…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.
. . . 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.