INDEPENDENT NEWS

Let Them Eat Cake!

Published: Thu 17 Feb 2011 05:30 PM
Let Them Eat Cake!
The Prime Ministers comments that beneficiaries who need to seek food bank assistance are poor budgeters show how out of touch he is with the reality hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders face every week.
As the cost of food, rent and electricity continue to increase while benefits do not, people on benefits and low wages juggle their budgets every week trying to keep their children fed and clothed with a roof over their heads.
Many users of food banks are in fact in employment showing that work does not set you free; it just adds travel and childcare to the weekly household budget.
Before they came to power the National Party spoke of an emerging underclass, they seem to have brought their prophecy to fruition and now can blame those in need for not being able to cope with inadequate income.
Recently Regional Public Health undertook a study of food affordability for people on benefits and low incomes: the results of this research are clear families can not afford and adequate diet on a benefit. http://www.ana.org.nz/documents/FoodCosts.pdf
What of those in our communities who are sick or disabled and need to meet medical and treatment costs, these are people who need a good diet to maintain and improve their health, but cannot afford both food and medication as well as rent and utilities.
Middle New Zealand is reported to be struggling with the ever increasing cost of living, however do people think the poor will cope? Food banks are almost the only answer, as the government shirks responsibility.
Statements like this give significant cause for concern as to what will be announced in the government's policy intentions for welfare.
ENDS

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