money at.

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  116. Inky_the_Red (735 comments) says:

    Key comment is very Bizzare.

    Foodbanks are part of private charity. Why is Key attacking what private charities do with their resources?
    Not all people who use foodbanks are on benefits. Some (a few) people chose not benefits when they get in trouble. Some families on low wages do not get enough to feed their families.

    As for smoking, smoking is addictive. Smokers pay very high taxes, much higher than the added health cost. People tend not to start smoking because they become unemployed. People under stress smoke more. A lot of people smoke when they are stressed.

    People watching Campbell Live claimed that they saw a lot of fat people and smokers queueing. However when CL reviewed all the footage only two smokers out of 100s of people. Some people are fat and fatty food is cheaper that healthy food.

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  117. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    Inky, I don’t see how you interpret the story as Key attacking food banks, nothing he is reported to have said remotely criticises those private charities for operating food banks.

    As for smoking and its addictiveness, we really are on course for a complete ban on smoking (my guesstimate is by 2020). Sure half the country will be a mess for a month or two, but after that everyone will be wondering what the fuss was about (although it is inevitable that a black market will operate for tobacco). One of the problems with this though, as you mentioned, is that the tax revenue currently collected is (IIRC) about $600million p/a more than the estimated costs (i.e. increased healthcare etc). So smokers won’t be the only ones going cold turkey.

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  118. RRM (9,453 comments) says:

    Let them eat cake!

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  119. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Let them eat cake!

    Looking at their tummies, that seems to be half the problem.

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  120. Rex Widerstrom (5,261 comments) says:

    Bevan:

    Go compare the price of salad ingredients to the price of a super sized double whopper mcvalue bucket. I prefer healthy options, but when I’m looking at a kilo of bananas for $8.99 versus two whole meals (including sugar laden pop and fat soaked snowfreeze) for much the same price, if money was short I know which I’d buy to keep the kids’ bellies full.

    And yes, the bananas are expensive “because of the floods” (and because Australian farmers demand and receive protection against imports) but that doesn’t explain the story – reported in the media here – of the guy who grabbed bananas at $4.99 a kilo, then stopped to chat to a mate in the supermarket for about 30 mins. By the time he got to the checkout he was charged $8.99 “because of the floods”. Strangely, he hadn’t noticed the supermarket being inundated while he chatted.

    That’s why I like the benefit card idea. Encourage healthy choices by beneficiaries (since they can’t be used at fast food outlets) but also force down the profiteering of the supermarket chains through bargaining the combined buying power held by the government.

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  121. AlphaKiwi (686 comments) says:

    @ dime

    In ’89, I went to Kelston boys to participate in a wrestling tournament. Lost both my matches. :( The highlight of the day was when some Kelston boy who talked trash to one one of our team mates and then proceeded to slap his face just before their match began. He was disqualified. Ha ha!

    But anyway, that’s cool they were forward enough thinking to teach basic consumer finance. Good on them.

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  122. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Go compare the price of salad ingredients to the price of a super sized double whopper mcvalue bucket. I prefer healthy options, but when I’m looking at a kilo of bananas for $8.99 versus two whole meals (including sugar laden pop and fat soaked snowfreeze) for much the same price, if money was short I know which I’d buy to keep the kids’ bellies full.

    Rex, like you – I too live in Australia and I have made a lifestyle choice to exercise regularly and only eat healthy food. Instead of buying my lunch everyday I make a Chicken/Rice or a Wholegrain Pasta dish, divide it into meals and eat one for lunch each day, as well as some 2 – 3 portions of fruit daily. Quite frankly I’ve found that to be even cheaper than a 6 inch sub! When I can’t be bothered preparing lunch, I’ll grab a Coles Pasta Salad for $5.99 – how is that more expensive than McD’s or KFC?

    My view is, a lot of people grab the sugar laden drinks and high fat meals because they are nothing more than lazy. Spending time walking through the supermarket selecting groceries, then spending time preparing and cooking a healthy dinner, then the subsequent cleaning up takes time. Ordering a few Pizza’s, Fish n Chips or grease laden KFC doesnt – and then all the clean up requires is to chuck the rubbish in the bin. To me that is laziness, nothing less.

    Completely agree with your card idea btw, but I can just picture to cries of indignity from the likes of Bradford.

    BTW, Banana’s in Qld are still $5.99/kg – I was expecting $15/kg by now! But bloody hell are they green!

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  123. nickb (3,659 comments) says:

    I hate this whole “challenge x person to live on the dole for a week” crap.

    the point is the PM does not need to live on the dole, he worked his arse off to get where he is.

    If the challenge was reversed, challenge the unemployed person to work the 60 hour weeks that currency traders do, and wake up for an hour every morning around 2-3am to check New Yorks market (i know someone who did this for 10+ years) and see if they can hack it.

    Fucking exactly!

    Philu and Maggie, don’t tell me not to look down on you for being bludgers. I can and I will, for the simple reason that my family has always worked incredibly hard without a single hand out to the government.

    It’s called having a work ethic, you should try it someday.

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  124. jakejakejake (134 comments) says:

    Now that prostitution is legal though should be out selling their orifices instead of begging at the food bank.

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  125. voice of reason (491 comments) says:

    Key might have a point about poor choices – but what puts many people in the shitter financially are the unexpected bills:
    Car repairs or even basic service maintenance is a minimum of $300+ these days – What happens if you need a plumber or an electrician – just to get them out so they can START to charge you is $90. School trips and all those non-compulsory activities such as buying kit so your kids can play sport – $100-200 a term. And I havent even mentioned dentist or doctors.

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  126. Rex Widerstrom (5,261 comments) says:

    Bevan:

    $5.99 in the disaster zone?! Flippin’ heck, post some over and I’ll knock ‘em out at $7.50 and split the proceeds. Just goes to show what wankers Coles and Woolworths are… they know if they sold them at high prices to Queenslanders who’re facing cleanup bills they’d be castrated, so they ship them to other states and wail about the cyclones. I’d rather buy bananas for $5.99 and donate the other $3.00 to flood relief.

    Your point about the price and ease of pre-prepared supermarket salads is a good one. I’d rather make my own as the freshness of the prepackaged ones leave a bit to be desired, but they are about the same price as a take-home-and-heat pizza.

    Since Subway does well out of marketing a healthy fast food alternative, you’d think Coles and Woolworths would do more to promote their salads. Perhaps the margins aren’t as good… after all there’s some actual food in a salad.

    jakejakejake:

    Talking of orifices, if I wanted to hear from one I’d listen to Parliament.

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  127. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:


    $5.99 in the disaster zone?! Flippin’ heck, post some over and I’ll knock ‘em out at $7.50 and split the proceeds.

    I doubt they would last the trip Rex, they may be cheap but they don’t seem to keep very long at all. 3 days and they had to be used in banana loaves.

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  128. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    I do find one thing ladden with irony. On the NZ Herald comments section, so many ‘beneficiaries’ are lamenting about having trouble making ends meet, one in fact can only manage to afford two meals a week – yet can obviously afford the cost of a computer and Internet connection…..

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  129. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    you are a total parasite..nicb…

    you admit you earn your dirty money working as a servant for rich people..

    hiding their income for them so they don’t have to pay their fair share of taxes….

    ..(making them eligible for wff..and student allowances..eh.?.eh..?..nicb..)

    who the hell are you to look down on anyone..?

    ..you had an integrity bye-pass at birth….didn’t you..”

    and you say your whole family is in on the racket…?…eh..?

    what do you produce of any good to anyone…?

    you are a parasitic lawyer-leech…

    …and beneath contempt…

    i mean…who is worse than you…?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  130. nickb (3,659 comments) says:

    Nope, first lawyer in my family, try again.

    you admit you earn your dirty money working as a servant for rich people..

    hiding their income for them so they don’t have to pay their fair share of taxes….

    Right. Except I would debate that having a third of my income pillaged from my wages is a “fair share”. I would also debate whether the 12.5% you pay, taken from money that has been given to you, is a “fair share”.

    What do you say to that, vegan boy?

    ..(making them eligible for wff..and student allowances..eh.?.eh..?..nicb..)

    bzzt. Wrong. You know fuck all about the tax system, phil, as you have shown by claiming you don’t receive WFF yourself.

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  131. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    philu said “i mean…who is worse than you…?”

    Michael Laws

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  132. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    do the family run the pawn-shops…?

    ..the payday-loan places…?

    (healthy interest rates….eh..?..)

    they must be proud of you..

    the first to get a licence to steal…eh..?

    and putting it to such good work/use..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  133. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    phil,

    I would think you are hardly the person to be questioning the virtues of others

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  134. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,811 comments) says:

    Bloody bludgers!!

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  135. nickb (3,659 comments) says:

    phil you make it sound like minimising tax is illegal.

    Not only is it perfectly legal, it is perfectly moral to 99% of new zealanders except sanctimonious hypocrites like yourself. What’s more, it is incredibly widespread.

    Can you go on record and say what you do in your spare time is strictly legal? Thought not :)

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  136. big bruv (13,292 comments) says:

    “i mean…who is worse than you…?”

    You are Phool, you and the thousands like you, all parasites leeching off the likes of Nick and the rest of us who work for a living.

    We are the same workers who like the idea of a safety net for those who fall upon hard time through no fault of their own, we like the idea of the DPB for those poor females who have to get out of an abusive relationship, in fact Phool, we like it so much that many of us want to give these people much more, we do not want them to suffer, we do not want them to worry about how they are going to pay the bills.

    So what is stopping us Phool, well I will tell you, it is wankers like you, parasites and bludgers who make a lifestyle choice to live of the hard work and sweat of others, you are not only stealing from the likes of nick and I, you are stealing from the mouths of decent, law abiding, hard working Kiwis who have fallen on tough times.

    Think about that you arrogant wanker, think about why so many of us think you are nothing more than a piece of dog shit stuck to the bottom of our shoes.

    The thing that gets me the most about you Phool is the way you pretend to care about the poor, the reality is that you do not give a flying fuck about the poor, it has always been about you, all you care about is yourself, when you claim to be talking about the poor you are really saying that you want more of our money.

    You are nothing but a self centred prick who has no shame, no empathy with those who have struggled in their life, no sympathy for the victims of your crimes and you have never apologised to society or to the chemist who you terrorised and robbed.

    In short Phool, you are a narcissistic wanker who has no right to ever be talking about the poor or abusing those who work for a living, you have even less right to be talking about others paying their fair share, you have not contributed one penny to this society and therefore your opinion is worthless and unwanted.

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  137. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    hey..nicb…!

    don’t you know that scumbag-lawyers are despised even more than sole-parents..?

    ..and a lawyer who ‘earns’ their money…hiding the incomes of the rich for them…

    ..would be spat on by most…eh..?

    ..and the sort of people who would like you/what you do…?

    ..would themselves also be ‘ew..!’…

    ..eh…?

    “i’m a lawyer..i work hard for my money..”..

    go on..!..try that one in public..!

    watch people fall on the floor laughing at you..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  138. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    oh..really nicb…my smoking pot is the moral equivalent of your ‘profession’..?

    ..in yr twisted little universe…

    ..eh..?

    ..ask a hundred people if they agree with you..

    the answers may shock you..

    ..and make you realise how much you are reviled…by most..

    and..you didn’t answer the family/pawnshop/payday-loan question..

    ..i can take that as a yes…?

    live in remuera…pawnshops in sth/west auckland…eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  139. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    so you are one of those low-rent creep lawyers…with the sandwich board on the street…

    ..urging passers-by to let you hide their money for them…

    ..could never cut it in court…

    ..so have to fall back on the most parasitic sub-sections of the ‘profession’…

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  140. MT_Tinman (2,990 comments) says:

    Rex, it doesn’t surprise me at all that you’re pushing discrimination but it annoys me.

    Why should losers get to eat cheaper than working people?

    I talked to half a dozen business people today, all of them receiving less than the dole from their businesses. Not one of them will ask anyone for help, what they’ll do is work harder, grow their own food where possible, buy cheap and eat sensibly until the recession ends and they are again able to earn a good living.

    They’ll also get together regularly to help each other.

    I don’t know what’s available in Oz but I’ll bet rice, spuds, onions, flour, pasta and milk are reasonably priced.

    You can eat all of those.

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  141. nickb (3,659 comments) says:

    don’t you know that scumbag-lawyers are despised even more than sole-parents..?

    I don’t think lawyers or sole parents are, in the main, “despised”.

    Indolent violent criminals who haven’t worked in 20 years, perhaps a different story.

    and..you didn’t answer the family/pawnshop/payday-loan question..

    Nope, hardworking blue collar types, my family.

    so you are one of those low-rent creep lawyers…with the sandwich board on the street…

    ..urging passers-by to let you hide their money for them…

    We don’t have to advertise, phil. Thanks to the society people like you have made NZ into, they flock to us.

    You mad?

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  142. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..I don’t think lawyers are, in the main, “despised”…””

    you really need to get out more…eh..?

    walk into any bar..that is not a lawyers’ bar..(notice how they ghettoise themselve..?..like parking wardens…?

    ..hiding away/insulating themselves from the contempt they know most feel…..)

    walk into any non-lawyer bar..and call out…what do we all think about lawyers…?

    i think it will be quite the education for you..eh..?

    and no..i am not ‘mad’ at you…

    a cold contempt/disdain wd pretty much cover it…

    ..eh..?

    i mean..you aren’t unique…

    ..just another parasite-lawyer…

    ..eh..?

    ..common as muck..you are…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  143. nickb (3,659 comments) says:

    Yea, you mad.

    You really are getting senile phillip, your banter used to be occasionally amusing, but now you just give up and roll over.

    BTW, I heard you had drinks with a tax lawyer once, Cactus Kate. Did you tell her what you thought of her?

    Oh wait, you weren’t around for long enough. You ran out weeping after getting your ass handed to you…..

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  144. Rex Widerstrom (5,261 comments) says:

    Rodders points out:

    philu said “i mean…who is worse than you…?”

    Michael Laws

    I finally get it! I mean even the most disgusting microbe has a purpose but till now I had no idea why Lhaws existed. It’s so people can say “Yes, I’m a cannibal who slow roasts old ladies, mugs toddlers for their fluffy toys, push nuns under buses and pull the wings off not just flies but endangered bird species, but at least I’m not Micael Lhaws“. Everyone needs someone to whom they can feel superior.

    MT_Tinman asks:

    Why should losers get to eat cheaper than working people?

    Well first off, because not everyone on a benefit is a loser. I’ve been on one; I’m not. I know plenty of other people who also have, and aren’t. OTOH I also know lots who have, and are. Proportion may be higher than amongst those who are working (but geez, don’t tell me there’s no losers in the workforce!) but I’m not about to apply a blanket disadvantage to everyone in a certain category simply because some in that category deserve it – that’s discrimination.

    But mostly because they’re buying it with our money. If we can spend less of our money and still provide a nutritious and adequate diet, why shouldn’t we expect the government to take advantage of its buying power? It does so when making purchases for its own use.

    The main reason I suggest a mix of bulk rebate to the government and a discount at the till is that some level of discount at source has the psychological effect of emphasising that they’re being helped, and thus owe a moral debt.

    But the secondary reason is that yes, groceries will become more affordable. That doesn’t mean beneficiaries will be nudging you out of the Beluga caviar aisle; it does however mean that they might be able to afford the healthier but often more expensive items (and if we had any guts, we’d insist the government insisted the discount applied only to healthy options instead of talking about people’s “right” to eat crap when we pay their health bills).

    I talked to half a dozen business people today, all of them receiving less than the dole from their businesses. Not one of them will ask anyone for help

    Been there, done that. Didn’t ask for help either but only because I knew I’d be wasting my time. Government ought to be helping entrepreneurs with everything from seed funding to tax breaks, but that’s another post.

    I don’t know what’s available in Oz but I’ll bet rice, spuds, onions, flour, pasta and milk are reasonably priced.

    You can eat all of those.

    I did when on the dole and still do now. But eat primarily those sorts of things and you’ll quickly become flabby, unhealthy and lacking in energy and possibly even unwell, at which time the taxpayer will end up paying for your healthcare. Throw some mince, cheese, fresh veges and a bit of fruit into that mix, however, and then you’re talking.

    The irony of that list is that even the healthier options amongst it cost more. Wholemeal flower and brown rice – processed less than their white equivalents – are often more expensive or at least the same price despite requiring less manufacturing, because wealthier people are willing to pay more for healthy choices. That’s the “discrimination” I’m aiming to combat, MT.

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  145. immigant (950 comments) says:

    So what’s the reason that Philu can’t work but can stay at home and post on here all day?
    He comes across one of those ‘clever’ guys who lives off the income from grandma’s rental properties while claiming he is a beneficiary and fighting for the rights of the downtrodden?

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  146. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    that’s all ya got there..?..nicb..?

    is my work here done…?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  147. mike tan (433 comments) says:

    Why is philu still not banned?

    All he does is clutter otherwise productive discussion with the random thoughts that invade his drug induced mind.

    Being a self confessed drug addict on the benefit he shouldn’t have the privledge of voicing his opinion in matters that are best left for intellectual minded people to discuss.

    I wish you all the best in the future philu, i truly do, the first step is admitting you have a problem, it isn’t too late to become a productive member of society, i hope you take these words on board.

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  148. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Big bruv, delighted to know when you call people parasites you are not being critical of them. Makes total sense.

    The case I reported was not recent, it happened when term limits were first introduced in the US. It was well publicised at the time.

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  149. reid (15,947 comments) says:

    So what’s the reason that Philu can’t work but can stay at home and post on here all day?

    A vastly inflated sense of entitlement and at one point in his life, a complete failure to understand that work that adds value to others is the key to life and all happy successful people do it. He’s however so unconventional and so old now, in his fifties that he’d never get a normal job so he’s worked out that he needs to work hence his website but he hasn’t figured out how to crack the latter. I reckon he should apply for jobs in some west coast timber outfit myself, I think he’d like that.

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  150. mike tan (433 comments) says:

    privilege*

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  151. mike tan (433 comments) says:

    Comrade Maggie, are you going to expand on your story or should we continue to consider you nothing more than a lying commie?

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  152. Nookin (3,035 comments) says:

    On the subject of lawyers and quite off-thread

    A young Law student, having failed his Law exam, goes up to his crusty old professor, who is renowned for his razor-sharp legal mind.

    Student: “Sir, do you really understand everything about this subject?”

    Professor: “Actually, I probably do. Otherwise I wouldn’t be a professor, would I?”

    Student: “OK. So I’d like to ask you a question. If you can give me the correct answer, I will accept my marks as it is. If you can’t give me the correct answer, however, you’ll have to give me an “A”.

    Professor: “Hmmmm, alright. So what’s the question?”

    Student: “What is legal but not logical, logical but not legal, and neither logical nor legal? ”

    The professor wracks his famous brain, but just can’t crack the answer. Finally he gives up and changes the student’s failing mark into an “A” as agreed, and the student goes away, very pleased.

    The professor continues to wrack his brain over the question all afternoon, but still can’t get the answer. So finally he calls in a group of his brightest students and tells them he has a really, really tough question to answer: “What is legal but not logical, logical but not legal, and neither logical nor legal? ”

    To the professor’s surprise (and embarrassment), all the students immediately raise their hands.

    “All right” says the professor and asks his favourite student to answer

    “It’s quite easy, sir” says the student “You see, you are 75 years old and married to a 30 year old woman, which is legal, but not logical. Your wife has a 22 year old lover, which is logical, but not legal. And your wife’s lover failed his exam but you’ve just given him an “A”, which is neither legal, nor logical.”

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  153. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    Those who do use foodbanks probably fall into three categories:

    1. Those whose expenses regularly exceed their income – which probably does indicate a budget prioritisation issue
    2. Those who have a temporary one off high priority expense, such as medical bills (note special need grants are also available)
    3. Those who prefer free food to paying for food

    I don’t know what proportion of foodbank goers fall into each category.

    You could probably do better than guessing what type of people use food banks and how many categories they fall into.

    Here’s a summary of a 2006 report that still holds some relevence.

    http://www.geohealth.canterbury.ac.nz/news/Food%20Bank%20Report%20Summary.pdf

    and heres the full report

    http://www.geohealth.canterbury.ac.nz/research/food.shtml

    You probably should read it and follow up on it. At the very least you might probably learn something new, or you could just spin random dumb shit that echoes the PM’s particular line of spin du jour while rarking up the rabid dogs here to see who can bark the loudest.

    It’s your gaff guvnor, do what you like. Just sayin’ is all.

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  154. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    BwaV – best post I’ve seen you make.

    Who is using foodbanks?
    • Beneficiaries: International and national research has consistently shown that
    70-90% of food bank users are predominantly in receipt of state benefits
    (Thériault and Yadlowski, 2000; Jacobs Starkey et al., 1998; CAFB, 2005;
    Mackay, 1995, NZCCSS, 2005a).
    • Low Income Workers: There is an increasing trend for low income workers to
    present at food banks. New Zealand and Canadian studies have found around
    10% of food bank clients’ only source of income is through employment
    (CAFB, 2005; NZCCSS, 2005a).
    • Females, Sole Parents and Children: Studies have consistently shown that
    female, particularly sole mothers, are over-represented in food bank statistics
    (Riches, 2002; Gunby et al., 1996; Uttley, 1997). This suggests that food
    insecurity is an important gender and family issue.
    • Ethnic minorities and non-White populations: In New Zealand Maori and
    Pacific People have been found to be over-represented amongst food bank
    users (Gunby et al., 1996; NZCCSS 2005a; Mackay, 1995).
    • People Living in Deprived Areas: Food bank use appears to be area-related, at
    least in New Zealand. The NNS 1997 found a very clear deprivation trend
    showing people from deprived areas were making the most use of food grants
    and/or food banks (Russell et al., 1999). 5
    • Young Adults: Adults aged 40 years and younger have been found to be overrepresented amongst food bank users (Thériault and Yadlowski, 2000; Gunby
    et al., 1996; NZCCSS, 2005a).
    • Single People: Single people are also prominent food bank users (Le Heron
    and Pawson, 1996)

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  155. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Fascist mike tan, feel free to consider me anything you like, I’m not responsible for your brainless bigotry.

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  156. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Prior to moving to Brisbane my wife and I ran a foodbank and budget service in a working class suburb.

    Most foodbank clients were on a benefit. They appeared from time to time when addional expenses (fridge, washing machine, car needed fixing etc), they were unable to get an advance from WINZ, meant they couldn’t make ends meet. The situation was temporary and the occasional food parcel was all that was needed.

    If a client asked for more than three parcels in six months they were required to visit the budget service, so a budget could be drawn up.

    What we usually found was that beneficiaries are brilliant budgeters. They know how to stretch every dollar, that is the only way they can live.

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