Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Free pools aren't free

John Walker is worried the megacity will see the end of Manukau's own little pork project, which is to take money from ratepayers to provide free access to baths pools in Manukau.

The NZ Herald reports
"Since 1974, Manukau City Council has provided free public access to all pools, putting up to $7 million of ratepayers' money towards running the facilities each year."

It isn't providing anything - it is taking money from those who don't swim to subsidise those who do. Children wont lose access if their parents bother paying for it, instead of expecting everyone else to provide something to nothing.

The usual excuse is given that if you don't give kids something to do, they'll be criminals - which isn't a reason to blackmail ratepayers. "it's giving them something to do - take it away and they're on the streets, bored and [with] nothing to do - leading to trouble." says Walker.

I'm sorry, when I was bored as a kid, i didn't go round robbing people, or beating people up or vandalising buildings. Providing free pools because kids are feral is a copout out of ensuring that they have some respect for others, and get over "being bored". If the poor bubbas of Manukau can't cope with being bored now, then wait till have to work (or have to do stuff while on welfare).

Of course John Walker and other supporters could raise funds themselves to help pay for children from low income families to have access to the pools. However, that would require convincing people to pay for others, and why should you do that when you can force them to pay for what you want?

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