Guy Williams: If poverty's so easy, you give it a crack

Comedian Guy Williams has come out swinging against those who criticise New Zealand's poor.

His passionate speech came at the end of The Project's segment on a potential government scheme that would pay the unemployed to plant trees.

The comedian said he's tired of what he calls an "attack on the poor" in which people negatively stereotype those not in work, education or training.

"It's one of those situations where people will say things like 'oh poor people are just stoners, they're on the dole, lazy and just smoking weed all day'. If it sounds so great, you can do it as well. Everyone can give it a crack."

Mr Williams also chastised New Zealand First MP Shane Jones, who said on Sunday that under his proposed scheme there would be "no more sitting on the couch".

"I just feel like in New Zealand we're being a little bit tough on the people who need it the most."

Watch the video for the full Project segment.