Suddenly 'nice' John Key doesn't seem so nice after all - especially if you are on a low income or benefit.

The proposed tax changes will only assist those who are well off while the poor will face increased costs in every area of their everyday lives. The level of poverty and inequality - which Labour did nothing about while it was in power - will continue to rise.

But if you are going to kick someone when they are down, then why not go the whole hog? So Key is preparing to unleash the WINZ wolves, looking for people claiming benefits they aren't entitled to.

If you listen to John Key talking you would think there was millions being lost in fraudulent claims. Tailback radio hosts and their callers might believe this fiction but it bears little resemblance to the reality.

Last year the number of alleged benefit frauds actually went down to just under 15,000.

These were cases that were just investigated for possible fraud. In the majority of cases WINZ simply went on fishing expeditions in the hope of finding something.

One woman, - we'll call her Jennifer - was a recipient of one of these so-called investigations last year.

She told me:

'An investigating officer -it was woman - came to see me one morning. She asked me a questions about my benefit, my rent and things like that. Basically I just confirmed what WINZ already knew. I kind of think she wanted to have a nosey at my house - see what kind of lifestyle I was living. She left about half an hour and I never heard from her again. It was all just a waste of time but you do feel intimidated, even though you have done nothing wrong. I resented she was in my home.'

Of the approximately 15,0000 case investigated last year, only 735 ended up in court. Many of these cases ended up collapsing because no reliable evidence was provided to back up WINZ's allegations.

The Government ended up clawing back just $700,000 last year. That money would have been swallowed up by the enormous number of work hours consumed pursuing these fruitless cases.

There was $12 billion worth of benefits paid out last year.

So why is the government bothering? The witch hunt against beneficiaries - and a witch hunt is what it is - is simply an attempt to drive beneficiaries off welfare, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Given that unemployment continues to rise one wonders how the government expects people to survive. Paula Bennett's claim that 'she is one of us' is proving to be a sick joke.

While he's all gung-ho about attacking the poor, Key has displayed his political allegiances with his failure to implement a land or capital tax gains tax. It would of upset the folk in the Remuera Bridge Club so Key would rather kick the poor instead.

So a large area of the economy remains largely untaxed. This is where the real bludgers are hanging out but since property speculators and landlords have friends in high places they can carry on ripping us off.

Beneficiaries, like the New Zealand working class geneerally, is exposed to such attacks without even the hope that the Labour Party and the trade union hierachy will provide any credible opposition.

The trade union bureaucrats have bought into the Government's austerity programme and put up no resistance to the mounting job losses

The Labour Party is quite simply a joke. It is offering no economic alternative while Goff tries to buy some kudos by supporting the campaign for a $15 an hour minimum wage. He is a cynical opportunist looking for a bandwagon to jump on.

Next time you hear Goff talking about unemployment remember it was a Labour Government that introduced work testing for 55-59 year olds. It was a Labour Government that decreed which areas of the country where 'no go' areas for beneficiaries. It was a Labour Government which increased GST to 12.5 percent without any adjustment to benefits.

Labour is promising little and would deliver little.

Labour, by its own actions, has demonstrated whose side it is on - and its not the working class.


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