Bill English has compared some long-term beneficiaries to crack addicts.
APNZ reports the Finance Minister made the comment while speaking to about 100 voters at a meeting at Club Mount Maunganui yesterday.
He told the gathering, getting stuck on a benefit is like crack cocaine and it's really hard once you've started to come off it .
That's upset Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services executive director Tommy Wilson.
He says Mr English's reference to crack cocaine shows a lack of understanding, saying it's not an addiction as most people don't have a choice.