The Dole Bludger

I hear it all the time. Dole bludgers this and that. They suck up taxpayer dollars. They are a drain on society. They’re lazy, probably fat and stupid, and just need to get a goddamned job or have their benefits cut and leave them to fend for themselves. They’re the great scourge, the great drain on our resources, they don’t deserve our support (we won’t go into superannuation and how much more that costs than the unemployment benefit)

Who do you think these people are? How many of them? How about wake up and look at the reality of unemployment beneficiaries.

There are not screeds of people out there hanging out on the dole, kicking back in the sun and enjoying the good life. Being a beneficiary is hard. There is not enough money for food and power and rent all at once. Living on rice and noodles isn’t really that much fun, believe it or not. Or spaghetti and baked beans. Going without heat in winter – not so bad if you’re up north, but tonight it’s going to be -5C in Christchurch, and those without the resources to keep their heating on are going to suffer. And getting behind on rent is a quick ticket to homelessness, which is rather more shit than just being a beneficiary. 

People want to get off the benefit, because being on it is miserable. At least if you work full time you make a bit more, making your life less shit. Plus, you get to be inside all day and warm, or out on a crew working hard and keeping yourself warm.

Let me underline that. Being employed is better than being on the unemployment benefit. People don’t actually really want to be on the dole. The vast majority are off within two years, and around a tenth of one percent of beneficiaries are on it for more than ten years. Those people are not scroungers. They are people with issues around employment that WINZ can’t change, like police records. Even WINZ can’t get a murderer or rapist employed. What, you think that these ten-year veterans just cruise on through, grabbing their handouts with both hands? No, WINZ do their damndest to get people off the benefit, and that actually includes working with people to get them a job when they’ve been on the dole a while. They don’t just have a free cashflow pooling at the feet of benefit veterans.

Lay off on the goddamned ‘dole bludgers’. Yeah, I’m sure they exist and you may even know one, lazing around in his parent’s back yard smoking pot. But they are not a representative sample of the unemployed population. The unemployed population is made up of people that want a goddamned job.

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