Wednesday, May 25, 2016

We shouldn't just forgive, but pay back odious debt

Over 9,000 people have signed Action Station's petition calling on the government to forgive odious emergency housing debt. The government's response? Nope:

Wiping the debt of people who have been staying in motels for emergency accommodation would not be fair to others in the system, the Social Development Minister says.


The government was a place of last resort, and would keep supporting them, but she said that would not mean wiping existing debt.

"Well it might be a help to these people in particular, but what about the people who have worked really hard and paid their debt off in the past, and how much debt do you forgive, and when do you start?"

The "logic" here beggars belief. This is a "debt" which should never have been charged. But because they've fucked people over in the past, they have to keep fucking people over forever, because to stop fucking people over would be unfair to their past victims. Or to put it another way, you can never correct a wrong.

I'm not buying it. This is "debt" which should never have been charged. Its continuing existence is an outrage. The government should forgive it all immediately. And if they're worried that any of their victims might have repaid some or all of this odious debt, the solution is to pay them back, not use that as an excuse to avoid doing the right thing.

But I forget. That WINZ debt? That's National's "surplus", built on the backs of the poor.