Paula Bennett should resign | The Jackal

18 Aug 2012

Paula Bennett should resign

Yesterday, National reported:

Addressing the causes of poverty instead of debating how it’s measured is the Government’s main focus, says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

Hold on a sec there Bennett... The problem with that assertion is that unless a proper measurement of poverty is available, how can the government hope to properly allocate resources to address the causes of poverty? The simple answer is they cannot.

"The Government is committed to taking action to combat poverty. This is in stark contrast to the Labour Party which just talks about how it should be measured," Mrs Bennett says.

Stop right there again balls-up Bennefits... In case you haven't noticed, National currently holds the reigns of power, and so it's for them to address the problem. Blaming Labour for the current governments inaction is getting old, and National needs to stop passing the buck and blaming other's for their own shortcomings.

"Following recent debate on the issue, I have been misquoted in various media as saying there is no poverty line, or it’s been reported that I don’t acknowledge that a poverty line exists.

The Minister for Social Development is really spinning hard here, but gaining no traction at all. Probably because she's talking complete and utter rubbish... Here's the exact quote from Tuesday's Hansard:

JACINDA ARDERN: How many children in New Zealand are currently living in poverty?

Hon PAULA BENNETT: There is in New Zealand no actual poverty line, so, as such, that is a very open question.

Either Paula Bennett is as thick as a brick, and cannot remember what she said a few days ago, or she is purposefully obfuscating in the hope that nobody checks the facts. Either way, such stupid behaviour is contemptible in a Minister of the Crown. But wait, there's more:

"What I’ve actually said is that there is no official measure of poverty in New Zealand, and that is correct.

Wrong again Bennett... Her own ministry undertakes extensive research into poverty rates and releases an annual report (DOC) on what it finds. Here's the cold hard truth of the matter:

On the AHC moving line measure, the child poverty rate increased from 2007 (22%) to 2010 (25%), reflecting the rise in the proportion of households with children which had high OTIs.

On this moving line measure, the 2010 child poverty rate is around double the rate that prevailed in the early 1980s on this moving line measure.

If that's not an official measure of poverty, I don't know what is. What a complete fail for a Minister to not even be aware of (or not want to acknowledge) the information provided by her own ministry.

On the back of Paula Bennett's contempt towards the Human Rights Commission and the Privacy Commissioner concerning her breach of privacy laws, she should do the country a favour and resign forthwith. That would be an appropriate response considering the circumstances.