one thing that pisses me off about this whole thing with (not so) hon paula bennett releasing personal information about beneficiaries is the totally expected backlash against them in terms "look how much they're getting, the greedy b*tches, why should they get more". obviously, that's the reason the minister released the information - to get exactly that reaction.
and i don't want to buy into it, given that it's totally not the issue. the issue is the scrapping of the training incentive allowance which was helping these women to get off the benefit by getting tertiary education.
but. for all those people who have made comment on any talkback show or internet forum about how they raise a family on much less money than these two women are getting, i have three words. working for families.
if you have 3 kids and are earning less than the benefit these women are receiving, then you should be getting a working for families credit that results in you paying ZERO tax (if you aren't getting these credits, contact WINZ immediately). there is no room for error - you are paying no tax. whereas the benefit has tax deducted. so it is unlikely that your overall position is worse than the one these women are in. it also means that you are getting any number of public services free of charge.
and i personally am very happy that this is the case, because i think it's right that your family should have a decent level of income. if it means that i pay a bit more tax, then i have no problem with that, because i know that it results in a much better society.
so, can you please now concentrate on the issue at hand, being that the allowance that ms bennett has cut is likely to cost taxpayers much more in the long run. it's false economy, and extremely short-sighted.