We’re saddened to hear there’s been another violent robbery perpetrated against tourists in New Zealand, this time in the Palmerston North (read all blogs tagged Palmerston North)
A report in gives the Manawatu Standard gives barest details of the attack against two Austrian visitors, one of whom lay bleeding from the head after their campervan was stolen. At least three attackers were involved in the assault, no information is likely to be given out that will confirm if they part of a gang or gang prospects but Highbury does have a reputation for gang-related crime.
A 19-year-old Palmerston North man will appear in court charged with aggravated robbery after two Austrian tourists were assaulted and robbed in Highbury on the weekend.
Two other men, aged 32 and 34, will appear in court on Thursday charged with unlawfully getting into a stolen motor vehicle in relation to the same incident.
The two male tourists were being driven around the city by one of six passengers who were riding with them in their campervan.
The driver stopped the van at the intersection of Dalwood Grove and Clarke Ave about 1am on Saturday and told the pair to get out.
One of the tourists was assaulted with a bottle, while the other managed to escape and go for help… more here
There seems to have been the suggestion that the attack may have been premeditated and the report gave no hints as to why the van driver stopped in this area in the early hours of the morning.
Highbury is described in Wikipedia under Gang-related Crime
- The suburb of Highbury has had the most gang-related, violent crime incidents (including shootings, serious assaults and stabbings) nationwide in the past decade. Members of the Highbury community have attempted to alleviate the negative aspects and perceptions of the suburb, but its violent past has made it known to other residents of Palmerston North as the most dangerous part of the city.”
The junction where the attack took place.
Our advice to tourists in New Zealand is to take every possible care with their personal safety and not to give lifts or rides to strangers: if you wouldn’t do it in your own country never do it in New Zealand.
New Zealand has a reputation for tourist attacks and robberies, campervan tourists often become crime victims. You may also be interested in our blogs
Australian honeymooners lose it all two tourists robbed near Milford Sound
Te Anau Troubled By Tourist Attacks -drunken youths attack visitors in Te Anau
Chilean Tourist Robbed, Loses Life’s Work robbed in a motel near Auckland international airport
Honeymoon Couple Lose Precious Photos, No ‘Gold Medal’ British couple robbed outside of Auckland zoo
Czech Tourist, Jan Fakotor, Stabbed In Motueka man stabbed in a Motueka backpackers
English tourist mugged in Gisborne female tourist punched and handbag stolen in a street attack, delaying her departure from NZ
Chilean tourist punched, robbed in Nelson man attacked on Nelson cathedral steps by three teenagers
A group of students that were beaten and robbed whilst on a treasure hunt at the Hundertwasser toilets in Kawakawa, Northland
A series of random, unprovoked attacks in Queenstown
Previous robbery of British tourists at Kerosene Creek
Tourists robbed at Kerosene Creek
Three French tourists beaten and robbed in their campervan in Mangamuka, Northland - police have yet to resolve this crime
A family of Swiss tourists that were assaulted and racially abused in Kaitaia, Northland
Anke Kuballa and Marc Busch from Germany who were robbed in Whangarei, Northland
Two German tourists attacked in Paihia, Northland
Asian woman, (probably Japanese) age 22, raped in her room by 2 teenagers in a home invasion in Opotiki, Bay of Plenty
Three Chinese tourists attacked and robbed at Te paki, 90 Mile Beach, Northland, by two men they’d stopped to help
French tourist Anthony Cressend, beaten and robbed at campsite in Ahipara, Northland
Two Australian tourists robbed at knifepoint for their holiday money in Te Puke, SE of Tauranga.
Japanese tourist age 23 (female) kidnapped, robbed and assaulted in Rotorua by four men
French tourist (male) raped at gunpoint near Opotiki, Bay of Plenty
American peace corp twins Adam and Alex Rahmlow, 21 were robbed of all their possessions by a man they tried to help in Amberley, Christchurch.
Dutch couple raped and robbed on a campsite in Tuatapere, NW of Invercargill, whilst on their honeymoon. (Dutch govt. issued a travel warning about NZ)
Two Koreans were attacked and robbed of their possession which included a laptop computer by a man claiming to be a gang member in Blenheim.
British tourist worker sexually assaulted near Hururu Falls, Northland when she was dragged off a walking track.
Canadian tourist Jeremie Kawerninski, kidnapped, assaulted and robbed in Lower Hutt, Wellington
Dutch couple robbed and sexually attacked Haruru Falls, Northland whilst on honeymoon.
Two British women robbed and raped in their campervan at Tokomaru Bay, north of Gisborne.
Japanese tourist subjected to a prolonged and brutal sex attack in a communal area of a backpacker’s hostel in Turangi, Taupo.
Scottish woman Karen Aim brutally murdered and robbed by a youth in Taupo.
Korean man Jae Hyeon Kim decapitated with a spade by white supremacist.
Japanese tourist robbed at gunpoint in Oamaru.
Irish cycle tourist Paul Mack bashed, robbed and urinated on throughout his NZ tour.
6 English and Danish tourists attacked and stabbed in Cashel Mall, Christchurch for having “foreign accents.”
Russian couple Denis Khotchenko and Lera Nesterova beaten and robbed in Milford, Auckland
English woman knifed and sexually assaulted in a toilet block at an A1 motor camp in Kaikoura
American campers Patrick Dykstra and Kelsey McGinley beaten and robbed at Whangarei Falls, Northland.
Australian tourist sexually assaulted on a street in broad daylight in Nelson.
Australian tourist subjected to a sex attack by Maia Crawford Rongonui whilst walking home to a backpackers in Christchurch.
Canadian tourist left with a fractured skull outside Silver Fern backpackers in Taupo.
Dutch tourist beaten and robbed at Lake Rotorua.
British man Paul Speakman and his young son beaten and robbed in a campervan at Athenree Gorge, Katikati.
Chinese woman attacked for speaking Chinese on a train approaching Petone.
Scottish visitor Stuart Martin who was left in a coma and with a boot print on his face after a street bashing in Taradale, Christchurch.
We’re appalled by the story about a drunken mob descending on a Palmerston North petrol service station last Saturday night.
The Manawatu Standard wrote:
“A mob of drunken youths stole hundreds of dollars worth of stock and left behind a trail of vomit and debris when they took their party to a Palmerston North service station.
“Staff at the Fitzherbert Ave Caltex spent the weekend cleaning up vomit, broken glass, and litter after a group of about 40 youths descended on the station on Saturday night… read more and see the CCTV pictures here
A large proportion of the population of Palmerston North is made up of students, and it is considered to be an important base for tertiary institutions. There’s nothing in the report to suggest those involved were students but we’re willing to bet that they were and they were out celebrating the end of their exams for the year, much like the youths that were partying hard in Christchurch last weekend. If the Palmy mob were students they’re unlikely to receive any punishment for their youthful ’misdemeanors’.
Canterbury University’s annual Tea Party and Lincoln University’s Garden Party started on Friday morning and continued through the night. Most of the 40 students that were subsequently arrested were only given pre-charge warnings by the police, we think it’s highly likely that the youths in Palmerston North will received a similar punishment for their youthful hijinks.
But who decides on where to draw the line between mob rule and kids letting off steam, and where antisocial behaviour ends and criminal activity begins?
A large tranche of the country’s future ‘elite’ is allowed to get away with theft, damage and terrorising people going about their lawful business simply because they are boozed up students.
Is Palmerston North so dependent on student spending that it is prepared to turn a blind eye to criminal activities and public drunkenness? We’d like to hear from people living in the town, what do you think about student behaviour and how does it impact on your enjoyment of your town, do you feel that it is in the thrall of student sub-culture and how would you change it?
For other posts about Palmerston North click here.
You may also like:
Remember our blog, Palmerston North’s Wikipedia Entry Censored? We discussed the curious incident of crime references being edited out of the town’s Wikipedia page because it was putting-off professionals from relocating to the area.
We all know that there is an issue with crime in Palmerston North, and its effects are having a big impact on one poor school who’ve had to use their scare resources in a big effort to combat the problem. The intermediate school is “one of the most burgled sites in the city”. From today’s edition of Stuff
A burglary-plagued Palmerston North school has spent more than $200,000 tightening up security.
Ross Intermediate School has lost thousands of dollars worth of plasma televisions, digital cameras and laptops in a string of burglaries in the past two years, making it one of the most burgled sites in the city.
But since its security has been amped up, principal Wayne Codyre said staff could now concentrate on what they did best – education.
The school has installed external security cameras and improved fencing and lighting.
Barrier arms were put early last year and a mesh fence was installed in May which still failed to stop burglars cutting through it.
“It’s just disappointing that the community are no longer able to come through the school, all because a small percentage of people ruined it,” Mr Codyre said. “There’s no need for people to be on site if they’re not staff after hours…” more here
Hopefully the school will now be able to focus on educating their children, it must be very disrupting for them arrive at school in the morning to find everything of value stolen. There have probably been times when their work has disappeared too.
But, one has to ask why the local law enforcement officials have been unable to control what looks like a rampant crime spree, and where these goods are ending up. Surely some arrests should’ve been made by now, doesn’t it make you wonder who’s responsible, Palmy North isn’t exactly a large place.
Keeping it in the family
This was also in the news today. Another school in Hastings is also having problems with burglaries, but police have managed to make an arrest in this instance. Note the age of the offender and that he was already out on parole for previous offending.
A judge has slammed a Hastings father and sent him to prison for the “appalling” burglary of his daughter’s school.
Michael Monty Skipper, 22, appeared for sentence before Judge Geoff Rea in Hastings District Court yesterday after earlier admitting breaking into Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Ngati Kahungunu Ki Heretaunga immersion school to steal about $40,000 worth of goods and causing $6000 to $8000 worth of damage.
He stole items including computers, laptops, Apple iBooks, hard-drives, modems, speakers and musical equipment. He then hot-wired a school vehicle found on the premises and loaded it up with the stolen goods.
Judge Rea said the offending, which occurred while Skipper was on prison release conditions, had left the school “completely devastated”… more here
It would be interesting to have a deeper look at burglaries in New Zealand schools to see just how serious and widespread the problem is. We think that profiles of the offenders would also make for some very interesting reading too.
Other blogs about Palmerston North
New Zealand’s ‘Green’ Credentials aren’t quite as good as they should be for a country with such a low population, much of NZ’s green reputation is little more than greenwashing used to sell produce and tourism.
In April 2011 a copy of the government’s draft energy strategy: Developing Our Energy Potential was released ‘mistakenly’ into the public domain. It quickly became evident that the present National government was placing far too much emphasis on the mining of fossil fuels in New Zealand.
The Green Party called the strategy which promoted coal and oil exploration, 19th century and said it put ‘petroleum and mineral fuel reserves (essentially oil, gas and coal) ahead of investing in renewable power sources and new technologies.
“…This strategy demonstrates how backwards-looking this Government is on energy. They clearly do not have a logical, coherent plan,” said Greens energy spokesman Kennedy Graham.
“On one of the first pages of the document, the strategy acknowledges that oil prices and the cost of greenhouse gases will rise. But instead of developing a plan to reduce our reliance on these unsustainable energy sources, it goes on to prioritise fossil fuels like offshore oil drilling and lignite – the dirtiest coal.
“It’s a short-sighted economic strategy that will ultimately impoverish New Zealand, and will undermine international efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
“New Zealand’s prosperity in the future will depend on investment in clean, green technology and sustainable jobs, not opening our shores to foreign companies to exploit a 19th century resource.”…” read more, including what the public think about the report
NZ government recently caved in to the oil industry by allowing seismic testing for oil in the Raukumara Basin. since then there have been vigorous protests by environmental groups within New Zealand, none of which have been effective in halting the exploration which has the support of the NZ government.
In August 2010Radio NZ obtained reports under the Official Information Act that showed “Petrobras … was awarded an exploration permit two months ago off the East Coast without any environmental scrutiny.According to the documents released, the decision was made on technical and economic grounds, and required the company only to show it would use good oilfield practices.” source
Mass penguin deaths on the beaches on the east coast of New Zealand have been attributed to Petrobras’ oil exploration work in the Basin. International research suggests that seismic testing is responsible for killing a range of sea creatures.
This month a Chinese backed, Australian mining company, Goldmining NL, revealed it had plans to explore for oil in the seabed off the Abel Tasman National Park, across much of Golden Bay and the NW point of the South Island. It is proposing drilling the seabed for oil and gas, as well as prospecting for coal in Golden Bay and developing Port Tarakohe. (source)
The air at more than half of all the air sampling sheds in New Zealand fails quality tests, with much of the pollution caused by residential wood smoke during winter, even with proposed improvements 45% of the population will still be exposed to higher than acceptable levels of PM10s.
One of New Zealand’s rivers – The Manawatu – is among the most polluted in the world and many beaches suffer pollution from stormwater and waste water overflows making them unsafe to swim on. (more below, including videos and citations)
Tonnes of toxic herbicides and pesticides are dropped from helicopters over thousands of hectares of countryside every year, including the highly controversial and dangerous poisons 1080 (see 1080 posts) and Brodifacoum (a rat poison similar to warfarin) – neither of them are intended to be distributed from the air, they are supposed to be laid in covered bait stations. Weed killer is also sprayed from helicopters over wide swathes of countryside in an effort to eradicate non-native plants such as gorse. Tourists, workers, farm animals, native fauna and pets have all been exposed to these toxins – sometimes with fatal consequences.
A new class of insecticides called neonicotinoids are widely used in New Zealand. They are thought to be contributing to the rapid decrease in the honey bee population. By 2008 the Environmental Risk Management Agency had licensed 23 neonicotinoid-based products, despite mounting evidence of the harm the neurotoxin was having on bees.
By May 2011 an alarming “bee colony collapse” had been observed over a six month period in New Zealand. In some places 30% of the population has disappeared. But despite some classes of neonicotinoid being banned in Italy, Germany and France there are no plans to curb its use in New Zealand. Because of the important role bees play in the pollination of crops Albert Einstein speculated that “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left.”
Hundreds of hectares of land are polluted with toxic chemicals left behind after years of intensive fruit growing, chemical use and/or manufacture (Agent Orange, wood preservatives, heavy metals etc) Over time, as the use of orchards declined, the land was often sold on for residential housing development. Many homeowners are unaware that their houses are built on contaminated land. Councils are very reluctant to release information as it will have a negative impact on land values and there could be massive bills for remediation work and difficulties in disposing of the contaminated soils.
Drums of toxic chemicals were recently discovered beneath a children’s playground in Marfell, the site of New Plymouth’s former city refuse dump. The chemicals were tetrachlorobenzene and trichlorophenol, both used in the manufacture of herbicides.
Ivon Watkins Dow (now named Dow Agro Sciences)manufactured herbicides ’24D’ and ’245T’, used in equal part in the manufacture of the defoliant Agent Orange, at its Paritutu plant for use in the Vietman war. The dioxin contaminant TCDD within ’245T’ is considered to be highly toxic to humans. Exposure to dioxins is alleged to have resulted in an estimated 10% increase in cancer deaths in the New Plymouth area.
Over a 30 year time span 20 million litres of the 2 herbicides were sprayed in New Zealand to control gorse and other weeds. The NZ government was said to have subsidised the use of the herbicides and 245T was both produced and used in NZ long after other countries had banned them. Production in the USA ceased in 1979 but continued in New Plymouth until 1987
An example of joined up thinking with regards to sustainable development in New Zealand can be seen is the construction of a new school in the Remarkables, Queenstown.
It is the first new state primary school to have opened in the lower North Island since the 1970s cost $17.3 million to build but it was refused a grant to install an energy efficient, sustainable energy system. The school is now reliant on electricity and paying more than $10,000 a month with an estimated spend of $75,000 for the full year. The education ministry doesn’t fund electricity bills of that size and the shortfall must come from the school’s operating budget, or community fund raising.
Will sustainable development be a key factor in the rebuilding of Christchurch? we will be watching.
In February we wrote about John Key’s comments when asked about poverty and food banks in New Zealand, i.e. that beneficiaries who resort to food banks do so out of their own “poor choices” rather than because they cannot afford food.
This may be of interest to you if you are considering emigrating to New Zealand because its a great place to raise kids and you think that you can manage on the lower salary you are being offered. Or you may be living in New Zealand now and struggling to make ends meet and resent being told that its your fault for making’ poor lifestyle choices’
John Key said
“But it is also true that anyone on a benefit actually has a lifestyle choice. If one budgets properly, one can pay one’s bills. “And that is true because the bulk of New Zealanders on a benefit do actually pay for food, their rent and other things. Now some make poor choices and they don’t have money left.”
But rising food prices mean that New Zealand is a country where it is now cheaper to buy cola than milk and where obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Read the blog here
Published research from the University of Auckland, which shows that low income families in New Zealand can’t afford to buy basic nutritious food for their children, is now being used by the Child Poverty Action Group to call for more support for families in New Zealand. The results of poor nutrition is being seen in New Zealand’s hospitals every day.
It may surprise Mr Key to learn that The highest cost for families is rent, then electricity, transport and education. Its far more than not being able to budget properly, its about having money left after the basic essentials for life have been met to afford luxuries like healthy food.
Nutritious Food Too Costly For The Poorest Families
“Latest research from the University of Auckland supports recent claims that many low-income families are unable to afford even a basic nutritious diet for their children. A paper published in Nutrition and Dietetics in December 2010 found that low-income families may not be able to afford meals recommended by the national nutritional guidelines, especially if there are teenagers in the household whose meals cost a lot more.
In response to the findings Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is calling on the Government to increase support for families so they are able to provide nutritious food to their children.
Professor Asher says, “In reality, rent is the highest cost faced by most families, closely followed by unavoidable expenses such as electricity, transport and school-related costs. This leaves little for a good diet, especially for older children who eat so much more.
Nutritious food for children is beyond the reach of many low-income families, especially those thousands of families ineligible for the full Working for Families package. This study clearly highlights that using food banks and purchasing cheap poor-quality food is not always a matter of choice. “
CPAG is calling on the Government to help all families better afford nutritious food by extending the In-Work Tax credit to all low-income families. The cost of basic food items have increased over the last year, exemplified by the rise in milk price – 9%. “We see the outcome of poor children’s nutrition in our hospitals every day. This problem can’t be solved just by budgeting, and will not go away through magical thinking.”
Spokesperson Professor Innes Asher email@example.com 021492262″
Kiwi youth already suffer some of the worst health outcomes in the developed world. New Zealand’s young people have higher rates of mental illness, suicide, teen pregnancy and suffered more injuries than young people in other OECD countrie. (source)
“New Zealand’s children suffer not only a higher rate of hardship than other New Zealanders, but a greater share of New Zealand’s children face hardship than in many other countries. New Zealand’s older population faces a low rate of hardship relative to the other New Zealand age groups and relative to the same age groups in other countries. Having about one out of every five children facing hardship is a situation that must be improved. The comparison to other countries shows that New Zealand is unusual in choosing to impose such a burden on the youngest segment of the population.” Source NZ Institute’s report NZ Ahead.
With regards to third world diseases NZ has 14 times the average OECD rate of rheumatic fever, five to 10 times the rate of whooping cough and pneumonia compared with the United Kingdom and United States, and four to six times the rate of child maltreatment compared with the best countries
Household crowding is partly blamed for New Zealand having one of the highest rates of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) among children and teenagers in the developed world.The infectious disease, which can cause chronic rheumatic heart disease through damaged heart valves, is responsible for more than 120 deaths a year.
In 2010; 2000 more children were admitted to hospital with poverty-related illnesses than during 2007-08
What seems to have slipped below the radar is the fact that a crisis is occurring in our hospital admissions.
That’s the fact that medical conditions which occur more frequently for children living in poverty have been increasing over recent years – particularly for Maori and Pasifika children. Or that close to 250,000 children are living in homes reliant on the benefit for income.
My colleague, Te Ururoa Flavell, last night spelt out some of the consequences of families living in severe or significant hardship. Families who go without fruit and vegetables; who put up with the cold to save on heating costs; who delay going to the doctor of the dentist, or live in cramped conditions, who tell their children that the opportunity to go on a school trip or play sport is a privilege which they can ill afford.
Is this a nation fit for our tamariki? We need to heed the research which shows us there can be a different life for our babies, if we make it a priority.
Last year I spoke at the launching in Dunedin of the New Zealand Children’s Social Health Monitor Report 2010. That report revealed the inevitable, that economic recessions have affected children’s health in other countries. And we saw research indicating the close correlation between recessions and high hospitalisations in New Zealand.
However, it also reported on the experience of Sweden in the 1990s where, despite large numbers of children living in low income families, there were no significant increases in childhood hospitalisations for poverty-related illnesses.
I noted that in 2010; 2000 more children were admitted to hospital with poverty-related illnesses than during 2007-08.
We’re talking about admissions for respiratory problems, infectious diseases, and other conditions with links to poor housing and economic hardship –all diseases of poverty which could have been prevented if children were taken to see a doctor earlier.
The Prime Minister said yesterday, when talking about these very children – the children who suffer the consequences of long term dependency – that “the Government is not prepared to leave those people behind”. That was welcome news for the Maori Party.
But statements are at risk of becoming platitudes without a plan in place. Slogans and placards are great for the camera, but where is the strategy to put the words into action?…
She went on to call for seven simple solutions to support children, whanau and families:
• We will set a deadline to eliminate child poverty by 2020;
• We will designate an official poverty line at 60 percent of the median household disposable income after housing costs and set net income for those on benefits at this measure to prevent poverty.
• We will increase minimum wage to at least $15 an hour.
• We will raise core benefit levels, including superannuation, veteran’s pensions.
• We will simplify Working for Families including extending the ‘in-work’ payment to all families.
• We will investigate the reintroduction of a Universal Child Benefit ;
• We will establish a ‘Neighbourhood Renewal’ Fund, which may include incentives to encourage living more collectively, eg community gardens, afterschool care, post-natal support for parents.
You may also find interesting:
1. Our other blogs:
“NZ: 100% Pure Rip-Off” (July 2010)
Immigrants Caught In Cold Poverty Trap (July 2010)
Ministerial Credit Card Rort (June 2010)
Family Gets $200,000 Bill For House Fire (July 2010)
2. And these external sites:
“ACCUSATIONS THAT New Zealand is one of the worst performers in the developed world when it comes to the income gap between rich and poor have been validated by a Sunday Star-Times survey.
Conducted by Horizon Research, it shows the burgeoning gap between the haves and have-nots is frothing over into resentment, anger and disillusionment….”
“John Key says if you’re having trouble getting by on your income it’s due to your ‘lifestyle choices‘. Key has given himself at least $23,000 in tax cuts and had a $7,500 rise on our borrowed money. He has the worst economic record of any PM in 80 years: 86,000 more jobless Kiwis and falling incomes. And this bastard blames Kiwi families for their poverty…”
Palmerston North families, many of them in paid work, are reaching out to food banks and budgeting advisers in growing numbers as new year bills and price rises tip them into crisis… Salvation Army community ministries manager Kevin Richards said there was no doubt more people were finding it harder to feed their families. In January, it faced a 25 per cent increase in customers compared to January a year ago, with 40 to 50 new clients each month. “Most are people who have never used us before. It’s a huge growth in demand, and it continues to grow.”
As well as about 180 people needing food parcels each month, the number of people looking for assistance with clothing, bedding and household goods had doubled to about 200 in six months.
Some were in work, but 99 per cent were beneficiaries.
“The big banks look set to lose their prized Aa2 credit ratings after ratings agency Moody’s Investment Services said it was considering a downgrade of them.
The big four banks ANZ National, Bank of New Zealand, ASB Bank and Westpac all hold Aa2 rating for their long-term senior unsecured debt and deposits…”
“Petrol prices are on the rise again, hitting their highest level for more than two years.
Overnight the price of a litre of 91 octane petrol rose 3c to $2.02 and 95 octane rose to $2.11…”
“In New Zealand, 100,000 workers live on the minimum wage of NZ$12.50 per hour, which is just 51% of the average wage.
Unite’s “campaign for a living wage” calls for the minimum wage to be immediately raised to $15 per hour. Then, it would be further increased in stages and set at two thirds of the average wage. The union is organising a petition drive, aiming for 300,000 signatures calling for a citizen’s initiated referendum by May 2010. If this is achieved, the government would be required to call a referendum on the demands within a year…”
Kiwis discuss Key’s comments online
“I know of two people on the sickness benefit due to recent circumstances completely out of their control. One receives $180 a week. She pays $150 a week rent, which includes power in a tiny granny flat. $10 a week is allowed for her cell phone because she has medical emergencies, so she is left with 20 a week for food. The other of those people also receives temporary assistance which takes her total up to $300 a week…in order to cover the mortgage payment. In her case, the mortgage, rates and house insurance is…you guessed it, $298 a week. She has $2 a week to cover her food, power, phone. Budget that, if you can.”
“WE are fortunate to be sort of middle income and I have to say that over the last 18 months despite tax breaks and pay increases we are about $80 – $100 a week WORSE off than we were with all the increases. We pare things down to the bone. Rarely have special treats or outings.I am a good experienced cook and we cook from scratch. I can’t imagine how a beneficiary would cope these days. Edit to add also a lot of beneficiaries are not on unemployment benefit.. they may be on sickness etc and have extra costs for medical care …”