GRAPH: Numbers of New Zealanders on core benefits through four successive governments, 1976 to 2006 (produced by combining figures from graph produced by the Social Policy Journal, Nov. 2006 [ref.Lindsay Mitchell]). Thick red line shows TOTAL core benefits.
The Clark Government have hung their hats on their "achievement" in reducing unemployment, it is one of the signal successes of their two terms. In the 2005 election, Clark was crowing that her "popular and competent" Government had achieved "the lowest unemployment in the Western world"; David Benson-Dope boasted last year that "unemployment is at a twenty-year low... This big drop in the number of unemployed," he said, "has been a driver in the overall reduction in the number of people receiving benefits." The shameful truth as that graph above shows is that they can only crow about low unemployment by carefully shuffling the unemployed under the statistical carpet.
These bastards aren't stupid; they think you are. The fact is that after an unprecedented burst of economic growth, fifteen per cent of working age people -- over 300,000! -- are still on welfare, and they've been there since 1990!
In a country of only four million people, this is nothing to boast about.
Have another look at the graph above, and in particular that thick red/brown line that represents the combined figure of all core benefits, and contemplate the fact that those proud and election-winning boasts are all spin -- unemployment may be low, but the total number on core benefits is still up there in the stratosphere, and growing every time a new tranche of unemployed are transferred to another benefit -- and those figures exclude the new middle class beneficiaries sucking off the state tit courtesy of the Welfare for Working Families bribe).
In boasting as they do, Clark and co. are welfare cheats.
The tragedy is that tragedy is that no ruling party either red or blue comes out of this with any credit. In their seven years of rule the Clark Government has pissed away the economic golden weather they inherited, and they've helped delivered a whole new generation into welfare -- and they have lied about it.
But over thirty years, successive governments have produced two generations of human waste ... and as long as they can get that news away from the headlines, they really just don't care. They'd rather just boast about their sleight of hand.
RELATED: NZ Politics, Welfare