We’ve had a strange few months. Since the budget we have seen the word “entitlement” pop up everywhere, and an increasing sense of entitlement exhibited by so many New Zealanders, not least of all our politicians.
We’ll start with the budget. Hon Bill English repeatedly talked about entitlements when referring to welfare benefits – oh, and now he’s talking about increasing taxes as to meet all the demands for entitlements (sorry, I meant “to aid economic recover”. Here’s an idea for economic recovery – give some money back or take less tax and let New Zealander’s have a direct impact on the economic recovery.
More recently, we’ve had the likes of Natasha Fuller, rightfully exposed by Hon Paula Bennett. I think the DPB has a place but not when it is clearly rorted for long term lifestyle.
And, we’ve now found the politicians well and truly exhibiting extreme levels of entitlement. Today’s comments from Sir Douglas add more fuel to the fire.
The issue I have with entitlement is that it isn’t generally well-earned. It is assigned. Often there is a maximum limit and mostly people will ensure that they can qualify to the limit (politicians on accommodation allowances being an obvious example and Natasha Fuller another).
How much is entitlement for the sake of it part of NZ culture? So many New Zealanders seem to expect the State will be there and that they are all entitled to a slice of other people’s (and I admit some of their own) money.
I hate that the last Government made middle New Zealand into a new class of beneficiaries. Worse still is that middle New Zealand now has a sense of entitlement for their new benefit, Working for Families.
I hate that there is a huge churn going on with middle New Zealand especially. Why take middle New Zealanders tax dollars just to churn them through the bureaucracy so that the Government can return it as Working for Families? Why couldn’t the Government have trusted middle New Zealand families to make their own decisions about their money and never take the tax in the first place?
I hate that many of my middle New Zealand friends voted for National based solely on whether they would keep Working for Families in place. The reality is that no pragmatic politician will take Working for Families away or reduce it because middle New Zealand families now count their Working for Families payments as part of their back pocket income.
And then there are the calls for universal student allowances. Why? I worked two part-time jobs for my first degree and then a full-time job for my second degree and post-grad. My Father did the same many years ago (yes, before fees and the like were free). Why the F*** can’t the students of today? Plus, they have student loans under extremely good conditions.
Then, shall I move on to superannuation? Ouch. Yep, that great bug bear of New Zealand politicians. Why do those in power sit on their hands on this one? Why can’t we have a serious conversation without upsetting the oldies? Why can’t we get past the 60+ age groups’ concerns of their own security – face it you lot you’ll be fine – and focus on the fact that many baby boomers haven’t provided for their retirement and worse still have a huge sense of entitlement to NZ super. I am seriously concerned about this one because I can’t see how an under-productive generation X and Y could possibly generate enough in tax revenue or to the Cullen fund to support the boomers. Can you?
My problem with New Zealanders’ sense of entitlement is that we don’t work for it. We just get something for nothing, or for sweet FA input from us. Why can’t Government trust New Zealanders more so that we are taxed less. Why do successive Governments take away our choices of where our money goes so that we also give away our personal responsibility. It follows through into so many areas. We don’t take notice of what’s happening over our neighbour’s fence because no doubt the Government will sort it out. It’s not our problem, we’re not responsible and they are probably entitled to some sort of help or assistance.
We’re breeding a sense of mediocrity in this country and it scares me because my children will have to live in the results (or lack thereof).