Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'Food banks'

Poor choices? Here’s some food for thought.

Just come across an excellent article by Rachel Goodchild – My food parcel poverty (thanks to a Facebook link by Tau Henare).

If you’ve been following the debate on my post Poor choices? Or just poor?  you’ll find this thought provoking.


Poor choices? Or just poor?


NZ Herald/Mark Mitchell

I grew up at a time when being ‘on the dole’ was shameful, when single women were forced by circumstance and social pressure to give up their babies,  when women with children often stayed in bad marriages because financially there was no alternative. We weren’t very tolerant, we weren’t very caring. ‘You made your bed – now lie in it!’

I’m still a card-carrying member of Gary McCormack’s  Pull-Yourself-Together Party, so I was surprised at my own anger this morning when I read the Prime Minister’s statement that beneficiaries go to food banks because of their own ‘poor choices’.  He said:

‘…anyone on a benefit actually has a lifestyle choice. If one budgets properly, one can pay one’s bills. And that is true because the bulk of New Zealanders on a benefit do actually pay for food, their rent and other things. Now some make poor choices and they don’t have money left.’

Well, here is the news: Some people have unexpected bills, Mr Key. Some people’s cars break down, because cheap, old cars are all they can afford – seen a repair bill lately? Some people need dentistry – seen a dentist’s bill lately? Some people need to pay the rent, which they can’t afford even with an accommodation supplement – seen the news on Auckland rentals recently?

I don’t think those are poor choices. I don’t think those are choices at all. Read the rest of this entry »