web analytics

Collins beats up on the sick, again

Written By: - Date published: 2:59 pm, August 6th, 2008 - 15 comments
Categories: benefits, national - Tags: ,

The dreadful Judith Collins is once again peddling lies about sickness beneficiaries to try and soften the ground for National to throw our most sick and vulnerable citizens back into work if they ever regain power.

In a press release this afternoon, Collins screams:

“the latest figures showing that the number of people on the sickness and invalid benefits has reached an all-time high”.

Well of course they bloody have. We have a growing population, which means even if the ratio of sickness beneficiaries remained static numbers would still grow. Furthermore, we have an aging population which means an increasing number of people are reaching an age where their health starts to fail them and they are unable to work.

It’s also highly hypocritical. If you adjust the figures to population, sickness beneficiary numbers increased 51% under three terms of National compared to just 33% under three terms of Labour.

The graph below shows no marked increase in sickness beneficiaries outside of what you’d expect from a growing and ageing population.

As I pointed out last time, Judith Collins has a research unit to tell her this kind of stuff. She just knows you don’t.

15 comments on “Collins beats up on the sick, again ”

  1. Ari 1

    You can also see the unemployment figures get progressively better as Labour stays in government. Neat.

    Do you have the data to normalise this for population?

  2. Ari. I have to working age population figures for the relevant years. In fact, I think I’ve done a post combining the two sets of numbers at some point.

    this one is just for more recent years and long-term beneficiaries. http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1819 I’ll try to see if I’ve done the other one, otherwise I’ll do it for tomorrow.

  3. lprent 3

    Arrggh I HATE people who draw conclusion using absolute numbers in a population that is changing.

    Either they don’t understand what they’re talking about, and therefore should shut up until they do. Or they are trying to lie with statistics.

    This is a good test for the MSM’s handling of press statements. They should be all over this crap.

    BTW: The other one that is a pain is the % change on a small absolute delta. You know – there has been a 25% increase in staffing levels in X, when there used to only be 4 people in X.

  4. I hear that Lynn. Bad stats are the bane of my existance.

    You can see some of them in that Herald article (which seems to have disappeared now) that claims public servants are overpaid… after arriving at conclusions based on what appears to be pretty dodgy methodlogy, the stupid buggers argue unions shouldn’t push for higher wages just because lower unionsed workplaces in the private sector have lower wages… why is that the public sector workers’ fault?

    btw, I love the line you hear from economists – if someone doing a job enjoys their job they should be paid less than someone doing a comparable job who doesn’t enjoy it, after all they’re getting more utility than the other guy – reminds me why I dropped economics at uni

  5. Ben R 5

    “The other one that is a pain is the % change on a small absolute delta. You know – there has been a 25% increase in staffing levels in X, when there used to only be 4 people in X.”

    Lprent, this would be an example of that? (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

    “Steve Pierson
    August 1, 2008 at 2:29 pm
    insider. Labour has 50% more female MPs (13 v 18) and nearly the same total number (48 v 49).”

    I agree with you though that it’s easy to mislead people regarding sickness beneficiary numbers. Collins’ comments obviously need to be more closely looked at. The thing that would concern me more are the anecdotal stories of the pressure on GP’s in small areas to issue medical certificates. They’re in a difficult position.

    [lprent: Similar, but he did give both sets % and actuals. Easy enough to see the difference. And Steve – its isn’t 50%, it is slightly less than 50%]

  6. Stephen 6

    Well Steve did give the numbers involved…still.

  7. I should point out that sickness & invalid benefits are unrelated to the relative increase in our elderly population. Sick & disabled elderly are funded by the elderly budget & are not captured in the beneficiaries statistics.

  8. ghostwhowalks 8

    Once they used to include pensioners amoung the numbers of ‘beneficiaries’, to show what a terrible waste they all were.

    As though people were going to be taken off Superannuation. Permanently

    There is only one way to do THAT.
    then again nothing is beyond Cruella de Clevedon..

    ps I wonder if she supports the fast tracking of major projects. The lifestyle block owners in Clevedon want to know as Transpowers towers loom closer. A tape recoder/cell phone might get different answers to what she says in public

  9. Kinoy001 9

    Good old Judith having her monthly bark….

    She loves to blow everything out of proportion….

    the poddle needs to go and find some real fact and not lies….

    Cant stand her…

  10. ghostwhowalks 10

    Macdoctor, as you should know the numbers in the 40 -65 age group has increased as a proportion of the population to say 15 years ago.

    This is common to all western countries and is mirrored especailly in Australia which has common economic and cultural background to NZ

    Collins sems to have taken on the mantle still carried by Muriel Newman.

    The funny thing is that without the government support such as benefits and especially the new Working for Families scheme any recessions would be far more severe.

    It would certainly be 1929 all over again without the US Federal reserve giving 10s of billions to keep the major Wall St firms afloat.
    But NZ the government support for ordinary kiwis will mean the current circumstances will improve relatively quickly.
    Thank God for a government that ran high surpluses when times were good so the cupboard wasnt bare when tax cuts were needed and WFF gives more support for those with families

  11. Razorlight 11

    ‘The Dreadful Judith Collins’

    And you lefties try to claim you don’t make politics personal.

  12. lprent 12

    Razor: Perhaps you would like to defend Judith Collins maths and her previous statements and actions.

    She has a habit of making politics personal herself. This particular type of claim comes up every other month – about beneficeries. I’d call that a pattern.

    Now believe or not, people who are the targets of her vitriol don’t like being attacked by a persona who doesn’t appear to have the slightest degree of compassion, and apparently little intelligence. They take it personally. So do people who know them. Like me for instance – because we know she is lying with her broad brush offensive statements about our family members.

    Now if Judith Collins doesn’t like it getting personal back, then perhaps she should stop playing politics for long enough to consider exactly who she is attacking (and the people who know them). Alternatively some remedial maths would be in order because she appears to sorely need it.

  13. Razorlight 13


    I am not trying to defend her. I do not know enough about the facts to defend her.

    If what Tane is saying is true, her actions may be dreadful. She is not dreadful. I know she is not dreadful and take offence when this is written. In my book there is a clear distiction.

    Politics becomes sick when it becomes personal. The Hyde Peters debate last week really was not a flash look for the Parliament.

    Some from the left call the right nasty. Jordan Carter has called National the nasty party. By opening a post labelling a person dreadful hardly gives the left any defence when people criticise the filth of personal politics.

  14. lprent 14

    Razor: Besides I have no idea where you got the idea that lefties don’t take politics personally. Some mightn’t but I surely do.

    Frankly if I’m attacked, my friends are attacked, or especially family is attacked – I tend to mount a vigorous defense. It is good at airing out all of that nice useful anger, annoyance and frustration. That surely helps with the code afterwards.

    In Judith Collins case, I’ve been deeply offended by her comments on the DPB previously. There are a high proportion of my friends and family and their kids who have had to depend on that after marriage breakups while the kids were pre-school. To suggest that they are all trying to screw the taxpayers is pure crap. This is exactly what I pay taxes for. For that matter, what they pay taxes for. Without exception, all of those people I know who have been on the DPB have subsequently moved on to highly taxed jobs.

    The stats on DPB tend to indicate that this is the norm not the exception. Even if it was the exception, then it is cheaper in the long-term than the alternatives for those chilren.

    Exactly what was the alternative? To make them live in absolute poverty? The level of the DPB isn’t much, but it is enough.

  15. RedLogix 15


    I’ve just had a text conversation with my younger brother. He is severely deaf and has limited eyesight. Despite this he manages to work, but requires subsidisation and asssistance to do so.

    Much of his adult life was, until this Labour govt changed things for the better, was a constant struggle against govt various departments determined not to give him the help they were supposed to.

    What he has said just said to me about Collins statements today is both unrepeatable and in it’s own way heartbreaking.

    I’m fed up with this. Goodnight.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago