ZB

Kerre Woodham: 11 percent of the workforce are on a benefit, I'm appalled

Author
Kerre Woodham,
Publish Date
Fri, 22 Jul 2022, 12:46pm
Photo / NZ Herald
Photo / NZ Herald

Kerre Woodham: 11 percent of the workforce are on a benefit, I'm appalled

Author
Kerre Woodham,
Publish Date
Fri, 22 Jul 2022, 12:46pm

Now, if you're listening to me while you're at work this morning, it doesn't matter what you're doing; blue collar, white collar, minimum wage, being paid through the nose for whatever it is you do, working part-time, working full time.

I just want you to take a wee moment and just give yourself a virtual hug. A little bit of a hearty handshake, a bit of a hand clap, because you and I my friends, taxpaying New Zealanders, are becoming rare and wonderful beasts.

We are like shining unicorns, you and I.  

Marvellous creatures we are, the stuff of myth and legend, because, and this stopped me in my tracks yesterday - did you know how many people are receiving benefits in this time of desperate worker shortages? 11 percent of the working age population is receiving a main benefit.  

11 percent!

What you might ask is a main benefit? Well, I wondered.

I thought perhaps it included Working for Families, but no, no, those payments are extra.

Emergency accommodation and emergency payments for food that's all on top. The main benefits are Job Seeker, Supported Living, Sole Parent and then a host of others - a bit of rats and mice, like the Youth Payment, Emergency maintenance allowance, student hardship etc.

Not many people are on those. By far the majority of working age people are on Job Seeker, Supported Living and Sole parents. 

If you had asked me if somebody had said on-air, you know how many people, what proportion of working adults do you think are on the benny? I'd have said I don't know 5 percent, six maybe. The people who can't work because of illness or accident. People who are new parents, brand new parents at a push. People in-between jobs and looking for work. But 11 percent?! 

Bloody hell, taxpayers are not only funding the huge sinkhole that is government bureaucracy, they're funding schools, hospitals, roads and they're funding 11 percent of the working age population. They're having a laugh. I really draw a line at that. 

And what sort of life is it on a benefit? You exist. You barely get by. How on earth can you not think you're better than that?

As I say, sincere sympathies for those who cannot work and that is what the benefit is for, and perhaps if those who were able got off the benefit, those who need it could have a little bit more.

You could take the money that is being paid to 11 percent of the population and give more to the 5 percent who desperately need it. I'm appalled. Honestly, I had no idea it was that many people. 

So if you, my beautiful Unicorn, with your shining mane and your silver hooves, are grunting away at work today, labouring away doing what you do, thank you.

I'll thank you as a fellow taxpayer, because I guarantee that 11 percent won’t.