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The Standard

Welfare is not a pissing contest

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, March 3rd, 2013 - 153 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, national, paula bennett, poverty - Tags: , , ,

This teaser on the front page of the (digital) Herald, and the article that it links to, really really annoy me:
welfare-pissing-contest

Let me count the ways:
(1) It turns welfare, an important safety net and part of the social fabric / contract of our country, into a stupid pissing match about a minister’s “reputation”.
(2) It therefore completely buys in to the underlying assumption that the only measure of success on welfare is to reduce the numbers on it. No. That is the job of the rest of the government (and the rest of the Nats, not Bennett)*. Welfare’s job, and Bennett’s job, is to take care of the people most vulnerable in society, not to punitively cast them out.
(3) In the process of the above it treats beneficiaries as cattle, numbers to be bullied and harassed with the sole purpose of achieving a reduction, rather than as human beings and fellow participants in the shared social fabric. Any one of us could end up on welfare one day. (One token personal story is trotted out, but it is a weak effort in the context of the assumptions underlying the article.)

In short, the whole thing is completely framed in terms of right-wing assumptions and talking points. It trivialises and important social issue, and in the process puts the focus for reducing numbers on welfare in completely the wrong place. Numbers on welfare fall when society and the economy are healthy and there are opportunities for all. High welfare numbers are not Bennett’s failure, they are National’s.

*Even Jacinda Ardern, quoted in the article, seems to buy in to these first two errors.

Update: Yeah – there it is:
(4) It paints Bennett into a corner where the only way she can respond is to chuck more people onto the scrapheap to try and bring the numbers down. Which is exactly the wrong outcome. Labour, Jacinda, please think about your handling of this issue.

153 comments on “Welfare is not a pissing contest”

  1. handle 1

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. This line of ‘reasoning’ is stupid:

    “Labour spokeswoman for social development Jacinda Ardern said the highest unemployment numbers were at around 10 per cent in the early 1990s but support for solo parents and invalids have hit record highs during Bennett’s reign as Social Development Minister.

    “When it comes to the worst DPB, sickness, and invalid benefit numbers, these have all been since 2010 and under Paula Bennett,” Ardern said.”

    It is like she really wants Bennett to announce a crackdown on those filthy unwell people.

    • Tom Gould 1.1

      This is bizarre logic, in my view, to suggest that providing the real numbers under Bennett’s spin and swagger is somehow colluding with them in their war on beneficiaries? Weird. It simply exposes the big lie driving their policy.

  2. Shorts 2

    You’re dead right, but it’s also Bennett’s failure as she (seems) to judge these numbers as her success too.

    If only politics wasn’t treated like a sport…. We’re all human after all

  3. Foreign Waka 3

    The largest increase was predictably over summer with students looking for jobs and signing up for the dole. The numbers have increased by about 7900 in comparison to a year ago. All other numbers seem to contradict the one mentioned today from the same source. Since the reports are not due until the 9th Feb I will take this one with a grain of salt. Not that I feel that there are too many people without a job and I won’t get started on Christchurch (makes my blood boil).
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10781476

  4. Joe Bloggs 4

    Yes – a very disappointing piece by the Herald.

    The comment that “numbers on welfare fall when society and the economy are healthy and there are opportunities for all” is astute.

    So the gaps in the Herald’s reporting are doubly disappointing.

    Like:
    people receiving the DPB declined by over 5,000 in 2012
    people receiving the Unemployment Benefit declined by over 7,000 in 2011, and declined by another 6,000 in 2012

    Is the Herald deliberately failing to acknowledge that numbers on welfare are falling, or that there may be some health returning to society and the economy?

    • Foreign Waka 4.1

      I doubt that the numbers are falling. I belief that some people will not get any benefit but being sent on “courses” and others are being “reassigned” to other benefits. DBP certainly will decline as there is a request to take up work. However, when 1hr per week constitutes employment than all the number crunching is worthless anyway.

      • Joe Bloggs 4.1.1

        Doesn’t change the fact that the Herald omitted data that disproved its thesis

      • freedom 4.1.2

        “when 1hr per week constitutes employment than all the number crunching is worthless anyway.”
        +1
        possibly the most under reported fact of this current Government’s policies

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.1

          I don’t see why they’ve kept the number at 1 hour. Surely 15 minutes of paid employment a week is sufficient to be considered “employed”.

  5. RedLogix 5

    Every time I hear someone rant about bludgers I ask them …”so you’re happy with desperate people knocking on your boss’s door offering to do your job for half your pay?”

    Usually shuts them up.

    • burt 5.1

      That’s what we have unions for, to make sure people can’t undercut the cartel clipping the ticket of the workers.

      • geoff 5.1.1

        “…make sure people can’t undercut the cartel clipping the ticket of the workers.”
        You’re talking about the employers, right?

        • burt 5.1.1.1

          Yeah geoff, that’s right … The employer takes some of the money that (somebody else) pays the workers… Perhaps the tooth fairy also has invested capital and takes risks with that capital enabling her to pay the workers while the naughty company just takes some for providing the branding stuff that gives the worker some identity in where they work.

          • felixviper 5.1.1.1.1

            The employer takes some of the money that the workers earn actually burt. Workers form unions to ensure that they get to keep as much of what they earn as possible.

            Usually you support such sentiments. Funny that.

            • mikesh 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Workers and their unions I think are at a disadvantage in wage bargaining since they do not see the total amount available for distribution. Since company reports do not disclose how much has been paid in wages and salaries it is difficult for them to gauge how much of the total pie they may be entitled to. The ‘total pie’ of course would include the amounts paid out in wages, salaries, directors’ fees, taxation, dividends and retained earnings. If this information were available a union might claim, and obtain, higher wage packages.

              • felixviper

                Indeed.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Worker Committee representatives on the Board of Directors solves that one.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I’m actually thinking that that information be made available to the workers on a quarterly basis and before they get hired. In fact, I think it should be publicly available on the internet as well.

                    With full information people can negotiate far better.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Disagree; employees deserve to know the state of the company, but not random onlookers and competitors.

          • Arfamo 5.1.1.1.2

            There are plenty of employers who would pay their workers in food stamps if they could get away with it when jobs are in short supply. Business owners are in the game for personal profit. Good thing is they operate in a larger society in which the people they employ and who help generate their income have the opportunity through elections to vote for governments which have to ensure at least basic minimum pay for the employees’ labours on their own and their employers behalves.

            • McFlock 5.1.1.1.2.1

              or voucher cards.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.1.1.1.2.2

              There are plenty of employers who would pay their workers in food stamps if they could get away with it…

              Got a link for that?

              • Arfamo

                Yeah ok, using a bit of literary licence there. But read any of the articles around in the last couple of months about contractors who’ve been employing illegal migrants and paying them bugger all.

                • Arfamo

                  I was looking at some online job ads recently. Came across one that pays minimum wage but you had to pay for your own on-the-job training. Wonder if I can find a it again. I think it was a commercial cleaning operation.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Well, hearsay (seen some of the adverts but was awhile ago), but I’ve heard of carpenters (yes, fully qualified) getting offered $14+GST per hour. They have to supply their own tools, site-safe, keep their gear up to spec. and pay their own holidays and taxes. The end result is far, far below minimum wage but is allowed because it’s contract work.

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  But no-one getting paid in food stamps. I am not sure what would be in this for the employer anyway. Presumably, he or she would have to buy the gift voucher from Pak N Save, so I am not sure how the employer would end up ahead.

                  • IrishBill

                    Presumably, he or she would have to buy the gift voucher from Pak N Save, so I am not sure how the employer would end up ahead.

                    I’m sure foodstuffs would be happy with the arrangement: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrip

                    A bit 1900s though…

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      I am sure they would be. I am just struggling to understand the (entirely mythical) employer’s motive in this (entirely made up) scheme.

                  • felixviper

                    Which part are you having trouble with exactly? You realise Foodstuffs is a very large employer, don’t you?

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      Arfamo said “plenty of employers”. I did not realise that this was a reference to food retailers.

                      So, have you got a link showing Foodstuffs proposes to pay its employees in food stamps?

                    • felixviper

                      “Arfamo said “plenty of employers”. I did not realise that this was a reference to food retailers.”

                      Why wouldn’t it be? Sorry, don’t really understand what you mean. Why are food retailers excluded from this conversation all of a sudden?

                      “So, have you got a link showing Foodstuffs proposes to pay its employees in food stamps?”

                      Why do you ask? Do you have a link to someone saying Foodstuffs proposes that?

                • muzza

                  Then there is certain industries in AKL (prob elsewhere too), where employers actively seek those who have no work visa, and pay 8-10ph cash.

                  Its rife in these parts!

                • Rogue Trooper

                  sag

          • geoff 5.1.1.1.3

            I’m lost, what does the tooth fairy have to do with this?

      • QoT 5.1.2

        Last time I worked in a well-unionised workplace, the union rate was about 50-80c/hour above the non-union rate (gosh, I guess that whole empowered individual negotiation thing just didn’t work out for the non-union people!). The union levy was about $2 a fortnight. And we had delegates who took the time to ensure we were getting correct leave entitlements and not getting shafted out of time-and-a-half to work stat holidays.

        Clearly union membership wasn’t working out in my favour at all. :roll:

  6. vto 6

    .
    The biggest bludgers are the superannuation recipients who don’t need it. Talk about greedy and selfish ….

    • tc 6.1

      +1 and many are earning big $$$$’s in full time employment keeping others from the workforce.

      If people are still working they shouldn’t get it IMO as it should be paired with reitrement.

      Good test for the Mallarfia movement because if Arden makes a meal of this by failing to focus on the economic vandalism, mis-directed wasteful ‘welfare crackdowns’ and blowing public money on Rebshockers BS preconceieved recommendations etc, then we may as well leave Granny to spin the debate as they’ll play straight into the CT plan by buying into their argument and not dismissing it for the crock of shite it is.

      It’s the lack of agenda setting under the DS fronted mallarfia that doesn’t bode well for NZ but does wonders for the Hollowmen.

      • just saying 6.1.1

        …they’ll play straight into the CT plan by buying into their argument and not dismissing it for the crock of shite it is.

        It’s the lack of agenda setting under the DS fronted mallarfia that doesn’t bode well for NZ but does wonders for the Hollowmen.

        Owen Jones makes this point well in the independent in regard to British Labour MPs:

        http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-left-should-learn-about-plain-speaking-from-george-galloway-8498536.html

        …His point is that “framing” is key: that is having, an over-arching narrative, or story. When you start using the language of your opponent, you have lost. This is exactly what several senior Labour politicians have a habit of doing. The “debate” on the welfare state is a classic example. Management-consultants-turned-politicians like Liam Byrne accept political goalposts set by the Right, de facto accepting the “scrounger” or “skiver” caricatures, leaving them playing on territory where the Tories will always win.

        And does this sound familiar?:

        But as New Labour remorselessly helped to professionalise politics, it bred a generation of “on-message” politicians with focus group-approved lines. Verbless sentences – “new challenges, new ideas”; macho cliches – “taking the tough decisions”; platitudes like “fairness”. A new breed of political Kreminologists were assembled to decipher insufferably dull speeches and articles by politicians.

    • burt 6.2

      VTO

      The superannuation recipients you speak of paid ridiculous amounts of tax while earning buying into the great Labour Party dream that nobody earning too much and nobody earning too little was valid social engineering while believing the state would provide a universal benefit in their retirement.

      If your a Labour supporter I hope you feel ashamed for pissing all over the people who propped up your parties great failed experiment.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Muldoon Douglas and Richardson are the causes of this country’s failings

        Tell me burt which of them do you consider left wing socialists?

        • burt 6.2.1.1

          Muldoon … Nationalise, regulate and control. Classic socialist behaviour. You know, the policies that failed under Muldoon that somehow lovers of big nanny state government will think will work today because the party colour is nice red not nasty blue.

          • Arfamo 6.2.1.1.1

            Just the way history & cycles go Burt. When enough people are out of work and hurting, and bashing the victims of the economic downturns obviously doesn’t fix matters, we vote out the government of the time.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.1.2

            Muldoon … Nationalise, regulate and control. Classic socialist behaviour.

            Nope, that was classic capitalist behaviour going back centuries.

            ou know, the policies that failed under Muldoon that somehow lovers of big nanny state government will think will work today because the party colour is nice red not nasty blue.

            Don’t be stupid burt, those policies failed because they were designed to benefit capitalists and not the country and they’d fail no matter who did it.

          • felixviper 6.2.1.1.3

            Nationalise?

            Do tell, burt. What did Muldoon nationalise in your parallel universe?

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.2

        …was valid social engineering while believing the state would provide a universal benefit in their retirement.

        And burt tries to rewrite history again.

        Brian Gaynor: How Muldoon threw away NZ’s wealth

        What destroyed this potential on December 15, 1975?

        That was the day Robert Muldoon, the newly elected Prime Minister, announced the abolition of the 37-week-old compulsory New Zealand Superannuation Scheme, introduced by the previous Labour Government.

        And what Muldoon replaced it with was NZ Super which would be given to everybody no matter their income.

        burt, every financial problem we have in this country can be sheeted home to National.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.2.1

          Except for the financial problems caused by the 4th Labour government going full neo-liberal. You’ll note that the architects of that ballsup are now aligned with National.

        • burt 6.2.2.2

          I think you missed the memo Draco. National wasn’t the cradle to the grave party promising dignity in retirement via highly progressive taxes for today’s super annuitant’s.

          • Colonial Viper 6.2.2.2.1

            It as in the 1950’s and 1960’s

          • Arfamo 6.2.2.2.2

            Reintroducing progressive taxes will end up having to happen at some point if current trends continue. Employers and investors will scream they’ll be driven out of the country, but they won’t. They’ll just end up getting a bit less than they do now. And bide their time until the cycle repeats.

            • bad12 6.2.2.2.2.1

              Actually under a system of progressive taxation the investors and employers do not lose out at all,

              To maintain their millions they actually have to employ more people and compete harder with business rivals to keep the income stream comparable with low tax rates,

              But lose out they don’t, the reverse is also true, employers and investors when given tax breaks simply slow production and stop competing among each other for the dollars available in the economy…

          • Draco T Bastard 6.2.2.2.3

            Um, yes they were. Labour put in a compulsory super scheme which people paid into on top of their taxes that would have paid for their retirement. Muldoon scrapped it promising National Super to all people from 60 covered by taxes.

            Of course, there’s also nothing wrong with a society looking after its people from the cradle to the grave. Only the policies that the politicians think will bring it about and Nationals, then and now, won’t.

          • Foreign Waka 6.2.2.2.4

            Oh yeah, I can see rich people everywhere after 40 odd years working in employment, raising families, counting every penny paying off the mortgage etc….
            To get some perspective here: a single person net weekly super (living alone) is $ 348.92, a couple 536.80. It is too little to live and too much to die on.
            Those few (I doubt that there are hordes of it) who have wealth will have stashed their assets and money away in either off shore accounts or trust funds.
            Unless the law is changed that each citizen is paying his/her fair share none of the well off should dare even contemplating to take the last few cents away from those who can least afforded. It is the lowest of the lowest taking from the vulnerable and call this equality. How disgusting!
            http://www.msd.govt.nz/what-we-can-do/seniorcitizens/entitlements/nz-superannuation/payments.html

          • lprent 6.2.2.2.5

            National wasn’t the cradle to the grave party promising dignity in retirement via highly progressive taxes for today’s super annuitant’s.

            I thought that *was* exactly Muldoon’s national superannuation policy. Hell I can remember complaining to my parents in 1981 how that would mean that with an ageing population that there wouldn’t be enough young to support me in my old age.

            Burt. You do have a rather selective memory.

  7. hellonearthis 7

    I am court up in this Future Focus (strange title for a government that’s so short sighted).
    I have been put into a program that is 25 hours a week, but due to my medical conditions signed off by a medical professional I am only physically capable of working 15 hours a week. They don’t seem to have any 15 hour a week programs that fit my abilities.

    I wonder how many others are been pushed beyond there abilities by this Future Focus program.
    If I struggle through (dealing with excess pain) with this 25 hour a week program, will Winz then say, ‘Look Mr, you just did 25 hours your doctor is wrong…”

    I have pointed out this to both Winz and the Program organiser and they just blew that medial opinion off and will test me out anyway, disregarding any suffering that I will have to endure.

    It almost feels like it’s punishment.

    Oh they did put me on the two week course and not the 8 week one, like that’s any better as they are both 25hours a week.

    • johnm 7.1

      Hi hellonearthis
      Yes this scumbag government is hell bent on copying the draconian extremes being done in the U$K. The Pommie scum are taking advice from a welsh pommie tofter on how to deal with our own disability roles, talk about trying to set up prisoners of the motherland crap, we now have a rotten class system here almost not quite as bad as that benighted damp blighty with its queen queening it on top of the pile.YUK! :-(

    • just saying 7.2

      It sounds like you need to be careful, hellonearthitis. Obviously you can’t work in the workforce 25 hours, but the culture of WINZ, as well as its worker’s KPIs create perverse incentives for case-managers. It doesn’t matter if it is completely untrue, just having some kind of justification to claim that an invalid can work 25 hours can enable case-workers to win a brownie points and save WINZ money by dumping the disabled person into the job-seeker category. Sending a person who is unable to work more than 15 hours on a 25 hour course seems custom-made for such manipulations.

      Keep a record of your pain and your limitations and report them to the person in charge as and when. Take time out when you need to and record that. Being stoic, suffering in silence, not complaining etc. may well be used against the unwary.

    • Bill 7.3

      You obviously have medical certificates stating that you cannot train or work for more then 15 hours a week. So do not train or work for more than 15 hours per week. Refuse the 25 hours per week on medical grounds. End.

    • bad12 7.4

      Go back to your doctor befor hour 15 of the course and get Him/Her to write you a certificate saying you can no longer take part because of your issues with pain,

      Take the certificate from your Doctor to your WINZ case manager and negotiate you do the second part of the course,(from hour 15 to hour 25), the next time the course is being run…

    • Lefty 7.5

      Seek assistance from a beneficiary advocacy group.

      What they are trying to do to you is way out of line and a good advocate should be able to cut the case manager down to size pretty easily.

      Examples like this need to be well publicised as well.

    • Rogue Trooper 7.6

      plead “insanity”; seriously, sad to hear of your trials

  8. johnm 8

    A homeless man of 35 found dead in Aylesford Kent. Was he like here unable to get a benefit because he had no fixed abode? Even now the U$K is a wealthy society. Why was he not helped? Probably because the U$K is rotten with neoliberal greed and selfishness which says: You’re a loser! it’s your own fault no hoper! You were sanctioned and you didn’t bounce back!

    Moving tribute from the artist taxi driver: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sb07UL3olGs&list=UUGThM-ZZBba1Zl9rU-XeR-A&index=1

    Press report of the same:
    http://the-tap.blogspot.co.nz/2013/03/are-they-bumping-off-homeless-single-men.html?showComment=1362226432816

    • infused 8.1

      I haven’t read this, but if it’s anything like the guys in NZ, they choose to be on the street. They don’t want to stay in govt founded housing, so then they don’t qualify for any sort of support.

      Think you will find it’s also a mental health issue.

      • Mary 8.1.1

        “I haven’t read this, but if it’s anything like the guys in NZ, they choose to be on the street.”

        Some do, some don’t, but of those who do the issue is far more complex than a simple choice made on their part. All sorts of things bring people to this place, but if there’s one underlying description these things may have in common then it’s likely to be a loss of a sense of belonging, how ever that may have come about, but is often because others (we) place value on participation within a very narrow framework, usually linked to the way we get by economically. If someone doesn’t quite fit in it’s easy to dismiss them as having something wrong with them. Brings us back to the old deserving/undeserving poor distinction. The answer requires a cultural change of ideas, thinking around values, that all people matter, a move back to a caring society. That thinking was attacked in the 80s and decimated by the late 1990s. We’ve never recovered. A generation came along and cemented it in. It’ll get more and more difficult the longer we leave it but reclaiming values based on caring for others is the only way out of the mire we’re now in. Yes, Mr Shearer, this is meant for you.

        • just saying 8.1.1.1

          A generation came along and cemented it in. It’ll get more and more difficult the longer we leave it but reclaiming values based on caring for others is the only way out of the mire we’re now in. Yes, Mr Shearer, this is meant for you.

          Turns out Mr Shearer isn’t listening.

          But there may be some Standardistas who have the ear of a shadow cabinet member. I’d like to think that those in this postion might take the time to explain this issue to them. Beneficiaries have less political representation than almost any other group, and they are effectively silenced by fierce widespread discrimination and a constellation of intersecting types of disadvantage. Those MPs aren’t listening to us here at The Standard, but they might listen to you….

    • johnm 8.2

      A British comment to the death by hypothermia of the homeless man Daniel Gauntlet:
      ” pedropete wrote:
      Derek Bailey said, “It was just the bitter weather”.
      NO! It wasn’t just bitter weather that killed Daniel Gauntlet. It’s the way this country treats our own vulnerable people. Forcing sick and disabled people back to work and discrimination against the unemployed. As for the homeless, the government couldn’t care less. In fact, the policies of government are going to force even more people onto the streets.
      I fear that the government is happy for such people to die as it will save them a fortune. This government have lots of blood on their hands.
      Shamlay, I have to agree with you. If he was the “right nationality” then I feel that more would have been done to help him.
      Before finding a job recently I was unemployed for a period of time. Whilst unemployed I went to sign on at my local JCP and noticed there was a Polish lady who could not speak a word of English. She was claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance. Her advisor was on the phone to a translator who was guiding her through the application process. My advisor told me that the person advising her had spent over an hour on the phone with an interpreter to process her claim. I was lucky if I got five minutes with my advisor whenever I signed on. I later found out that her application for JSA had “been approved”.
      I always thought that to be entitled to JSA you had to be “actively seeking work”. How can a woman who can’t speak a word of English be actively seeking work in England?
      I can also give you more examples of people coming from other European countries being treated more sympathetically than the people of the UK.

      02 Mar 2013 7:57 PM

    • johnm 8.3

      On NeoLiberalism which our blind selfish government follows:

      “Neoliberal governments are blind to the emerging world of degrowth and continue apace facilitating the 1% to impoverish and cannibalize widening segments of the 99%, in essence producing more and more socioeconomically and politically superfluous people in the process. Neoliberalism can only operate in a social world where as the economy contracts -for thermodynamic reasons- wealth and other economic benefits continue to flow upwards, while the costs and burdens fall upon those outside the tiny elite economic… – ”

      Therefore banks and the rich get more tax cuts and bailouts while a homeless man is barred from occupying for shelter a bungalow to be demolished and dies of hypothermia, you see he’s not really human, is he?

      • johnm 8.3.1

        In other words, capitalism is cannibalizing itself – eating the underclass and environment to keep this unchecked growth of wealth accumulation intact for the upper class

        • Colonial Viper 8.3.1.1

          It’s actually worse than that – the underclass are already wiped out. What you’ve seen in the last 5 years is the US middle class implode. Those mid level professionals on US$80K pa seeing their positions wiped out and outsourced; seeing the wealth they had in their homes disintegrate due to the financial bubble.

          Secondly it’s only nominal paper wealth which is increasing. A million dollars 20 years ago, you could have bought Auckland beach front property and retired on what was left. Today – well if you have a million dollars in Auckland and try do the same thing – you can’t, by a long shot.

          Thirdly, a lot of people have forgotten what money actually is. A dollar is a token claim on a finite amount of future labour, energy or materials. And now that all these trillions of dollars worth of “wealth” has been printed, we have a biosphere and economic system which cannot actually pay out on all the money tokens we have created.

          At some time in the future, a lot of people who think they are very rich, are going to try and use their “wealth” and find out that they are actually very poor instead.

  9. geoff 9

    The same thing has happened with the Ministry of Health.
    One of Tony Ryall’s ill conceived goals has been to reduce the numbers of full time workers. But then he had to replace the workers with contractors to do the same job (sometimes the same people!) but at a higher cost.

    • xtasy 9.1

      Read Rise to the Challenge on Mental Health and Addiction treantment: What an abject failure, geoff, if you want info, I have heaps of the government’s betrayal, but I posted in a former link anyway, perhaps google.

      They will spend NONE if anything extra, and that is in return to the promise to people to be “assisted” off welfare “into work”. So it means in most cases, the GP will give medication, say, he or she can push a trolley, and thus do “some work”, same as they do in the UK now.

      Next step is “GAS CHAMBERS” and work camps, perhaps, what a SICK society NZ is becoming, I see the competition and hatred every day, just going to the supermarket.

  10. MeToo 10

    I’m not surprised it reads like Jacinda Ardern supported the Herald’s line – because the article reads like it was Ardern who contacted the Herald with a “scoop”.

  11. Bill 11

    Timely report from the UK exploring 6 myths of poverty. Myth numbers 1, 3, 4 and 5 instantly bring to mind dog whistles of NZ politicians from both the parliamenatry left and right. The link’s at the foot of the comment and is probably worth a read.

    1. “They are lazy and don’t want to work” – yet the majority of children living in poverty are from working households.

    2. “They’ are addicted to drink and drugs” – yet fewer than 4% of people on welfare entitlements report any form of addiction.

    3. “They are not really poor, they just don’t manage their money well’ – yet stats show that the poorest spend their money carefully and limit themsleves to essentials.

    4. “They are on the fiddle” – yet less than 0.9% of the welfare budget is lost to fraud.

    5. “They have an easy life” – yet benefits do not meet minimum income standards and so could not be some form of ‘lifestyle’ choice.

    6. “They caused the deficit” – yet the proportion of taxes being spent on welfare has been stable for over 20 years.

    http://www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Truth-And-Lies-Report-smaller.pdf

    • xtasy 11.1

      Bill: I totally reject this UK selective research, or whatever it is, it is due to come from the same research group at Cardiff Uni as Mansel Aylwayrd, am I right? That man has his “business” cut out, I suppose.

      What is the true agenda of this government is: We want to “save” costs, that is what this is all about. It also instils the thought that low earning or beneficiary clients are somehow dishonest, off sponging, free loading and what else. I saY decisively AS A BENEFICIARY, that NZ has become a HOSTILE country to beneficiaries, no matter what illness, disability and so forth, it is not a matter of race or whatever, there are many thousands that will not even read this blog, but that are affected. It angers and dismays me that not even Laour MPs have bothered raising this with Parliament.

      I have NO TRUST anymore in the MPs in Parliament that go on about beneficiary issues, they seem NOT to care, thanks!

      • Bill 11.1.1

        Erm. maybe you should have clicked through to the link before launching there xtasy? The report comes from church groups – specifically the Baptist Union of GB, the Methodist Chruch, Church of Scotland and the United Reformed Church.

        The reason I provided it was simply that the same dogwhistles are heard here and can be debunked by the fact that similar numbers attach themselves to the various myths both here and in the UK.

        • xtasy 11.1.1.1

          Ok Bill, I jumped to too quick conclusions. Thanks, I hate the UK model to be brought in here though, and I just wanted to make this clear.

    • xtasy 11.2

      Bill, there are some issues you raise, and they are before the Health and Disablility Commissioner, since 2011, if I may mention. There is also now a separete matter about another very serious matter (I am sure WINZ care to acknowledge!) before the same commissioner, as there are separeate matters before the Privacy Commssioner. Ywt another one is also before MSD and WINZ, separately. Some of us work hard and do wear through, we are just missing our so favourere “MPs” to basically do ANYTHING!

      I am close to suicide in this lost damned country, where so few seem to bother ot do “anything”, sorry!

      • muzza 11.2.1

        xtasy – Do you have any family or friend support, someone to talk to?

        • Rogue Trooper 11.2.1.1

          giggle. GET YA CHIN UP X (read some Nietzsche)

          • xtasy 11.2.1.1.1

            Nietzsche is good in some ways, but he always goes over the top, I’d say, not wanting to go into details. But yes, I am usually a “fighter”, but energy and sustenance are limited. What gest me is the damned media in NZ, not even bothering to write about so serious matters. Rather they report on weather, hideous crimes, road accidents, general health topics and not that much relevant, distorted political comments by certain pollies seeking their and the public’s attention.

            NZ has almost NO accountable media of substance, except perhaps, in moderate form, Radio New Zealand.

        • xtasy 11.2.1.2

          muzza – no to your question, my family are too busy feathering their own nests overseas, and locally some friends I thought I had have turned out to be “users”, who were happy to have me help them get a Housing NZ nome, advice on welfare and much else, but once they got what they needed, they suddenly turned their backs on me. Maybe you now understand my feelings? I am a battler and struggling from day to day, I have some contacts, also to activists, but they themselves, or people they work for, have their own endless issues to deal with, so life is not bloody easy, especially under this rotten government doing all to bring us close to commit suicide, which would save them heaps of money.

          So far I am not prepared to serve the government’s interest, and I appreciate at least on TS there are people realising the same I see every day, so they want to spread the message that people need to take some bloody action, before we have the society where we will all be at each other’s throat for survival. I tell you in all honesty, NZ is already almost there, hatred, envy and suspicion and desperation are on most people’s faces here in Auckland. It is so sad what has come to happen to this country that can have so much to offer.

  12. Where are the figures for corporate welfare beneficiaries at central and local government level?

    Which political parties are going to help enforce ‘open, transparent and democratically accountable’ central and local government, and the ‘opening of the books’ so we can see EXACTLY how much taxpayer and ratepayer monies are being spent on the private sector ‘piggies in the middle’ consultants and private contractors?

    (While we’re at it – where are the figures for ‘white collar’ crime’? )

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’
    2013 Auckland Mayoral Candidate

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com/action-plan-to-prevent-corruption/

  13. Scintilla 13

    If Jacinda had a true feminist heart, she would be condemning the removal of the ‘woman alone’ benefit (part of the DPB) and re-categorised as ‘unemployed.’ This benefit is a whole $10 a week more than the UB (wow!!) and is paid to women who (usually) are no longer entitled to DPB when their children become independent. Women who have given all their time and energy, apart from part-time work obligations, to bringing up their children. Usually, they are well over 40, and if unfortunate enough not to have recent education/training because the Nats ditched training support, will be struggling to find service sector jobs. Currently, their obligations to find work are less onerous than for the UB, but that is changing. Tough titties, mama.

    So the gutsy woman who has put her all into raising the family, often without meaningful help from anyone else, has her value to society completely nullified. She is nothing but an addition to the scrapheap.

    At the heart of the Neo-Liberal agenda is a drive to keep the nuclear family intact, no matter what. They liked it much better when women shut the hell up and put up with the domestic violence, miserable marriages etc. Having two, shitty, casualised low wages coming in to the household is a bit more secure than only one and they capitalise on that. And they can top up the crap wages paid thru WFF, instead of having a decent Living Wage.

    And they never have solved the dilemma of employers wanting staff to be available whenever it suits them versus somebody looking after the kids. Kids need loving mums or dads at home for the holidays, after school, when they’re sick, to transport them, support them at school. Not freaking day care.

    • xtasy 13.1

      Scntilla: We know that the benefit agenda is just part of a hate agenda. It is part of the dumbing down and disentitlement agenda, where wages are to be kept low, low and lower, no matter what.

      I see this every day, going shopping, and also doing other things, I am a migrant but a very alert one and one they do NOT like, and I tell you, the whole system, that is government migration policy and more, to DIVDE!!! NZ is corrupted!

      This is what Tagata Whenua bloody well must realise and take action on, as the lied “bi cultural system” is just ANOTHER WHITE LIE!!!

      They are doing all to undermine tangata whenua and local people in general. This multi cultural approach i s sadly being abused all the times by damned Crown. I can tell you about ‘good faith” and “the crown by the way. how they lie to you. This is a most corrupt and lying country that I as an honest immigrant ever came to. Give ALL locals a voice, especially TW, and ask them about migrants! Good luck, and I will be on your side, HC

    • xtasy 13.2

      Scintrilla: With all your arguments, how do you keep a “family intact:” when the Social Securty (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendmengt Act is demanding suppsosed welfare or other beneficiary recepient parents – to comply with laws outside Human Rights Act, Bill of Rights Act and UN Declarations on Rights – while they are in BREACH of THE :LAW?

      We are talking about bloody legal issues, so read the draft, thanks.

      Also read wha t else they intend to do, or you, as a middle class benefactor, going to shit on us and let the rest of us be handled like crap in coming years? Where is your solidarity, thanks!?

      • Scintilla 13.2.1

        Xtasy: where you get the idea that I am a “middle class benefactor” I cannot imagine. Solidarity cuts both ways – where is yours?

        I am well aware of the winz attitude to the disabled and sick. The woman I met recently who is an amputee with one leg who has to work four days a week at mitre 10, standing on concrete floors – who is categorised as a “temporary amputee” springs to mind! They must think she is magically going to grow a new one. It is cruel.

        • Rogue Trooper 13.2.1.1

          Yep; lotta people being “placed” in work detrimental to the over-all health: see it everywhere they pay minimum wages and require large,flexible labour pools.

        • xtasy 13.2.1.2

          Sorry Scintilla I may have misunderstood your earlier comment.

  14. Jacinda, I really thought that you would be a good welfare minister,but in reality, it seems you
    are just another right wing appologist.
    Jacinda you have bought up a failing of Bennett that can be used for her to push even harder on beneficiaries,so thanks for that Jacinda, bene’s can now wait for the other boot.
    You should be focusing on the other policies Bennett is going to bring in and bought in, (the fact that if you have a temporary additional support and you have extra health costs, your increase in disability allowance is treated as income now and TAS is lowered,it once was aligned to housing costs) these are the areas Jacinda that you should be focusing on, not holding hands with Bennett from the opposite benches.
    Jacinda your aptitude for your current position is lost in the mire of identy politics.
    While you throw fluffy words at Bennett in order to protect the right wing, you are
    working under the banner of the Labour Party built on fairness,justice,an inclusive
    society,a safety net for those who need it, so far many don’t feel they have a champion
    inside the current Labour caucus.
    Judging by the events of the conference, which is out there now, you don’t agree with
    democracy either.

    • just saying 14.1

      Jacinda your aptitude for your current position is lost in the mire of identy politics.

      How does Ardern’s right-wing apologism have anything to do with so-called “identity politics”?

      The human rights of members of “identity” groups, who, by the way, make up the majority, do not need to be sacrificed, in order for Labour to embrace its left-wing principles and champion the interests of the poor, many of whom experience other interesecting kinds of harmful discrimination.

      It’s not either or.

      • Would you say that Jacinda has helped the Beneficiary cause or hindered them with
        her questioning in parliament or statements in the media ? would you say that Jacinda
        is a left-wing leaning politician or a right-leaning politician, re: identity politics.

        • just saying 14.1.1.1

          a) hindered
          b) what does the question mean, and how does it relate to the first question?

          No-one’s rights need to be sacrificed. No-one’s.
          If Jacinda supports the rights of “identity” groups good on her. Why should this, if true, hinder her ability to honour the left-wing principles of her party?

          Beneficiaries are an “identity” group.

          • IrishBill 14.1.1.1.1

            I’m a bit stuck on how you see Jacinda as an identity politics politician as I see her as anything but – I could be missing something though, could you explain what about her you see as identity politics based?

        • xtasy 14.1.1.2

          VV: I have myself, so have others, written to Jacinda Ardern as MP. We raised serious issues about welfare treatment, especially about sick and disabled, being assessed by biased, WINZ and MSD “trained” doctors. The whole processes that went on since 2008 have raised issues of natural justice! This means BREACH of LAW! This was committed under a Principal Health Advisor for WINZ and MSD, Dr David Bratt, a career medical GP, owning many companies by the way (see ACC Forum), who was employed to do the dirty work, to do the same as ACC with their “exit strategy” and “off-load” welfare claimants off their benefits – for sickness and health reasons.

          But it was started under a Labour government, lo and behold, so what difference does it make to Bennett and crowd. No wonder Bennett always crows at Ardern!

          Breaches of law happen every day at bloody WINZ! This is just one issue. Why is it that this government even wants to bring in further breaches of law under the new welfare reform?

          Read English Law and Common Law, NZers are being SHAFTED day and night. Only dumb roll over people accept this shit.

          I am sorry, I am angry, I am affected, I am ANGRY that most NZers do not even care for their sick and disabled, but by shallow promises on media and a bits of donations here and there. I feel WE have NO rights.

      • xtasy 14.1.2

        Jacinda Ardern has received numerous emails about SERIOUS REAL issues on the welfare front, she only ever answered to very selective few questions, none of real substantial importance to wider arangements of what sufferers really asked for and needed to be resolved. It has been an abject failure. She did admittedly answer to many emails, but she loses the track and then that is it.

        She is NOT a welfare spokesperson that gets my confidence, I even wonder about Jan Logie of the Greens at times, but she has so many other spokesperson’s portfolios, I may excuse her.

        Beneficiaries are now ALL considered a LIABiLITY and nothing else.

        We are the SHIT of society, so fuck you all and live your fucking “better” and “afforded” lives as you please, thank you, I just wonder who the bloody hell still represents us???

        • just saying 14.1.2.1

          Are you saying something about “identity” politics Xtasy? It’s not clear how your comment relates to this particular sub-topic

          I agree with you about Ardern’s failings btw.

      • just saying 14.1.3

        Oops, going back to the top comment in this thread, I see it was about a variety of things, and it was me who focussed on just one part of it.
        Apologies Xtasy.

    • muzza 14.2

      VV – I’ll take a stab, and say I imagine you thought (hoped) Adern might prove to be a good politician, was based around a history which was not mired in political filth, her relative inexperience, lends her somewhat of a clean slate. Additionally the hope is ratcheted up, with Paula Benefits having her puppet strings pulled in the ministerial position, peoples expectation of Adern, ramped above what she will ever, or was ever going to be capable of.

      The simple reason, is that that politics in NZ is broken, its corrupted, its full of those who have sold out, to the desires of external entities, and whats left of the experiment in NZ, is now being rolled out.

      Jacinda is part of the sytstem, she was never going to be anything other than another failure, and she is proving how broken the systems are with every word she utters. One can only imagine the mess that will suround her, should she become the minister at some point in time.

      Then the exposure will be clear!

  15. xtasy 15

    Thank you Anthony Robins or whoseover wrote this post, I am really late and ( as a HATED SECOND OR THIRD CLASS BENEFICIARY) struggled to get a few strings together the last few days.

    This is great that you raise this, and it should be a start of what really goes on in the “welfare” arena, which may sound all “good” and “well” to Nat voters, maybe even Labour ones, and Arderns, but in reality there is so much immense abuse and disentitlement going on, it is not close to being criminal, it IS CRIMINAL.

    NZ’s social fabric is being abolished and dismantled right now. I am now supporting a student from a migrant background, who is living off only the student allowance, and he dares “not to claim” more, because in his home country they get NONE of suppport.

    That is what this shit system, and it was the same under Labour by the way, supports the cash payers, the rich and better off migrants to study, live here, buy the scarce properties to live in and establish often FAKE businesses (about which I KNOW).

    NZ and NZers are being SHAT AT day and night. The tax payer is brainwashed by biased media, who do NOT EVEN REPORT on what I and others delivered, they constantly rubbish benes for the welfare abuse and crap. It is like beneficiaries are a disease. Google the name of David Bratt, Senior Health Advisor for Health for MSD and you will see presentations how he compares you as beneficiary as a “sick” “bludger” and “addict” no matter your health.

    This is NAZI stuff, yet NO media, no intelligent people in this dumbed down country get it. It is time for REVOLT!!!

    PS: I am very sick, and I am dying under this SHIT system!!!

    • r0b 15.1

      My name is on it means I wrote it.

      I’m sorry to hear that you are sick xtasy, I hope that that things turn around for you soon.

  16. Anne 16

    She presented herself as a left leaning politician when she first sought Labour parliamentary representation, but it has become clear since then that her ‘left leaning’ status is somewhat compromised.

    • Anne 16.1

      Damm and damm again. This is in response to Vivacious Viper 14.1.1.1

      • lprent 16.1.1

        Well it was a bit hard to fix the re-edit this weekend. Bearing in mind the amount of alcohol and socialising that I was required to do at Lyn’s cousins wedding it would have been difficult. So I didn’t try. Inebriated programmers are a bit dangerous.

        The proximate cause of all of this (from my viewpoint). Well she buggered off out of the motel room at 5am yesterday to catch a flight back to Auckland. For some reason she thought that taking her long awaited and trained for role as aunty baby sitter as her sister gave birth to her nieces sister was more important than my *torment*. She added insult to injury by pleading to me that I should *not* make her look bad to family as I represented her…

        Fortunately the family understood the issues. They supplied me with adequate Merlot’s.

        /exaggeration off
        /inebriation diminished

        Oh and I just got a new Nexus 7 that I’m loading with Ubuntu 13.04 right now. The rainfall I saw on the plane was just sufficient to shift the Auckland humidity levels to greater than 90%.

        I have to take a “holiday” this week.

        / Pete George style “victim” whine mode off

        Soon I say – soon.

        BTW: r0b – good post. They need to concentrate Bennett on her departments lack of performance in finding jobs. The horror stories of the sadism that Bennett is using in trying to starve people looking for non-existent jobs could be highlighted as well. I think we need to start naming the paid-to-find-for-the-organisation medics on the medical boards at WINZ and the ACC. Quite quite despicable.

        • Colonial Weka 16.1.1.1

          “I think we need to start naming the paid-to-find-for-the-organisation medics on the medical boards at WINZ and the ACC. Quite quite despicable”

          Would ts publish names?

          • xtasy 16.1.1.1.1

            They are on ACC Forum:
            http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/13301-what-to-do-if-you-are-required-to-see-a-winz-designated-doctor/page__p__138090__hl__%2Bdavid+%2Bbratt__fromsearch__1#entry138090

            Open your eyes, others posted this, it is really all there, share and challenge, thank,s, I wonder why so far it has not happened.

            HC

            • Colonial Weka 16.1.1.1.1.1

              xtasy, open your own eyes. The link you give contains a PDF attachment that can only be opened by forum members. No matter how open my eyes, I cannot access see it.

              btw, you are not the only person here knowledgeable and experienced at WINZ issues, nor the only person who works on these politically. Being considerate of your natural allies might work better than having a go at them :-)

              • xtasy

                Sorry Colonial Weka – last night was one of those “bad” ones I have occasionally.

                Yes that PDF on that ACC Forum page can only be opened by registered members, but then again, it is easy to register with them, and nothing is lost. Once you have the file you can spread it around anyway.

          • lprent 16.1.1.1.2

            I believe the medical people used by those organisations are already public information. I was thinking more about highlighting the ones that are particularly obnoxious. And believe me it isn’t very hard to find people telling you about specific people on particular medical boards.

            It used to be that I’d mostly hear about ACC medical boards. Recently the instances have started to be about WINZ medical boards, especially trying to prevent people with serious medical issues from moving from the unemployment benefit to sickness or disability. I’m all for *helping* people to get work. However I feel that doctors who try to push people to work when it would clearly be dangerous just need to be removed from the profession. There appear to be some in those medical boards from what I have been told.

            As you’re aware we usually suppress names outside of the political sphere. But I’m pretty sure that if we could establish a reasonably clear example(s) then we’d use them with agreement of most if not all of the authors. BTW: I’d suggest that people going into those boards should take a recorder along. Some of the reported questions are just outrageous.

            • Colonial Weka 16.1.1.1.2.1

              Yes, I was meaning the problem doctors, naming names and telling stories. Tricky legal area.

              There is also strong resistance from WINZ for people to move onto Invalid’s Benefit from SB. WINZ medicals have been problematic for a long time, but there is an additional layer now, where it’s not just about denying people a certain benefit, but it’s about redefining them in terms of work readyness instead of their disability. If the govt was creating enough jobs I might support that in theory (given a compassionate and competent department), but under NACT and even Labour, it’s just draconian number shuffling, and at the great expense of the unwell/disabled person.

              • xtasy

                lprent raises a valid point. Not necessary all designated doctors that WINZ use are inherently “biased” or “bad”, but there are some of them worth mentioning.

                A fair number of doctors, and they are almost exclusively GPs (“generalists” with NO specialisation really), do volunteer to be such medical practitioners, thinking they may “assist” the government, and they want to do a “good” service.

                They are now though bound by WINZ and MSD requirements that expect them to look at anything a sick or disabled person possibly “can do”, rather than “cannot do”. They are even looking at hobbies, occasional activities, and then they are expected to use this as a reason to say, hey that person could do similar or the same tasks for paid employment, whether such a job exists or not.

                So doctors are increasingly compromising their code of ethics, and this is the real legal issue that arises. Not surprisingly, as my own GP told me, fewer and fewer of his colleagues are prepared to work with and for WINZ.

                And we have this ideological approach now being adopted based on Mansel Aylward’s supposed “scientific findings” from the UK, that all comes from the same research unit, partly funded by the legally prosecuted US insurance company called UNUS. ACC use work capacity and “medical tests” based on the so-called, twisted “bio-psycho-social model” by Prof. Aylward, who also chatted with Paula Bennett late last year, and now WINZ is adopting the same.

                You have to be near dead and without limbs to qualify for the invalid’s benefit or supported living allowance in future.

                And to Colonial Weka again: I have raised matters, and 2 complaints are already before the Health and Disability Commissioner now, who may hopefully make a ruling setting things right again. Given past decisisions and rulings by that tribunal though, I would not put a bet on this to happen.

                • AsleepWhileWalking

                  I object to the use of the word “volunteer” – you know they get paid damn well right?! And all of the doctors on the MAB’s I’ve attended are fossils, practically retired apart from WINZ hearings for some extra cash.

                  BTW X, Am impressed you got the inept and impotent HDC to investigate WINZ in any capacity. The buggers do their best to declare complaints as out of their scope.

                  This is what happened to me when I attempted to complain about a regional health advisor.

                  • xtasy

                    AWW – Thanks for that, yes “volunteer” sounds so nice, maybe it is being “attracted to”, or “paid to” that is more fitting.

                    I am very cautious re my expectations of the H+D Commissioner. I expect a correct decision, but they did first try to fobb me off, without having had looked at certain details. Yes, indeed they ignored most info sent with initial emails, and then asked for a “summarised” complaint, as my one was not acceptable in that overly complex manner. They used smart language to make their point.

                    Then they first fobbed me off, so I asked for all info they had received and dealt with in my case under the OIA. After that I saw how they made mistakes and other bungles.

                    So I challenged them. After that my complaint was (more than half a year late) finally treated more seriously.

                    I also had some other experience with the Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner, being rather dismissive about other issues I raised. I detected that in the end one of their staff did not properly read my last submission, so I had to point it out to them.

                    Indeed I have VERY LITTLE trust in these kinds of review agencies, as they are largely underfunded, overworked and thus make mistakes, try to fobb off complaints of perceived less severity and more.

                    It is a disgrace how NZ governments get away with law breaches, as these agencies fail to hold them to account.

        • xtasy 16.1.1.2

          lprent: That is why I chose to abandon “my” family. It is the hardwst thing to do, but when they start letting you down that is it.

        • AsleepWhileWalking 16.1.1.3

          But…Paula Bennett quote, “can see more for our mums and dads than a life on welfare..” Because she’s not just a minister, she is part psychic. No visions on what universe this reality manifests in yet. She’s consulting her ministerial crystals and a handful of runes while smoking what looks to be a ministerial size smudge stick.

          And I don’t mean that to insult our pot smoking friends.

          Great article Anthony Robbins.

    • Anne, what you said ,except i used the wrong word of ‘identity’ obviously and upset
      commenters, for that i appologize to all. :(

  17. Jenny 17

    Any one of us could end up on welfare one day.

    ANTHONY ROBINS

    That is, if we are lucky….

    …..And we live long enough.

  18. Jenny 18

    A big “pissing contest” as you crudely put it Anthony, is also being held over Superannuation. In the competition to show off neo-liberal cred. Labour seems to be in the lead.

  19. xtasy 19

    My questions to Paula Bennett are:

    Why did WINZ and MSD allow for common law and natural justice be broken by having Dr David Bratt and David Rankin “train” designated doctors to make the decisions that MSD and WINZ “wanted”???

    Why did the same Principal Health Advisor get nominated for said and PAID purpose, clearly to do what was done at ACC to off-load complex claims from their books. Why are NZ agencies and authorities lying to the public about their entitlements, rights and so forth, just to save costs and mone?

    Is NZ abiding by the UN declarations for the disabled and sick by the way, the government anwer is welcomed, thank you.

  20. JK 20

    Jenny says above “A big “pissing contest” as you crudely put it Anthony, is also being held over Superannuation. In the competition to show off neo-liberal cred. Labour seems to be in the lead.”

    I agree. Surely it’s time Labour had another re-think about its sudden policy announcement at the general election 2011 that superannuation would be phased in to start at the age of 67 years instead of the current 65 years?

    Perhaps we could all raise this as a policy issue still to be discussed/argued about . Its a nasty neo-liberal type of policy coming thru which is probably not necessary and other solutions could be found to cover the so-called babyboomers superannuation bump. I don’t like the thought of my children and my grandchildren having less opportunity for superannuation then me, especially given that this generation of politicians have already done away with the younger generation’s right to a “relatively free” university education, and the prospect of owing their own house easily.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 20.1

      It’s not a nasty neo-liberal policy. It is responsible. It is common sense.

      • The Chairman 20.1.1

        It’s a cop out and. is a result of poor forward planning and a poorly performing economy.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 20.1.1.1

          60 is the new 30.

          • felixviper 20.1.1.1.1

            God forbid the lot of ordinary people ever improve, eh?

            • The Chairman 20.1.1.1.1.1

              Exactly.

              The objective should be to improve our economy and lower eligibility – not make excuses for extending it.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 20.1.1.1.1.2

              But it has. That’s why the 60 year olds of 2013 are healthier than the 60 year olds of 1938 when that age was set.

              It’s not magic.

              • The Chairman

                Perhaps in general. Nevertheless, the objective should be to continue-on improving the quality of life in retirement.

                There is no plan being advocated to improve the situation – just excuses to cater for the failures.

              • felixviper

                60 year olds of 2013 are healthier than the 60 year olds of 1938 when that age was set.

                And your response is “yay, lives improved”?

                Nah, it’s “wind back the improvement by working longer”.

          • Rogue Trooper 20.1.1.1.2

            46 is the new 16

      • Jenny 20.1.2

        It’s not a nasty neo-liberal policy. It is responsible. It is common sense.

        The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

        TINA returns to the Labour Party.

        • felixviper 20.1.2.1

          What on earth leads you to believe that Oleole has anything to do with Labour?

  21. risildo 21

    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=30625

    If you are/have of a disability, Read and be worried because the skum tories here are doin ,have been doing this for over 4 years IN NZ and they aint even started yet……

  22. dpalenski 22

    Audio isn’t up yet but on Nine to Noon Karen Pattie of the BAIS in Auckland talks about shutting after 22 years due to cuts in government funding. I and various members of my family have used this service and dealt with Karen she was most excellent her services will be missed

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon

    • AsleepWhileWalking 22.1

      OMG, this is VERY BAD! Someone needs to write a blog post about this for TS.

    • xtasy 22.2

      How disgusting and shocking this is. BAIS is the only service on the North Shore that I know of, that offers welfare and other related advice to sufferers.

      Maybe this is a revenge by MSD, for BAIS having raised critical submissions to the new welfare reform bill?

      It seems so many agencies depend on MSD funding, so they depend on the hand that feeds them. When MSD gets angry and disappointed, they simply turn the tap off.

      This is where it has been going for years.

      There is little to NO support left for beneficiaries, due to cuts, cuts and punitive actions by MSD.

  23. Michael 23

    I see nothing from Labour, whatsoever, on its welfare policies if it ever forms a government in future (unlikely, I know). During its last term in office, Labour achieved (fairly) low unemployment figures but these raw numbers were boosted by: (a) commodity boom soaking up low-wage, low-skill workers; (b) emigration, mainly to Australia, of higher-skilled and more mobile workers; (c) migration to sickness and invalid benefits of large numbers of the remaining working age population. Under Labour we saw the emergence of a significant number of working poor, a phenomenon that would have been anathema to the Party’s founders. IMHO, a good starting point for Labour would be for it to promise: a Universal Basic Income, to be implemented within 12 months of taking office; and end to the ATOS-based disability assessment regime; and prison cells for the members of the Welfare Working Group (now feeding hungrily from public troughs in the ACC and MSD boardrooms – WTF public welfare agencies need commercial-style boards is beyond me – unless it is to reward lackeys for doing the dirty work).

    • felixviper 23.1

      I’m far from convinced that we will ever have another Labour-led govt.

    • Colonial Viper 23.2

      Labour achieved (fairly) low unemployment figures but these raw numbers were boosted by: (a) commodity boom soaking up low-wage, low-skill workers; (b) emigration, mainly to Australia, of higher-skilled and more mobile workers; (c) migration to sickness and invalid benefits

      Hmmm I would have put the following as (a):

      A massive increase in private debt levels greatly ramping up money creation and credit availability in the NZ economy, allowing the rapid creation of new jobs.

    • Arfamo 23.3

      “WTF public welfare agencies need commercial-style boards is beyond me – unless it is to reward lackeys for doing the dirty work.” Well, yes, seriously, I think that’s the nub of it. It falls into the general pattern where the government brings in consultants and tells them what it wants, and then they do it. And if there’s any fallout, hey, it’s not the government’s fault – they had the best advice their money could buy.

    • The Chairman 23.4

      A Universal Basic Income is the way forward and requires further consideration.

      • Arfamo 23.4.1

        Some days the french revolution’s style of top down restructuring seems attractive…

        Agree about the UBI idea.

  24. Descendant Of Sssmith 24

    Last year many of the commentators here were critical of the lack of decent humane clearly articulated policy from Labour around welfare.

    After some hesitancy Labour Party affiliated souls effectively complained that the policy was on the Labour Party website and that we hadn’t taken any notice of this and alternatively proclaimed that last year was the year of the portfolio and this year was the year of the policy.

    Two months of the year have now passed and I’m seen little evidence of either decent policy let alone humaneness in anything articulated by anyone in Labour for those who are unwell, unemployed, widowed, soleparenting or disabled. No inclination to give them enough to live off and no inclination to raise taxes to pay for such decency.

    More importantly however no inclination to move away from the notion that those on welfare are less than citizens, without the same need to be treated with dignity and respect as are those not on benefit. Away from the notion that those on benefit are bludgers to have things done to them as opposed to citizens to be helped and supported by a public service whose duty it is to do so.

    Shearer has a speech full of admiration for those who are inspirational. This ignores the reality that most people are ordinary everyday people getting on with their lives and raising their families, people who have little desire to chase large incomes oft held up as aspiration all by those who think life is all about making money. Ignoring the reality that many many people will never have the skill, capability, family connections or luck to be that.

    In short denying reality. No respect at all for those who fit the rest of the bell shaped curve.

    For those who may not have come across the plutocratic Citibank documents previously there’s a telling quote that sums the view that Labour supports.

    “Perhaps one reason that societies allow plutonomy, is because enough of the electorate believe they have a chance of becoming a Plutoparticipant. Why kill it off, if you can join it? In a sense this is the embodiment of the “American dream”. But if voters feel they cannot participate, they are more likely to divide up the wealth pie, rather than aspire to being truly rich.”

    http://pissedoffwoman.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/the-plutonomy-reports-download/

    It’s no coincidence that National use aspirational in their language. Control of language is just as important in dividing and marginalising the population as any policy or legislative change.

    Labour seemingly has no desire to say it’s OK to be you and we’ll love you just the same. There’s a world of difference between being as good as you can be versus you too can be a millionaire and all you need to do is get your shit together.

    The worst thing this current government does is to be a government that denigrates it’s own citizens and to create an environment that allows other NZers to think it’s OK to do the same.

    Until Labour thinks and talks differently about people it will struggle to develop policy that genuinely meets needs nor will it gain support from those people.

    Labour needs to reclaim welfare as a positive policy of support for people who need it, to remove the chains of dictatorial and moral benevolence inflicted upon the recipient by the state and to free up public servants to actually help people on a no-fault basis. How can we help you? should be the mantra not “Explain thyself”

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