[It never got sent to the Editor of the Dunedin STAR]
Unlike David Ross [Star December 7, 2006] I am not sick of superannuients telling how poor they are at the bottom of the pile because for somebody to live on the super is tough if they have not prepared for it. Because of the 'cradle to the grave' of socialism, as developed by the National Party onto the basics that the first Labour Government brought in, the poor were lulled into thinking it meant just that. No longer the hardships that Pat Adamson [Star December 14, 2006] mentions. I would have fallen into the trap but for a flatmate who told me to join the Government Super scheme where I ended up paying 7.5% and subsidised by my employer to an equal amount ... really the current 4% scheme of the Labour Government is a cruel joke. Even the 15% hasn't put me in the lap of luxury, the way the actuaries work the scheme is another cruel joke on contributors, but I know I am a hell of a lot better off than those on just super..
Everybody was told 'we will look after you', politicians' promises equally insincere from left and right. Only by luck had I acquired the neccessary to buy a run down house, after living on the breadline for some twelve years, not that I appreciated that at the time, it was just life as I lived it, and the income to build a replacement family home with a small loan from the OSB. Plus the gumption to build on my one year of carpentry at primary school to do the work myself. I owe much to the rigid building code of the period, loathed by many builders, but it gave me the guidelines to build by.
Attitude helps, I had bought a small fridge in Auckland where I had been living in a caravan in a motorcamp to reduce the exhorbitant rent I had being paying previously and brought that south when transfered to Dunedin, but there was no car, washing machine, drier etc as my wife helped me to build our family home, they came later as, not paying rent, we found the money for them on the never-never thanks to the likes of Arthur Barnet.
I am more angry about the whinging folk complaining about their leaky homes which panic'd the politicians into introducing regulation which will make it much harder for somebody today to do what I did. After all the leaks came from bad professional design and trade workmanship, and slack inspection ... not amateur builders. That gets me angry for lost opportunity for somebody like me rather than the struggling pensioners, they are living the cruel joke played on them by the politicians.
Pat Adamson's 'hidden agenda' of Sir Roger Douglas was only hidden because Sir Robert Muldoon sprung a snap election in a moment of drunken stupour, and could have been the saving of the country if Roger had been allowed his head. The country would have prospered and the government would have the money to properly look after those on the bottom rung. The 'cradle' of ACT's policy.
long gone from ACT :-)