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The Standard

A tale of two taxpayers

Written By: - Date published: 2:19 pm, December 5th, 2013 - 50 comments
Categories: john key, national - Tags: , ,

stop robbing poor to feast rich

Two recent news reports show a stark difference in treatment of taxpayers by this Government.

Sarah Warren is a mother of four who lives in Putaruru.  She has struggled to find work because there are no local jobs.  She does not want to move because her children prefer living where they are.  She has no car and there is no WINZ office in Putaruru.  To attend a recent mandatory meeting she walked 25 kilometers from Putaruru to the WINZ office in Tokoroa and then walked back.

Her reason for doing this was simple, “If you didn’t turn up they cut your benefit off.”

Her attempt to find an alternative arrangement has not worked.

They didn’t care how I got there. They didn’t want to hear about my situation.”

Her treatment should be contrasted with that of Chorus.  This is the company that has received the thick end of $1.3 billion of our money interest free to do the fibre roll out.  It tendered for and won 70% of the roll out contracts and did this with the knowledge that the Commerce Commission was reviewing the price of copper broadband and a reduction was likely.  It undercooked the tender, possibly so that it could keep control of the network, and despite early indications of financial pressure has kept paying dividends.

Now it has gone cap in hand to the Government and asked for a handout.  On the same day as preliminary results of the review have been handed to the Government Amy Adams has all but promised support for Chorus.

According to interest.co.nz:

“The preliminary conclusion from Ernst & Young is that copper price changes will have a significant impact on Chorus’ financial position and that absent further action, Chorus is at risk of not meeting its UFB and RBI (Rural Broadband Initiative) contractual commitments, after taking into account a wide range of actions Chorus can take itself,” Adams said, adding that a full report due from Ernst and Young next Thursday was unlikely to alter that finding.

Adams said the Government’s UFB rollout had a budget of NZ$1.35 billion and CFH was required to act within that “fiscal envelope.”

At a later news conference she said the Government was hopeful that changing some of the terms of the rollout would mean the Government did not have to top up the NZ$1.35 billion cost. She said the government was committed to the current agreed levels of service and timing of the rollout, but that other conditions could be tweaked, including perhaps the make up  and timing of debt and equity payments within that NZ$1.35 billion cost.

“The Government expects Chorus to meet a significant part of the shortfall,” Adams said, adding the Government expected to know the outcome of the discussions between Chorus and CFH “in a few months time.”

Chorus is a large corporation with significant resources.  In the commercial world if a company signs a contract then it is expected to stick to it and meet the full amount of any shortfall.  If it breaches the contract then it normally has to pay damages and if it does not have the resources then it is almost inevitably wound up.  But in this case the Government appears to be happy for the country’s resources being used to bail Chorus out.

And the contrast of the Government’s treatment of Chorus with its treatment of Sarah Warren is jarring.

Only on Planet Key do we have a Government which insists on a beneficiary walking 25 kilometres to attend a meeting to help look for a job that is not there yet will bail out a billion dollar corporation when it cries poor.

50 comments on “A tale of two taxpayers”

  1. Chris 1

    Forget about the Grinch who stole Christmas, this Nact Govt is stealing its citizens dignity.

    • dave 1.1

      if mrs warren wants to help herself there is one more walk she can take to the polling booth and vote the bastards out.

    • dave 1.2

      if mrs warren wants to help herself there is one more walk she can take to the polling booth and vote the bastards out.as for chorus let them go bankrupt in 1991 when they privatised telecom they said privatisation would future proof new zealand they lied ufb is a bailout out of the countries communications net work telecom took 17 billion out of this economy NO BAILOUT FOR CHORUS!

  2. Will@Welly 2

    I watched this on Campbell Live. Sarah Warren’s trip is not a short trip, not a one or two section bus trip, as one might find in most cities. The crazy part is there is an office in Putaruru where they could run courses, but it only operates two days a week, then only 1/2 days and only in emergencies.
    I’d love to know who devised this one -Paula Bennett’s brain-dead relative ?
    You’d think given the distance, and the need, they could be more accommodating, or is it that the majority of people in the region are Maori ?
    As for Chorus, when the contract was signed, they knew what they were in for. Changing track have way through doesn’t cut the mustard.

    • Dumrse 2.1

      Putaruru has an office and, there is a bus. What more did she need. Another meaningless bitch about nothing. If you want to go to battle, pick a decent fight instead of one full of holes.

      • framu 2.1.1

        “The crazy part is there is an office in Putaruru where they could run courses, but it only operates two days a week, then only 1/2 days and only in emergencies.”

        thanks for agreeing with wills point

        and on the issue of the bus – you do realise that bits costs, you know, money – which beneficiaries tend to, you know, have to spend on rent and food and stuff

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.2

        There is a bus !!!

        So reading the Oily Orca makes it true then.

        Yes Intercity does run between the two centres, but its a long distance service .

        It doesnt arrive till 11:15.

        Too bad if the seminar starts at 8:30 or 9 as would be common

        SO we can safely say there isnt a usable bus service, unless like a dentist you make an appoitment at a time suit you.

        As others have pointed out Putataru only has limited hours and services – thats why they sent her to Tokoroa

        Whats that about full of holes !

        Carefull about repeating rubbish from Whaleoil, hes a known liar in these matters.

        • Dumrse 2.1.2.1

          Limited hours. Get outta bed on fucking time and get there whilst the limited hours are in action. Brain….think..

          • fender 2.1.2.1.1

            You need to enter the relevant info into your own brain, if that’s feasible.

            Read the link, you will discover:

            “The Waikato Times asked Work and Income why the meetings could not be held in Putaruru, but staff were not able to respond to that question.”

  3. tc 3

    How much tax has chorus paid in it’s brief life since being birthed out of telecom.

  4. bad12 4

    The Governments shoddy, vicious, mean spirited mistreatment of the beneficiary highlighted in the post is actually worse than that,

    It appears that WINZ do have an office in Putaruru where Ms Warren lives, this office is open two half days a week and yet WINZ demands all it’s Putaruru clients attend at the Tokoroa office to take part in seminars about non-existent employment…

  5. TightyRighty 5

    tale of two losers more like it.

    • Macro 5.1

      Oh you are so f**ken RIGHTous Righty

      Loser

      • TightyRighty 5.1.1

        corporate welfare is as bad as private welfare. it removes the onus of risk and therefore prudent decision making. on a like for like basis i’m sure chorus employees receive as much welfare as the taxpayer in question. but it’s not the fucking point is it?

        all welfare is bad. all tax is bad. all government is bad.

        until such time as the levels of each are reduced so that good at least equals bad, then the economy will have the handbrake on.

        • Tracey 5.1.1.1

          who do you vote for, or do you not vote at all?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1.1.2

          Yeah whatever Tighty. You pay lip service to anarchy but your comment history marks you as an authoritarian from tip to toe.

        • framu 5.1.1.3

          “all government is bad. ”

          well your free to piss off any old time you like – just dont use a single thing that taxes have paid for or that relies on a functioning govt to exist when you do it

          Ive got an old rubber inner tube to get you started. Consider it charity

          ” but your comment history marks you as an authoritarian from tip to toe.”

          exactly OAK – ol tightey whitey here just loves govt when its doing something he approves of – i bet he loves even more if it involves kicking people who are worse off than him at the same time – makes him go all… upstanding.

        • amirite 5.1.1.4

          until such time something unexpected happens to your sorry arse, Tighty

        • Paul 5.1.1.5

          Apparently there’s not much government in Somalia, if you like anarchy.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.6

          all government is bad.

          This is pure ideology that is true only on Planet Key.

        • Macro 5.1.1.7

          5000 years ago a Babylonian wrote on a clay tablet words to the effect that the measure of of a just society was the extent that it cared for its most vulnerable. That sentiment is as true today as it was then. Chorus went into that contract with both eyes open.. or they should have. The ticket clipping by those greedies in no way compares to the the needs of the poor. But I understand that these sentiments are wasted upon the likes of you. Greed is the only thing you understand.

        • JonL 5.1.1.8

          “all welfare is bad. all tax is bad. all government is bad. ”

          ahh….the mantra of those who would live in the society created and maintained by tax and government, enjoy any or all of the advantages of same, but do not want to contribute mutually, do not want to support those at the bottom of the group (they can just die in straightened circumstances,,) want to live in a winner takes all, group, where they are the winner and sod the rest of you!
          Well, when the world population is about 10 million, maybe your system would work – of course, you’d have to go without the infrastructure that keeps the current world operating, but in the current world, teeming with people, it is a system that inevitably will, and does, bring about conflict on a major scale…..
          Prat!

    • Paul 5.2

      Usual insults without a word of substantiated evidence.
      Typical parasitical RWNJs with a sense of entitlement.
      If you really believe in the Ayn Rand’s gospel, can you walk the talk and repay the rest of us for your tax payer supported education and health when a child.

  6. Tracey 6

    For the price to affect chorus does this mean it was paying for some of the rollout with income from the earlier rolled out parts?

    Can you give me your link for Chorus knew about the commerce commission inquiry and that it would likely result in a reduction.

  7. Tracey 7

    Today on the Farming Show Mr Key admitted there are people in NZ on the “breadline”. he said these people need the money to get by so he would not make kiwisaver compulsory for them. It turns out poverty is measurable. has he told Bennetttttttttt?

  8. Puckish Rogue 8

    http://i1.wp.com/www.whaleoil.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Intercity.png

    – for those interested this is a bus timetable from Putaruru to Tokoroa

    • Tracey 8.1

      dont know how to use timetables yourself Ruckish Pogue?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      So, a minimum of $28 on a stretched budget that probably has difficulty paying for food and if the appointment was before 11:15 then you’re going to be late and lose the benefit.

      Yeah, sounds remarkably like “no bus service” to me.

      • Will@Welly 8.2.1

        So what does she go without – power, toiletpaper, food – we know female sanitary needs are out, so what other cuts can she make. And what time is the return trip home – would she have to leave the course early ? Doesn’t seem to be alot of thinking about this.

      • Dumrse 8.2.2

        So why not use the Putaruru office ?

        • Draco T Bastard 8.2.2.1

          Why don’t you ask WINZ – they’re the ones that keep it closed most of the time and expect people to go Tokoroa for their appointments.

    • mickysavage 8.3

      Maybe she did not know. Obviously WINZ did not tell her. Maybe she could not afford the fare as DTB said. Probably she does not have internet access so she cannot find these things out.

      • Puckish Rogue 8.3.1

        Maybe or maybe not

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.3.1.1

          Maybe, or maybe not. I was just following orders. It wasn’t me.

          Personal responsibility means it’s always someone else’s fault, eh PR.

        • framu 8.3.1.2

          which renders your first comment somewhat pointless doesnt it?

          can you really go “see look” then follow with “yeah but i dont really know”?

    • Paul 8.4

      Zzzzzzz

  9. phil 9

    I reckon the government will offer some deferral or other to kick the can down the road for a few years. The government should hold fast and not bail out another Corporate. So embarrassing for the hard right wingers. Will the Nats expect a sweetener for the election campaign fighting fund from Chorus/Telecom, Vodafone, Downers, SKY, Fairfax, Fletchers, etc? Cronyism. But wait, it’s official, we are the least corrupt country in the whole world. Doesn’t say much for the rest.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Perceived to be the least corrupt country in the world. Doesn’t say much for the majorities perception.

  10. Richard McGrath 10

    As Ms Warren says, she chooses to live in Putaruru. That decision has consequences. But I agree private businesses should NOT be bailed out by the taxpayer.

    • QoT 10.1

      On Planet McGrath, moving house, especially between towns, costs nothing and is no hassle and doesn’t uproot your kids.

      • repateet 10.1.1

        Yeah let’s set up WINZ offices in a few towns only and people who need to use their services must live there. Tell you what, while we’re playing North Korea, no-one is allowed to cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge to go to work, you must live in the suburb you work in. Think of all the motorway and transport infrastructure that would save.

  11. Flip 11

    The preliminary conclusion from Ernst & Young is that copper price changes will have a significant impact on Chorus’ financial position and that absent further action, Chorus is at risk of not meeting its UFB and RBI (Rural Broadband Initiative) contractual commitments, after taking into account a wide range of actions Chorus can take itself,”

    So Chorus take action!!!!! Duh!

    Obviously it will impact its financial position. We know that. What does that mean? It won’t pay a dividend for a few years, directors/managers will have to suffer a pay cut, people will lose their jobs, it will take longer so need to pay a penalty, or will it go broke?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 11.1

      Or it will have to stop paying bribes making charitable donations to the Waitemata Trust?

  12. tricledrown 12

    Tighty almighty when are you going to pay the 72% hand out you got from taxpayers like me.
    The free education and healthcare my taxes paid for while you were trying to grow up.
    You and your bludging ilk make me puke.
    Your a snobby elitist now you have received your subsidized lifestyle.

  13. RedBaronCV 13

    Okay. Now the best thing for us taxpayers is to stick to the contract and only pay by completed mile. Don’t pay up front Amy or you will LOSE the money and there will be no performance.

    Now when it goes broke us taxpayers can buy it for a $1 ( the right of first refusal should be negotiated into that contract right now) and we can pay a fee sufficent to maintain the old copper network while we use it and to put the new fibre in – no deadweight private profits, salary caps at x times the minimum wage, cheaper access than we currently have , a new network.

    This is the “brighter future” of the Nacts isn’t it?

  14. infused 14

    She should have moved. She’s been there 20 years on a winz benefit.

    • framu 14.1

      explain exactly how she would move, taking into account her available resources and mitigating factors – this has been discussed before so it should be easy

  15. Observer (Tokoroa) 15

    Why do the members of the Right hate ordinary people?

    Why do they hate and despise mother of four Sarah Warren?

  16. Murray Olsen 16

    A woman from Tokoroa who has probably never read WhaleSpew’s hate blog in her life has stepped in to help. I applaud her.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9477764/Community-responds-well-to-mothers-plight

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