One of the things that has struck me about the Bronwyn Pullar debacle has been the difficulty she has had with the ACC despite having five-star political connections and supporters with education, savvy, and money.
Imagine how the other 99% of claimants get on. Frankly if you’re an average Kiwi and the ACC decides to target you, I suggest it’s likely you’re up sh*t creek.
Which is why it’s extremely disturbing to discover that ACC managers are getting bonuses for getting ACC claimants off the books and getting penalised if they don’t.
Think about that. This government has set extremely strong incentives for managers to remove the means of living from vulnerable and injured Kiwis. The minister claims that means people are going back into work but the policy isn’t get bonuses to get people back into work – it’s get bonuses to get people off the books. Whether they can support themselves or not.
Over the last few years the culture of ACC has become one of interrogation and suspicion – one in which claimants are presumed guilty and frequently denied support they are entitled to. While the government prefers to talk about these people as statistics the reality behind this kind of policy is misery and hardship.
But that’s this government all over. They’ve never shied from beating up on the little guy, whether it’s denying injured Kiwi’s their entitlements, releasing the financial details of solo mums, or threatening the jobs of those who speak out against them. By contrast the rich and powerful get massive subsidies, get laws changed for them, and get awarded our highest honours.
Over at Kiwiblog Farrar is getting his knickers in a twist upset about Andrew Little using the term “sociopath” in relation to Judith Collins. Given the policy she’s presiding over, I can’t think of a more appropriate word.