Welfare beneficiaries around the country were in shock and mourning today, after Social Development Minister Paula Bennett announced “the dream is over”.
Former bricklayer and now long-term unemployed man Chas “The Jazz” Murray was one of those struggling to cope with the news.
“Man I had it sweet, bro. I had the dream beneficiary lifestyle. You name it, I had me some of it.
“Bro, as soon as I mention to the ladies I’m on the dole they come running after me. I almost have to beat them off with a stick.
“The ladies just go crazy for a penniless man with depression, feelings of worthlessness and a greater chance of poor health outcomes.
“And you should see my sweet-as set of wheels. Pity I can’t afford a car to put them on.”
Invalids benefit recipient Adam Green has been battling cancer for the last three years. Now he will have to move onto a sickness benefit and prove he is not fit to work.
“They’ve been special times,” said Mr Green.
“Being racked with pain and nausea as the cancer eats into me, slowly sucking away every ounce of my dignity and destroying my family in the process, feeling like I just want to die and end the misery.
“Ah, those salad days.”
DPB recipient and mother of two pre-school children, Jocelyn O’Kane, said she dreaded the impending changes.
“Being a mother of small children is such a holiday,” she said. “I get out of bed most days at about midday and the kids have already changed their nappies, done the dishes, washed the clothes, got the groceries, vacuumed the floor, eaten breakfast, put the rubbish out, driven themselves to kindergarten, cooked the night’s meal, and paid the bills.
“So I just get a big bag of chips out of the pantry, put on Oprah and relax for the afternoon. I sure am going to miss those days.”