The numbers receiving the Invalid's Benefit rose 4.3 percent from 80,082 to 83,501 and the number on the Domestic Purposes Benefit jumped 2.2 percent and is now back over 100,000.So the Invalid's Benefit goes up 4.3%, and "rose", whereas the DPB goes up a little over half of that and it "jumped"?
And then there's the fact that they go to Lindsay Mitchell, well-known and long-time critic of the DPB as well as an Act candidate in the last election, for their quotes. She's predictable, and I suppose at least I should give her props for being consistent:
"Teenage recipients present a particular problem because they stay on welfare the longest and their children experience multiple disadvantages."
Ms Mitchell says while some people genuinely need help, others have just made bad choices and are taking advantage of assistance which is easy to get.
Even if we accept that some people are on the DPB for making "bad choices" (is not getting an abortion a bad choice? not being able to access contraception? being raped? OK, this post is not about that, I'm going to move on) is starving them and their children the best response we can come up with?
Because remember, this is Act's welfare policy, and it's all about the DPB.
But back to being annoyed with the article. They haven't sought a quote from anyone other than Mitchell, whose opposition to the DPB is long established. They've focused the item on the DPB despite the fact the Invalid's Benefit went up by significantly more. There's no mention of any of the other benefits, eg unemployment (which you would expect to be going up, given all the lay-offs, the recession, etc). It's just yet another excuse to bash DPB beneficiaries.
Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised, given the Herald's source for their piece of bile: Newstalk ZB. But it's a sad day when talkback attitudes creep into the newsroom.