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Ed Sheeran

John Tamihere answers the critics and golliwogs

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John Tamihere answers the critics and golliwogs

I was amazed at the response to last week’s opinion piece on the probity and the liability on the tax break v the targeted tax break. The Families Package Act is no more and no less than a targeted tax break aimed to support the lower end of town, rather than up town. It’s as simple as that.

But what really amazed me in this debate and response to my column ( is the people that consider they deserve the tax break are already the recipients of significant tax payer benefits - education for example.

And what’s more galling about these people is that every one of those critics has likely been a recipient of massive state subsidies. They are the recipients of free education, from the womb to the tertiary level, recipients of state housing or state advances loans that ensured they were state funded in the education system but were also heavily funded in regards to housing.

All of a sudden, they believe they made it to where they are now all by themselves. All of a sudden they believe that through their ingenuity and their smarts they made it with no help from anyone - including the state. These people are hypocrites, or worse they practice selective amnesia

And their poster carrier, who is now a political sandwich board, is former National Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett. A solo mum at 17, Paula was fully subsidised by the state into housing and fully subsidised by the state into tertiary education, where she got a degree. She was also fully funded into employment along the way. But once she made, it and became the Minister of the Department of Social Welfare, she pulled the ladder up.

That’s exactly what all of those who oppose the targeted tax breaks in the families’ tax Package have done. They should all look into the mirror and say “shame on you.”

I suspect these are the same people that would believe that its an individual’s right to make and sell golliwogs. The story of golliwogs hit the headlines when a shop owner on Waiheke Island was questioned about her decision to sell the dolls. Some would argue that comes down to personal responsibility and the state or others should not intervene because if you want to be racist or if you want to exert certain values that may put others race, creed or religion down, then that’s OK. They would argue that in the free market and in regards and to personal responsibility anything goes.

It will be interesting to see how those same people respond to this article.



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