Why do we say that? Have a read of this, from today's Dom-Post:
Work and Income has reinstated benefit payments for a provocative artist who failed to tell the agency he received payment for an exhibition promoting unemployment.
Out-of-work artist Tao Wells received a Creative New Zealand grant which he used to create a "beneficiaries' office" in Wellington.
At the two-week installation on Manners St, he is advocating for the opportunities and benefits of unemployment, saying it is unfair that long-term beneficiaries are labelled bludgers for exploiting the welfare system.
The work is part of a performance art installation series, and Wells was given an artist's fee of $2000 and $1500 for expenses.
He did not tell Work and Income about the grant, and his benefit was suspended on Friday last week after the agency became aware of it.
"I'm trying to be honest. I did receive the amount, but it breaks down to a very low amount."
Wells told The Dominion Post his benefit was reinstated on Wednesday, after he and a beneficiaries' advocate met Work and Income staff. "It was a complete turnaround."
Wells has said he has been "on and off" the unemployment benefit since 1997. He refused to sign a privacy waiver enabling Work and Income to discuss his case with The Dominion Post.
We're not surprised that Tao Wells refused to sign a privacy waiver. There is information about his case which would be highly detrimental to his cause were it to find its way into the public domain.
Which, of course, it has; read on:
However, Work and Income head Mike Smith said Wells' benefit had been resumed because he had provided evidence that he was available to work and had been applying for jobs.
"Contrary to some of his public statements, he tells us he is keen to work.
What's correct Tao? Is it what you told Creative New Zealand, and what you told the public of New Zealand last week; that work is "slavery", and that "we should never be forced to take a job"? Or is it what you've told Work and Income; that you are available to work, have been applying for jobs, and that you are keen to work?
You see, in our ever-humble opinion, the two lines of reasoning are incompatible, so one of them is bullshit. C'mon Tao; which one is the truth, and which one is the porkie?
The sad reality is that losers and hypocrites like Tao Wells give REAL beneficiaries a bad name. We have no problem with the state helping those who through circumstance or through no fault of their own cannot help themselves. But we resent the taxes we pay on our labours going to people who CHOOSE unemployment as a lifestyle, and who are prepared to give WINZ the answers they have to in order to sponge off the state; even when those answers contradict the person's beliefs, as they have in Tao Wells' case.