There should be no free lunches, says Colin Craig

Press Release – Conservative Party
Recent discussion over the effect of lunchlessness on educational outcomes arising from Auckland University’s research misses the point says Colin Craig, Leader of the Conservative Party.

“The issue is not whether lunchlessness is detrimental to learning. Rather the issue is a parents’ duty to provide for their children,” says Mr Craig.

“Where a child is regularly sent to school without a lunch, the parent is being delinquent. Proposed solutions such as state funding of school lunches, which Bill English says the Government is open to, will only encourage this delinquent behaviour. Such programmes are noble ideas, but end up being another pathway into government dependency, and an ever-growing cost to taxpayers.”

“We recognise that it is entirely inappropriate to encourage other bad behaviours. We don’t encourage people to take illegal drugs, or to drink too much. Instead we recognise the appropriate response is intervention. Intervention holds a person to account and demands a change in behaviour.”

“While free lunches sound appealing” says Mr Craig, “They are actually a way by which the government enables the continuation of delinquent parenting. Such proposals are an unwitting, well meaning, but destructive response.”

“We need to recognise there are no ‘free lunches’. ‘Free lunches’ are a case of responsible New Zealanders picking up the tab for delinquent parents.”

“The proper response to delinquent parents is to charge them the cost of rectifying their bad behaviour. As a country we need to start expecting people to be responsible for themselves and their families. We need to stop a continuation of the culture of entitlement.”

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  1. Teresa, 24. October 2012, 13:15

    There is nothing wrong with providing hungry children with food so they can learn.
    I think Mr Craig’s urge for self promotion is tampering with his ability to see clearly.

    Mr Craig’s would happily prevent hungry poor children from having a food . At the same time he feels so many people at the top are exempt from his no “free lunch “policy , while some people have the entitlement of excess wealth and not performing duties he feels feeding poor children is morally wrong .
    Wanting to punishing the ignorant parents, or the too poor to afford the cost of living parents, is wrong thinking. So is wanting to punish poor children for the ignorance of their parents (that we as a society are responsible for )is gross .
    Only in remodeling our society away from this intolerant hateful greedy separatist model can we change the negative behaviour we do not want.

  2. richarquis, 24. October 2012, 16:56

    According to Wikipedia:

    Personal life

    “Craig is a Christian, who was born into the Baptist denomination.”

    Bollocks. He displays about as many Christian tendencies as I have toes on my hands. He is a self-aggrandizing attention seeker, with a lack of compassion and understanding of the many varied strata of contemporary NZ society. Fortunately, the chances of he and his party gaining any substantial traction in the elections is about the same as his demonstrations of empathy – Bugger all, if not zero.

  3. Sally T, 24. October 2012, 23:04

    (Why attack Mr Craig when he’s just offering his view. Can we agree to disagree, with calm…)

    For genuinely struggling families, extra assistance could be offered. Already they have Special Needs Grants and Food Grants through WINZ; perhaps they could increase those. It’s not the Government’s job to pay for all our needs; but to govern well.

    The worry is how much is genuine need and how much is careless planning by some? Some people take a ‘free lunch’ because it’s offered, though they don’t NEED it. That’s fine if we have $$$ to burn, but the Government is supposed to spend our money wisely. If it’s being taken advantage of, is that wise? It’s not just about compassion or the money, it’s a balance.

    No one minds genuine needs; but is it fair to give help, to the people who are capable of providing lunches; if they spent more carefully, or budgeted differently? To neglect children deliberately is not okay, but if money is short families need to seek assistance. For those who are lazy or disorganised take a different approach.

  4. Teresa, 25. October 2012, 13:25

    Sally: I did not attack him, I placed my views on his opinion.
    You can feel free to keep your belief that feeding hungry children is immoral .
    The ignorance of the parents does not justify punishing the children.
    Most of these families have asked for assistance. Hunger for food is always genuine, teachers have seen this hunger and can verify it for you.
    Even the merciless “right winger” knows that hungry children can’t learn, can’t get an education and then cannot work to pay off the interest on your govt’s debt.
    Keep your view, I’ll keep mine. Feeding hungry children is a need and children should not be punished for their parents’ failings . Preaching intolerance and ignorance is wrong.

  5. richarquis, 25. October 2012, 16:23

    Sally – Yes, perhaps your comment was directed at me. Fair enough, let’s talk about the issue. But when the messenger is ignoring crucial aspects of the issue in order to gain political points, he has set himself up for criticism along with the message. That’s the nature of the game he has chosen to play.

  6. J, 7. November 2012, 10:59

    Feed the children.
    Feed them while dealing with the parents. I don’t particularly worry about what happens to the parents. They probably voted for this government that promised no change from Helen Clark-style government i.e. slow but steady empowering changes to people in generational benefit traps.
    They also voted for that rich Mr Key who promised them $50 extra in their pockets and no extra taxes, plus 170,000 jobs by lunchtime (forgetting to tell them that first they would lose their jobs and be casualised for less wages plus he had a new name for taxes – GST, road fines, tolls, higher power and water bills, user pays on libraries, etc and that the closer-to-$5 in their pockets would be gone by lunchtime).
    So, tough on the poor deluded parents who voted Key in. Don’t blame the children for their parents’ stupidity. Don’t blame the children because their parents are buying from expensive clothing trucks instead of lay-bying what they need.
    Don’t blame the children, full stop.

    Feed them now.

    By the time John ‘trust the market’ ‘we’d love to see wages drop’ Key is finished with his fine-tuning of New Zealand for his American corporate bosses, via the TPPA, the children will need all the help they can get.

    As for wealthy Colin Craig who conned the public with his so-called democracy march, which was a dishonest attempt to infer public support through numbers against the S59 repeal bill, I would not trust our future with him in government; likewise John Banks who pretends to be Act, in order to take the fall for Key in his privatisation of schools and anything else Key doesn’t want to be dirtied by when he lobbies for his knighthood.