Taxpayer funded motels

The Herald has what is meant to be a sob story about a women who owes WINZ $60,000. But I think most people who read the story will be horrified by how much money taxpayers are spending on this family.

A mother of eight has been lent $60,000 by Work and Income to pay motel bills because she has been banned from state housing for a year.

The Mangere woman, aged 28, has been put up in motels with her partner, 30, and eight children aged from 5 months up to 11 years for the past 10 months.

She’s 28 and he’s 30, and they have eight kids. Problem number one.

Work and Income is paying $1200 a week for their current motel, where they have been for five months. Some of their earlier bills were for up to $1700 a week.

On top of the massive payments they’ll be getting, taxpayers are also paying $1,700 a week for them to stay in a motel, That’s how generous our state is. There is of course no chance it will ever be repaid I’d say.

The woman, who asked to be called “Jane”, said she was suspended from all Housing NZ properties after her last state house was found to be contaminated with “pure” methamphetamine (“P”).

Social Development Ministry housing chief Carl Crafar said the family was evicted from the house last July due to the meth contamination.

“They are currently not eligible for a Housing NZ house, and have admitted to using meth in their past three Housing NZ properties,” he said.

But Jane said the contamination occurred before she moved into the house three years earlier.

“I have never used meth or cooked it in my life,” she said.

She was sure that no one else used the drug while she lived there.

So it is just coincidence that their last three houses has tested positive for P.  This means taxpayers have probably spent tens of thousands of dollars decontaminating the houses.

She said her partner worked as a builder until the family was evicted, but then stopped work to support her.

So neither of them are working.

She said the family received $800 a week in jobseeker support, family tax credits, accommodation supplement and temporary additional support.

It would be far more than that. They are eligible for:

  • Jobseeker support $375
  • Family Tax Credits $542
  • Accom Supplement $225

So that is around $1,150 a week plus their temporary additional support and plus the cost of the motel not met by the accom supplement.

I can’t imagine there is another country around which would be so generous in supporting a family with eight kids, who aren’t working, and who lost state house eligibility due to drug contamination.

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