11 percent of the workforce are on an advantage, I’m appalled

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, getting paid through the nose for everything you do, working part time, working full time.

I just want you to take a moment and give yourself a virtual hug. A warm little handshake, a little helping hand, because you and I, my friends, New Zealand taxpayers, are becoming rare and wonderful beasts.

We are like shining unicorns, you and me.

Wonderful creatures that we are, the stuff of myth and legend, because, and it stopped me yesterday, do you know how many people are receiving benefits in this time of desperate worker shortage? 11% of the working-age population receives a main benefit.


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

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

Emergency accommodation and emergency food payments are all the best. The main benefits are Job Seeker, Supported Living, Single Parent, and then a host of others – a bit of rats and mice, like Youth Payment, Emergency Maintenance Allowance, student difficulties, etc.

Few people are on these. By far the majority of people of working age are job seekers, self-employed parents and single parents.

If you asked me if someone said on the air, you know how many people, what proportion of working adults do you think you’re on the benny? I would have said I don’t know 5%, six maybe. People who cannot work due to illness or accident. People who are new parents, brand new parents in a heartbeat. People between jobs and looking for a job. But 11%?!

Hell, taxpayers don’t just fund the huge wasteland of government bureaucracy, they fund schools, hospitals, roads, and they fund 11% of the working-age population. They laugh. I really draw a line to that.

And what kind of life is he on a benefit? You exist. You barely make it. How the hell can you not think you’re better than that?

Like I said, sincere condolences for those who can’t work and that’s what the benefit is for, and maybe if those who have the ability pull out, those who need it might have a little more.

You could take the money that goes to 11% of the population and give more to the 5% who desperately need it. I am appalled. Honestly, I had no idea there were so many people.

So if you, my beautiful unicorn, with your shiny mane and silver hooves, growl at work today, work hard at what you do, thank you.

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

Michael A. Bynum