The Herald have published a story yesterday about a single mother living in Pukekehoe decided to go into prostitution to help support her studies, so she can get out of benefits. The Herald found that with her current support from Work and Income it is not sufficient to give her with childcare and study needs. She would still have a shortfall every week.
Today, a follow up story quoting Associate Social Development Minister Chester Borrows said she is currently receiving $43,000 benefit per year. This, as Mr Borrows says, should be reasonable, if not sufficient.
Of course Ms Wysocki thinks otherwise. Single mother of two who is going into full time study is not going to have enough money to pay for everyday things such as childcare and child support, rental, etc.
This story caused an uproar early in the morning within the Weibo community. I got up checking my Weibo hoping to see some stories about Henry Tang (唐英年) and his (failing) campaign to become the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong. Not expecting people commenting about Ms Wysocki’s case.
It is perhaps a very foreign concept in China. Social support in Asian communities are very rare, and applying for any social benefit is considered shameful. Increasingly this has changed in places like Hong Kong where beneficiaries were found to be scammers.
She is a single mother who wanted to go back to study. Yes, the Chinese community thinks she should and yes she should get supported. $43,000 a year? Not so sure. Undoubtedly there are many single mother, and father, out there who is working very hard to support their families, for less than $43,000.
Chinese will never understand why a government gives out so much benefits to their people. Chinese think New Zealand is a country of dependencies. People literally sit on their bums and do nothing. Is New Zealand creating a society of dependencies, where people chooses to stop working and sit there and grow fat?
Are we giving her special treatment because she is a single mother who will go into prostitution and she made herself public on newspaper? What about the many other single mother out there who are not getting supported? Would this now opened a can of worms for more people asking for their rights?
I have no answers to any of these and being brought up in a pseudo-single parenthood family, support is important, but it is the level of support that seems to be the debate here. How much more money can she get from working as a sex worker? She would probably get more now having nationally advertised her story.
One said too me on Weibo that perhaps the government need to look at strategic and constructive ways to help support single parents who have needs, instead of just giving hands out. This could create unfairness and dependencies and stop motivating people to work hard to get what they want and need.
I do believe that working hard to get what you want and where you want should be the goal one wants to achieve. Not sitting around waiting for luck to come upon you.