In Opposition in 2007, the Palemia/Prime Minister John Key used the neighbourhood of McGehan Close, Mt Albert in Aukilani/Auckland, as an example of the “growing underclass” that would be a priority for National.
Aroha Nathan and John Key, 2007
Mr Key met the Nathan family from McGehan Close and invited Joan Nathan’s 12-year-old daughter, Aroha, to Waitangi celebrations.
But now Mrs Nathan says although she still likes Mr Key personally, as a politician he is an “arsehole” and has done little to help the poor.
“He’s just making everything better for high earners and not the low-income ones,” she told Campbell Live.
Mrs Nathan said her life was no better under Mr Key’s Government.
McGehan Close, and Mrs Nathan in particular, are once again an example, but not of a growing underclass, but an example of this National Government failing to help those who are at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. A priority, they have not been.
Instead we’ve seen this National Government prioritise the rich and powerful. The Government has given millions of dollars in tax cuts to the richest, yet promises only a 25c rise in the minimum wage for the lowest paid workers. The Government has allowed employers the ability to fire new employees within the first 90 days, and need not give a reason, yet plans to cut thousands of jobs from the public service, without guaranteeing no negative impact on social services, services the general public depend on. The Government has planned to sell some public assets such as power companies (albeit partial sale) so that foreign owners can inject capital into the assets, yet the likely outcome is the profits will go offshore, and prices for power will rise. The Government has given millions of dollars to private schools, yet cut funding for early childhood teachers. The Government has bailed out a finance company with billions of public money to save the flow on effect of a collapse from rural investors, yet it has time and again said there is no money in the public purse to give teachers, doctors and nurses pay rises.
Yup, we now can see this Government’s priorities… not the so called “underclass”, but priorities for the rich and powerful.