General Debate 19/04/11

Children are going to school hungry because their parents don’t have enough money left for food after paying exorbitant interest rates to moneylenders, budget agencies say. Family Budgeting Services Federation chief executive Raewyn Fox said her agencies’ clients owed a total of $63 million to finance companies, exceeding all other forms of debt except mortgages for the first time.

Mangere Budgeting Service chief executive Darryl Evans said debt repayments meant 1000 of his clients, with an average three children each, spent an average of only $83.33 a week on food – less than half the $226 which Otago University’s annual food cost survey found would be needed for a “basic diet” for two Auckland adults, two 5-year-olds and a baby.

He cited a Samoan family in Favona with children aged 6, 5 and 6 months who had nothing left for food out of a benefit income of $551 a week after paying $180 in rent, $75 on power, petrol and insurance and $307 repaying loans at interest rates of between 19 per cent and 52 per cent.

“We have been propping them up with food parcels because they have exhausted their Work and Income entitlements,” he said. “We try only to give three food parcels in six months too because we don’t want to be seen as the crutch, we want to be part of the solution. But when you know someone is genuinely not able to feed the kids, who am I to say no to them?”

The agencies spoke yesterday at the launch of a campaign by the Labour Party, unions and other groups to crack down on loan sharks by capping interest rates and requiring lenders to ensure borrowers can afford to repay a loan before approving it.

Labour MP Charles Chauvel said loan sharks were “the only part of society that relies on defaults” – deliberately lending to people who could not afford to repay so they could repossess the borrowers’ assets such as cars, beds and fridges.

Salvation Army Auckland community ministries director Jason Dilger said 60 per cent of people requesting food parcels were paying off debts to avoid repossession of such essential items. “Children are affected because there is not enough food in the home. Children are going to school without eating,” he said. “We see a lot of people on benefits paying $100 to $150 a week on a car. On a benefit I don’t know how you could do that.”

Source- NZ Herald.

16 thoughts on “General Debate 19/04/11

  1. The left are so hopelessly out of touch. This is not down to money lenders, it is down to the idiocy of the borrowers, who are actually more victims of socialism than they are of the lenders.


  2. A friend of mine was a pawn broker next to a WINZ office.
    On behalf, he delivered a lounge suite to a state house with a late model WRX in the driveway, inside the kids were sitting on beer crates playing Xbox on the big TV… One of many such tales.


  3. “who are actually more victims of socialism than they are of the lenders”
    Yep, particularly as a result of socialism’s focus on equality of outcomes and dumbing people down. Large groups believe that as long as they have the modcoms they will be perfectly happy, whether they have something to eat or not.


  4. … and let’s not forget that Lotto’s number one outlet is in Manukau City. So there’s another $20 a week that many of our down and out are not spending on food for the kids.


  5. Our beneficiaries think that cell phones, TV, Sky, cars, X Box, cigarettes, Lotto………(the list goes on) are essential items. They need to go to Africa to see what true poverty is like.

    There is a huge amount of malnutrition in South Auckland, and none of it is starvation. Education and taking away needless benefits is the only way their behaviour will be changed.


  6. but wait… hot off the press.
    Dont feel bad, your only fat because of your mothers diet while pregnant.


  7. Caleb – that bit of journalism must rate as the worst bit of reporting I have ever seen on science. Whoever wrote it has absolutely no idea about what he/she wrote, no clue about DNA/genes and their expression, what constitutes a significant statistical analysis, etc. It is pure and simple sensationalism…..along with the cultural Marxists demonisation of slender white women.

    As for our esteemed scientific advisor……if he can attribute a 300 person study, which even he says he cannot be sure about other influences on the outcomes he has selected, as his most significant piece of work……well, all I can say is the Lingam Institute deserves him. No serious statistical analysis could ever show that such a small sample is significant in a study that could have so many causative factors for such a broad, undefined outcome. Bad, bad science.


  8. “Bad, bad science.”

    But a good headline, and good news for all us fatties that it’s not really our fault.



  9. you can lead a horse to water…
    you could give cauliflower away…

    For what its worth, Red has said it before, today even. Education is poor, social standards are slipping away… Government is trying to smooth it all out.


  10. Mr Fisi, it amazes me how many communists lurk in various dark corners of New Zealand. The discussion thread on sciblogs outed at least 3.

    Interesting the only context for these articles is the supermarket. If people want fresh fruit & veg, why is the supermarket the only option? I grow a small quantity of my own vegetables, which gives Miss Five no end of pleasure and which taste many times better than anything purchased at a supermarket. Thanks to our lettuce, tomato, cucumber, lime and chilli crops, we have beautiful fresh salads almost year-round. I will also frequent a local farmer’s market or, if the situation warrants, a greengrocer. Anybody who buys fruit & veg from a supermarket (or meat for that matter) deserves the financial shellacking they get.

    The question of milk is interesting. Over here in Melbournistan, the market is being warped at the moment as Coles and Woolworths are involved in something of a price war. They’re using Fonterra-supplied milk to try and kill local farmers and to out-play, out-stay, out-last each other. I can get 2L of milk here for $2! But even without that distortion, there were always a number of options. One could buy the very expensive stuff-from-inside-a-cow for $5 (or more) per 2L, or the home-brand cheap stuff-from-inside-a-cow for $2 per 2L.

    I guess the point of this ramble is that the price thing is a furfy. There are plenty of non-supermarket options for buying fresh, just as there are plenty of non-KFC and non-Maccas options for buying takeaway. It isn’t price, it’s laziness.


  11. Thanks for the link in your 20:50 comment, Mawm – “Who Is Barack Obama?” – very interesting indeed.


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