This week has been particularly brutal when it comes to the government’s decisions regarding our country’s most vulnerable.
First they decided they weren’t going to feed hungry school children, then the report was released saying 11,000 children with disabilities and their families are being stopped from receiving allowances that they are perfectly entitled to.
I find it really difficult to understand how we can spend $36 million on the America’s Cup and send troops to fight in someone else’s complicated war while New Zealand’s most vulnerable children have little access to the quality of life that we all deserve.
According to the report by Child Action Poverty Group, launched on Thursday, criteria for eligibility for this allowance has been tightened and parents of children with disabilities aren’t informed that they are entitled to this allowance.
The blatant lack of empathy for what such families go through is incredible and I find it unbelievable that out of all the bludgers out there, this is a group the government has decided to crack down on. Never mind the corporate billionaires who evade shitloads of tax every year – let’s attack people who are simply just trying to make it day by day. Really?
The bottom line is that these parents are full-time caregivers. Most of the time, having a child with special needs makes it almost impossible to hold down a 40-hour working week.
It was mentioned in the Herald that one Wellington family lost their allowance when their son became old enough to tie his shoelaces. For anyone with a disability any amount of independence is a luxury. By cutting someone’s allowance for that reason, you are essentially punishing them for becoming more independent.
This is why so many people have to resort to exaggerating how bad their situation is just so that they can receive something – however little it may end up being – and you can’t blame them.