‘…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.’- John Key

John Key is worth over $50 million, lives in a Remuera mansion and has a holiday home in Hawaii. I doubt that he even knows what his power bill was last month. I doubt that he scrutinises his telephone bill to see if he has been charged for toll calls he didn't make.

But for the poor its a case of juggling a limited weekly income to pay the rent, keep the utility companies happy and buy food. Often the food will run out before the next benefit payout even though you buy cans of cheap baked beans and those $1 loaves of tasteless white bread.

But with prices soaring across the board its not surprising that more and more people are ending up at the food banks. We never had food banks until Roger Douglas became Minister of Finance in 1984.

I know a single woman who is receiving $235 a week. This is the unemployment benefit and a small amount for accommodation. Somehow she has to pay her share of the rent and the utility and grocery bills.

These bills have to paid - she cannot 'choose' not to pay them.

She can't fiddle her accommodation expenses and rip the taxpayer off to the tune of some $400,000 - as the Minister of Finance Bill English did.

Oh - and Mr Key - she nether smokes or drinks and she has never set foot in a TAB in her life.

But I almost feel that I'm wasting my time writing this when you are dealing with a Government that thinks that the poor are to blame for being poor and that they are really jobs out there if you 'look hard enough'.

This long ago became a moral argument about how people in poverty deserve to be treated.

The moral views of John Key and Paula Bennett take no account, among other things, of economic conditions, of a labour market devoid of jobs, of the discrimination that many workers face.

John Key, the multimillionaire who made his money in the world of casino capitalism, thinks people living in poverty are less deserving of human decency than others. Presumably that also includes the one in five children who are now living in poverty.

Perhaps John Key will like Jonathan Swift's solution to the problem of poor children..


  1. What you have said here is definitely true. It is quite unfortunate that the government frowns down upon the people of whom it was supposed to care for. It loves businessmen and major companies which thrives on corruption.

  2. hang these qunts it's the only language they understand

  3. What the hell did Key do to amass so much money, Do you think he feels guilty.

  4. there is truth in what key says - that is why it does recieve a large audience - however there is also truth in what you say which is why so many feel anti key - but there is a line of difference - when I had money - savings and a job - i didn't blink an eye about the price of anything - of food, clothes, car repairs i just did it - it became a natural part of life - and because it was so natural to me i assumed that every one could do that - if they couldnt' then they had made a wrong choice somewhere along the line and so it was their 'fault' - we live in a system of beleifs that inspire blame and victimhood ...

    i lost my business and my income - used up my savings and had to go on sickness benefit - reality hit - there are feelings of shame attached to loosing so much and now being on a benefit - this shame comes not because of who i am as person but the values society collectively places on your worth - how it measures your worth as a human being is judged not on who you are AS a human being but on what you HAVE - your worth there fore is seen in the suburb your live in the value of your assets, your job, etc so not to have any of those - automatically sends signals to the calss system of feudal times that you are not that worthy ....

    after the 2nd world war and the great depression people got a temporary shock and compassion rose up and in an attempt to express this compassion state housing came into being and a rough idea of a welfare system arose - it was a noble gesture for sure - the human rights declaration was part of all of this ....now ...in this 21st century this compassion has turned to judgement quickly ....the system of beliefs that have entrained such a classist system from feudal times to now has never really left us - how could it its the same paradigm still.....and it is this classist arrogance - this quite male definition of value that enables what is happening ....

    there is change coming - and big change but before ANY CHANGE can be had - there must first arise situations, secario's and events that reveal the NEED FOR THAT CHANGE and all of this is ...the collective human mind is waking up ....now that the middle classes are being screwed in the same way those before them were screwed ....but few would listen - all that is changing as the middle class begin to realise that nothing was really a conspiracy after all it was simply those before them trying to warn them of what was happening to one - would one day happen to all - and now it is .....

    getting angry is a natural emotion - it shows us who we are NOT or where we are NOT wanting to be or go ....and is a powerful impulse for creative change making - not further anger like hanging them - that is victim mentality that seeks blame and vengeance ...its time for deeper conversation and action to be able to move forward and make real lasting change for our future generations

    thank you whoever you are for starting the conversation


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