I have no sympathy for rich beneficiaries who lose their Training Incentive Allowance
post has been updated
I do have a problem with Social Development minister Paula Bennett releasing private details of beneficiaries to a newspaper purely because they criticised National’s policy to remove the Training Incentive Allowance (TIA) for those who are taking graduate courses. Bennett said she looked at the Privacy Commissioners website for guidance on whether to release private information. Perhaps the first time she looked at that website was shortly after 11:24am yesterday. She obviously didn’t look at the Cabinet Manual.
Mind you I also have a problem with a beneficiary Natasha Fuller who has three kids and more weekly income than our entire family. She has enough to pay for hair extensions ( which she may or may not have got when getting state assistance) but moans about how she can’t afford to study without the TIA. I am also a student with three other mouths to feed and I can’t afford $400.00 for hair extensions. But unlike Fuller I probably get 5-6 hours sleep a night and spend more hours studying than she does because I do a lot of it when the kids are school or asleep.
Natasha Fuller criticised National for removing the Training Incentive Allowance from degree courses, adding that National wanted people like her to aspire to working in a supermarket. Except that she is a trained private investigator and has done a small business course. Perhaps people working in supermarkets would aspire to be in her situation. The never-married Fuller has three kids to two different men and has been on and off the dpb for about three years. She currently gets $715.00 per week – way more than those on the average wage - but that does not include child support or any money from IRD – or food grants. I was told by the NZ Herald that the income probably doesn’t include Working for Families, either. That's questionable. So if you are working for 40 hours a week and you get less than $17.88 an hour, you are worse off than Fuller, and she doesn't even work. Fuller should go and get a partner called Bill S*it and link up surnames – Fuller-s*it.
And this from Jennifer Johnston, whose details were also made public.
But with the allowance discontinued and childcare, course materials, uniforms, transport and other costs not covered by a student loan, Jennifer has no idea if she can continue.She can do what other people do. Go off the benefit, onto a student allowance, study a full year instead of just three papers, get a student loan for course costs, borrow $1000 for course related expenses like books, transport, and computer gear, get a grant from WINZ for second hand school uniforms. And get a part time job, and a childcare subsidy from WINZ.
Why should student allowances be taxed, whereas TIA’s are not? The only reason a university student is on the dpb is to save up to $3620 on course costs every year - and study part time to ensure course costs aren't over the allowance amount each year - and to live in the manner to which they are accustomed to. Why should they when others get student allowances?