Sense of entitlement

Who said:

…how could he have done all of those things credibly—and this is the important issue—knowing that his career and his credibility depended on his honesty? He has signed off on documents that have now led him to be in court on a charge of criminal fraud. There is an issue here of honesty, an issue of credibility, and that has had a very significant and very negative effect on this Government. . .?

It was Metiria Turei.

She was talking about John Banks who resigned from parliament, was charged, found guilty but subsequently cleared.

This makes her guilty of hypocrisy in light of her unashamed admission of benefit fraud.

It also shows a sense of entitlement:

. . . Spread over three years however, Turei’s lie of omission starts to look less like a one-off act of dishonesty and more like a systematic attempt to rort the system. Letter writers and talkback callers have voiced their anger over what they see as her sense of entitlement to public money – not helped by the fact that taxpayers are providing her with a huge salary today.

There is also considerable public anger over her selective and self-serving morality. Turei has effectively argued that she had a moral right to rip off the system because she had to feed her baby. She is wrong because hardship doesn’t give anyone the right to break the law. Her example encourages others to do the same and is unfair on those who struggle through legally. It is a particularly bad look coming from a party leader on a base salary of $173,000 a year.

The self-serving morality and sense of entitlement are also reflected in the welfare policy she announced.

It would increase benefits and remove the obligations now required of beneficiaries and sanctions imposed on those who don’t fulfill them.

That would undo the good work that National has done in helping people into work and in doing so reducing the long-term social and financial costs of benefit dependency.

Turei isn’t the only one to show no respect for taxpayers’ money.

There’s also the absolute stupidity of Gareth Morgan’s mad idea to have taxpayers provide $200 a week pocket money to every 18 – 20 year-old:

The $200 payment – which would be after tax – worked out to $10,000 a year, and would go to everyone regardless of income or whether or not they were studying. Unlike other benefits it would not drop off if a young person moved into employment.

It would replace the student allowance, which currently is tied to parental income and maxes out at $177.03 after tax for single people under 24. It would also replace the first $10,000 of any other benefits and the student living costs segment of student loans.

Morgan argued the financial security this would provide would bring down rates of youth suicide and financial stress. . .

Has he got any data for that? There is plenty of data on what happens when you give people money whether or not they need it.

Only people with no real understanding of people and economics would think either Turei’s or Morgan’s policies have merit.

As Alan Duff says:

. . . I am repeating the warning that free money to able-bodied humans anywhere can do just the opposite of what it intends: take away the will to work, the guts to struggle, the spirit to pick yourself up by the bootstraps. . .

Every cent spent on unnecessary welfare is a cent that could be spent on health, education, infrastructure and any of the other areas where it could do more good.

Every cent spent on unnecessary welfare is a cent taken from other people.

Every cent spent on unnecessary welfare feeds a sense of entitlement and erodes independence.

These policies are also political cynicism at its height because both Turei and Morgan must know that both are so unrealistic and unaffordable they could never be government policy, whichever parties were in power.

6 Responses to Sense of entitlement

  1. invercargillgreen says:

    Yep, let’s continue with the current system that demonises the poor, causes 28% of our children to live in poverty and puts us at the bottom of the developed world for the health and welfare of our kids.

    Metiria Turei claimed that by lying about flatmates she was able to care for her baby a little better, what was Bill English’s excuse for claiming $40,000 of accommodation allowance so that he could subsidise his home in Wellington?

    Once the conversation switches to morality, things change. Metiria’s back story is an amazing one. From being a young Maori solo mother (brought up in poverty herself) with no qualifications within ten years she studied to be a lawyer, worked in commercial law and then became an MP.

    The fact is that being a sole parent is extremely hard work and as many women have said, they are often demonised by society. Yet so many successful people have come out of that background, many have resorted to some level of dishonesty to make ends meet. What is worse: having to ask for a food parcel when money runs short, lying about relationship that is just beginning, lying about flatmates, accepting cash for a cleaning job, going without food for a couple of days or not buying shoes for your kid?

    We are quick to deny support and question those struggling to survive and this is the result, the worst country in the develop developed world for children:


  2. Is it part of a Green strategy to turn the discussion against English IG? You may remember English was cleared by the Auditor-General of any wrong-doing, and that the advice he was given by Ministerial Services was found to have been incorrect. English paid back the money.

    It is the Greens who have tried to make this a discussion about morality. Most New Zealanders are gob-smacked that a political party leader is being feted as a heroine for deliberately defrauding the system.


  3. Todd Barclay did the honorable thing: James Shaw

    “I think that the prime mInister should have asked him to stand down as a member of Parliament when he discovered what he’d done, rather than to cover it up,” Shaw said.

    I won’t hold my breath waiting for James Shaw to apply the same standard to Metiria Turei, who has made a public admission of defrauding the taxpayer, as he did to Todd Barclay.

    Barclay, of course, hasn’t been convicted of any criminal offence, and at this point, hasn’t even been charged with anything. That didn’t stop Mr Shaw from rushing to judgment.

    To paraphrase Mr Shaw’s words slightly, I think the male co-leader of the Green Party should have called upon his female co-leader to stand down as a member of Parliament when he discovered what she’d admitted.


  4. Owen says:

    Re comments by Invercargillgreen. Words matter. I do not see many contributors “demonising” solo mothers. I see many demanding consistency and integrity from Metiria and less hypocrisy. Pointing the finger at others who deceive doesn’t make her situation right. Using poverty as an excuse doesn’t wash either. Most solo mothers do not lie, defraud and boast about it. She is clearly not leadership material.


  5. Teletext says:

    Well said KS, would love to see you blogging again.
    I don’t think that MT thought this through properly as the crime she should be charged with carries a maximum penalty that would see her have to resign from parliament as John Banks had to. Because of her “mea culpa” she couldn’t expect to be found not guilty.
    IG is doing his normal of defending the Greens regardless of the facts. Lots of solo parents have gone through those really tough times without rorting the system as did MT


  6. Cheers Teletext. Sometimes I’m tempted, but then I think it through!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: