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$1 million well spent?

Written By: - Date published: 12:16 pm, September 13th, 2012 - 22 comments
Categories: national, welfare - Tags: ,

So the current people on benefits (superannuation excluded) will cost $78 billion over the course of their lifetime. 5% is to people on the unemployment benefit, because National can’t organise an economy to provide jobs. But largely we’re paying for those unable to work (sickness / invalid), and those doing the most important (but worst paid) job in the world: raising small children. They deserve every penny they get because their bosses are tyrants 😉

But to get this useless $78 billion factoid, National have given an Australian company $1 million of our money.

And next year, they’ll do it again, to see if the number has changed any.

There will be different people on the benefit then – people get and lose jobs all the time, and illnesses will be fixed, and other people fall ill.  So they’ll come up with a similar number then, based on different folk.  But what do we learn from this number?  That it costs a bit to look after people who need looking after?  That a humane society costs a bit to run?

It doesn’t help us budget – we already work out how much benefits are going to cost in any given year, and this number is only for people who were on the benefit at the time of the report’s writing, not the hundreds who lost jobs in the last week or so at Tiwai, Norske Skog, Spring Creek, Port Timaru and elsewhere – or those who’ll lose their jobs next week under this government’s economic ‘management’.

According to Bill English it’s not just to justify a hard line on welfare, which would seem to a casual eye to be the only possible use of such a big number.

So what is it for?

And why is the government wasting $1 million/year to a foreign company when times are apparently so tough everything but RONs needs cutting?

22 comments on “$1 million well spent? ”

  1. higherstandard 1

    “And why is the government wasting $1 million/year to a foreign company when times are apparently so tough everything but RONs needs cutting?”

    Because both they and those working in the government departments that should have this information at their finger tips are morons.

    • Dv 1.1

      HS so where did the data come from for the Aussies, or did the aussies just just make it up?

      • higherstandard 1.1.1

        The Ministry of Social Development, Treasury plus some modeling by the consultantancy I would’ve thought.

        • Dv

          So the data was at their ‘fingertips then.

          so setting up spreadsheet (modeling) cost nearly $1M

          • higherstandard

            While there is likely a little more to it than that… basically speaking Yes.

            That it was done by someone in treasury or one of the bean counters within in the Min of SD is yet another example of fiscal flushing.

    • KJT 1.2

      Well. A year ago you could get the real data from MSD and SNZ.

      Seems to have disappeared.

      Same sort of fudge as the crap they had a while back about projected costs of ACC.

  2. Uturn 2

    To make it easier for people accept that privatised welfare is the only option. It’s so predictable it’s boring, in a dire and painful sort of way.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    And why is the government wasting $1 million/year to a foreign company…

    Why would they be hiring any company when they already have the information on the computers? Should just have needed the correct database query.

    • infused 3.1

      Yeah, why can’t my computer just write programs for me :/

      Just one query? jesus.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Do you dispute that the information would have been on WINZ database? Do you also dispute that a query would be able to access that data? Do you also dispute that a competent database manager employed by WINZ would have been able to write such a query?

  4. Carol 4

    Gordon Campbell does a good job today of debunking both Paula Bennett’s calculation of lifetime spend on benefits, and the government’s reliance on the Household Labour Force Survey to show how many jobs have been created (more part time work, more self-employed contractors “between contracts” etc:


    Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is such a troll, it can seem pointless to rise to the bait. But yesterday’s claim – dutifully run as the lead on the NZ Herald website– surpasses even her own usual high standard of offensive stupidity. According to Bennett, if everyone on a benefit last year stayed on it for the rest of their lives, the cost to the nation would be $78 billion.

    We can all play this game. Hey, if tax avoidance is allowed to run at recent rates for the rest of the century, what would it cost – maybe…$200 billion? Or $425.7 billion? Hard to tell.

    • mike 4.1

      “According to Bennett, if everyone on a benefit last year stayed on it for the rest of their lives,…”

      Geesus is that really how they made that figure? Are NAct voters really so dumb as to come running for this dog-whistle?

      • Bill 4.1.1

        Hey Mike, you do understand that it was every single person who was on a benefit at any given point in time that was counted…not the people on a partiular day or any average from any number of days…but the sum total of all people from the period in question.

        So, if you had been on a benefit for one month, you count as one of those numbers extrapolated out til the age of 65.

        • mike

          No Bill I was not aware of that. Why isn’t the media rubbishing this? This is cause for laughing stock status. But no. WTF? Like Mark Twain said, “There are lies, damn lies, and NAct party statistics.”

          So that’s why an adding shit up job cost $1m. You’ve got to pay good money make people keep their mouth shut when you’re pulling bullshit like this.

        • fatty

          yeah, the opposition should be shouting that from the rooftops

  5. mike 5

    Wow it sucks that we are incapable of creating simple stats like this and have to pay $1m (what?) to an overseas company. If only we had some sort of govt department that could do that, then we could just ask them to do their job instead of wasting this money.

    Oh wait what’s this?


    “Who we are

    Statistics New Zealand Tatauranga Aotearoa is a government department and New Zealand’s national statistical office. We’re New Zealand’s major source of official statistics and leader of the Official Statistics System.
    Our goal is to give New Zealand the statistical information it needs to grow and prosper.
    We aim to tell the story of New Zealand through statistics that are relevant, accessible, and trustworthy.
    We’ve been publishing statistics for nearly 120 years and have three offices, one in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, with around 1,000 staff in total.”

    1,000 staff.

    • Jackal 5.1

      Statistics NZ hasn’t been providing a lot of the relevant information it used to since National gained power in 2008. It would appear that they’re failing to do their job in order to hide information that might be damaging to the current government. Pretty despicable if you ask me.

  6. mike e 6

    they got exactly the same report 6 months earlier from MSD.
    Then said MSD didn’t have the capability!
    Then the Aussie company said MSD didn’t have the capability as you would if you had a million dollars + on the line!

  7. Bill 7

    What’s it for? If you want to privatise you have to reduce the system you are looking at to some ‘accountable’ (or accounting?) formula.

    And by over estimating figures either a) the government is offering up a cash cow to private providers who will be paid for results as measured against the 78b baseline

    or, b) WINZ will seem to make great initial strides forward in the time before privatisation and private providers will buy in to a gold mine expecting certain returns to find the mine has been ‘salted’. And then, to make money they will have to get tough. Very tough.

  8. blue leopard 8

    “$ 1 million well spent?”

    No its not.

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