After blowing the dog whistles of parents being responsible for feeding hungry children for election purposes, the Government have conceded that 250 000 children in poverty is a tad embarrassing and they’ve done the barest minimum by lifting core benefits the first time since 1991.
Most NZers have no idea how those benefits were set in 1991. In 1991, the benefit was set just below what they calculated the average adult required nutritionally. That’s right dear reader, the benefits were purposely set just below the minium so that beneficiaries hunger would incentivise them to not be on the dole. When you hear people claim anyone can afford to feed themselves on the benefit, they clearly have no idea how the benefit was calculated in 1991.
That proud moment in our history is never mentioned these days.
So the Government have campaigned to the prejudice and bigotry of their voters but have finally agreed that benefits have to rise, and they’ve done it with the same begrudging minimalism as their capital gains tax that isn’t a capital gains tax.
Of course with any hand up from National, there also comes the closed fist. More work testing will be used to disqualify beneficiaries from the benefit in the first place and that disqualification is likely to be realised for the Government by contracting that disqualification process out to private companies.
20 million extra for the GCSB and spying services??? That’s creepy and worrying. Why do they need all that extra money if they aren’t doing mass surveillance?
This is a Grudget not a Budget, and it’s testimony to how the supposed rock star economy has left many without tickets.