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On good and bad welfare

Written By: - Date published: 6:31 am, September 12th, 2012 - 248 comments
Categories: climate change, Economy, ETS, welfare - Tags:

So the government is announcing the “lifetime cost” of social welfare payments today to soften the ground for cracking down on beneficiaries.

By coincidence they’re also in the process of rushing through changes to the emissions trading scheme that will cost the taxpayer billions of dollars in corporate welfare.

Oddly they seem to have no inclination to draw attention to the “lifetime costs” of that set of benefit payments.

Clearly National believes paying (mostly) multinational companies billions of taxpayers’ dollars to pollute the atmosphere is good but giving people with debilitating sickness a subsistence payment is bad.

Governing is about priorities. Today this government is making its priorities very clear.

248 comments on “On good and bad welfare ”

  1. Bored 1

    The spin from National decoded

    You Mr/s Bennie are not a citizen, and you will be detached from fellow citizens because you are a cost to them (they are taxpayers thus superior beings….you are no longer a real being). We are going to measure your cost and make it known, just to show how worthless you are. And when it is known we will cut the cost and the real people who pay will cheer. You can then go away and die in a hole and we the superior will cheer some more. Kill the poor.

    And on your way out the door pass me the Bollinger.

    • J. Andals 1.1

      “they are taxpayers”
      I’m aware your post is in jest, but we beneficiaries pay income tax just like anyone else. Of course, there is the GST component as well.

      • Bored 1.1.1

        JA, it is not in jest: it is how the buggers really think. Its the old divide and conquer, the old dehumanise tactics. As a beneficiary National want you to have no respect and be unrespected. A number, a cost. You have my respect as a beneficiary which is the whole point, we as a community need to verbalise loudly that we have all contributed, we are all as deserving as each other. That is the way to counter the spin.

        Dont get me started on the pointlessness of taxing benefits…….

        • Mary

          I was astonished a few years ago to hear that gross rates of benefits were reduced in order to ensure that tax cuts didn’t increase net benefit rates. It’s not so astonishing, though, when you consider the real reason for taxing benefits is to enable beneficiaries’ part-time work to be taxed at the secondary rate. Charming.

      • aerobubble 1.1.2

        Many beneficiaries don’t get housing allowances because they own their own homes, and
        because those desperately paying mortgages are willing to take home less pay, don’t have
        a job. Without a justice fair debate over welfare government policies will continue to
        draw more good people into the welfare system and then demonize and stigmatize them.
        Good people who pay income on the first dollar of their savings, good people who haven’t
        got into debt and own their own homes, good people forced out of the labour market
        because most jobs are demoralizing and destroy the planet with unnecessary activity to
        justify rent seekers taking rent.

        We are destroying the planet, the debt the boom of unemployment, have nothing to do
        with those on welfare. Firstly because those on welfare aren’t making the bad economic
        choices, you have to be a banker for that, second because the amount of employment
        is fixed by the market and so when someone is made unemployed someone else usually
        gets a job, thirdly there’s current too much activity based on uneconomic usage of
        scarce energy resources and so we need to find another more palatable way to
        provide everyone with enough income. National religion is that everyone must work
        to magnify profits, but everyone I know accepts that betting the future on minor windfalls
        today is not a sign of competence but a sign of addictive destructive behavior.

        • AmaKiwi

          “Many beneficiaries don’t get housing allowances”

          National brought in the housing allowance as a subsidy to landlords, not the poor. If it was abolished landlord’s rents would drop across the entire rental market . . . and property owning National voters would be pissed as hell.

  2. Sanctuary 2


    Beneficiaries have to wear big RFID button tags so retailers can readily identify them and stop them buying luxuries on the governments prohibited list and store detectives will know who they need to follow. Failure to wear the tag will result in losing your benefit.

    I wonder if Bennett is to bigoted and/or to stupid to know or care where this objectifying of a group of people amongst us as untermenschen is taking us as a society.

    • Tracey 2.1

      I believe she really believes she is helping solve a long term problem even though the evidence of her own life is contrary to much of what she is doing…

    • Bill 2.2

      Beneficiaries have to wear big RFID button tags…

      No. The colour is green. And it’s a card, not a button. And yes, it prohibits certain purchases and makes you readily identifiable. And it’s not in the pipeline. They’re doing it already.

  3. Tracey 3

    Ms Bennett is going to scare everyone into agreeing with their diversionary tactics today by saying how much the current crop of beneficiaries will cost NZers… it appears 10% of beneficiaries are the unemployed. That suggests a large proportion of beneficiaries are ill or invalid. Isn’t that exactly what the welfare net is for?

    The ill, infirm, disabled, and those who from time to time find themselves without work?

    There is an awful lot of blather for the actual numbers.

    To show how even handed I am. I have a story.

    Mt brother-in-law was born physically and mentally disabled as a result of medical negligence in the 1950′s. His parents didn’t sue the hospital or the doctor, largely because they were in shock (not having been told their son would probably never walk or live beyond his teens, until ten days after he was born, as they were leaving the hospital). No ACC. So, they looked after him. No state assistance until after his father died and his widowed/retired mum sought some respite and utilised the state respite care system for ten days each year.

    She cared for him, in her home until she died at age 74.

    He lives in Christchurch (we live in Auckland). We searched long and hard for residential care in Christchurch because that is his home. He knows the transport routes and the libraries and hates Auckland(ers) 😀 . A good Canterbury man you might say.

    He didn’t want to come to us. After the second earthquake he came to us for 7 weeks for 2 reasons. He was disturbed by the constant aftershocks and it would free up a bed in his home for those needing respite care in the time of crisis.

    My point, and I do have one. Is that twice under the labour government he was fully re-tested to see if he was “capable” of working. He has had work in what we used to call “sheltered workshop” and once worked for Zip industries but was first to lose his place when the job losses began. I won’t go into how badly he was treated by fellow workers.

    So his mother was put through the worry twice under Labour, the worry that he would have to go to “work” and he wouldn’t be able to find a job, and would get depressed as he did during the zip layoff.

    To our knowledge there is no cure for what ails him… this would be known to anyone in WINZ, MOH and so on. The stress his mother was put through was awful to watch. She who had never asked for any support from the state which shielded the doctor who let the family down.

    SO, even when there are people, like my brother-in-law who can never work (he’s 55 now) at what we would call a “real job”, he gets periodically re-tested to ascertain his ability to work. Now surely with the millions spent on computer systems over the years a simple checked box beside names like his would remove him from future testing…

    Sorry if I strayed into compassion and common sense for a moment..

    Yes he is now state subsidised. BUT I can tell you from experience that his fellow residents on the whole ONLY have the allowance to live on. Yes, they have food, shelter and the bare necessities. BUT no extras, including extra clothes, day trips, holidays, books, film visits and so on. We contribute all of that for my brother-in-law and often for others too.

    Some might say well where are those other resident’s families and why aren’t they helping out? Well many may now be retired and on a pension, many may have low income jobs, many struggle to pay their own rents let alone boost their child in care.

    So, my brother-in-law is a beneficiary and IF he were left to his state care only his life would be quite bleak. Like many who find themselves in receipt of benefits I suspect, also battling with the mental impact of not being able to work or find work, or having worked and now being disabled.

    All of these people far outnumber the alleged bludgers and life-long rorters governments conjure up to win votes and divert from real issues.

    The Opposition needs to starting shouting long and hard when this welfare crap starts

    “where are the jobs”
    “what jobs?”

    and as for the rorter argument, accept that some people gip the system, like people who use the company shield to build and sell a house for profit, wind up the company and move tot he next and on and on, leaving a trail of poorly built houses in their wake and no one to sue… BUT we leave the shield because we want to encourage “entrepreneurs”. Like Mark Bryers ( and others who I cant name cos they would probably miraculously find money to pay their lawyers to sue me, they can always find money to defend themselves despite the company having nothing). and I deal with these guys on a daily basis in my job. Safely stowed away their money out of reach and wound up company after wound up company behind them. Where is the political will to fight this rort?

    IMO IF a company wishes to defend itself and when it loses says, “we have no money”. The source of the money for their lawyers bills should be able to be tapped for the court judgment sum.

    In leaky homes alone, I estimate the cost to tax/ratepayers (because Councils have to pay the developers share which is usually at least 40% of the cost of repair, over $150m on claims made. That doesn’t count those who couldn’t sue council and there were no other viable parties.

    So don’t tell me about how important it is to weed out every rorter on a benefit. The numbers DO NOT STACK up.

    Ms Bennett’s figures today will not identify the number of “lazy bludgers” receiving benefits. That will be left for those without compassion or knowledge to conjure up. And conjure up they will.

    • Glg 3.1

      That pretty much sums up what is rotten with the current system.

    • Carol 3.2

      Thank-you for that story, Tracey, depressing though it is…. though it also shows how many people deal with their disadvantages nobly and staunchly, and get on with their lives.

      And indeed, the opposition politicians should keep asking emphatically,


      While also putting into the MSM and in front of the people, the stats and evidence of what the wealthy rorters and wealth siphoners are costing the country


      the greedy rorters, tax avoiders, and crony capitalists that are costing the country the most!

      • Tracey 3.2.1

        Given our Minister of Fiance is deemed intelligent enough to run the finances of an entire economy but not to understand his double dipping was wrong… what chance do we all have. Intergrity starts with each of us but it also needs to flow from the top down.

    • crashcart 3.3

      Thanks for the story Tracey. This attitude is filtering down to all levels of government departments as well. My wife and I are both full time employed for a government department. We have a 19 month old sone with Spina Bifida. When Shell went back to work it was on the condition that they understood that our son had extra needs and we would need ot take time often at short notice to attend to these needs. We were told this wasn’t a problem. Just in the last week we have been told that Shell is taking to much time off to look after “sick kids” and we need to come up with a more permanent solution. Ignoring the fact that in 14 years of service she has had only 20 days sick leave.

      • Tracey 3.3.1

        Exactly and it’s such a false economy. By giving your wife the extra time off work, it means you won’t do what many do and put their child in full time care, which will cost the country far more (in money) than your wife taking extra days off work. We have your wife working productively and paying taxes, yourself, we have a child being well cared for, the parents worrying less than they will over their child’s ongoing needs and demands. It’s aw in-win. BUT not when you apply an accountants checklist to it.

        problem is the “pollies” and uncompassionate and unknowing will say to you and I “oh we don’t me your child or brother in law, we mean the bludgers.” Sadly they imagine the later to be larger than reality and are happy to submit our relatives to the same system that is designed to out a tiny number of people.

        Good luck with caring for your son. I hope you get all the assistance you need. People with disabilities are not just a “drain” on the welfare economy, they bring something to society that a ledger book doesn’t, an understanding of suffering, struggle, hardship, compassion, courage etc. What ledger book value on that?

        • crashcart

          I think one of the big issues is peoples belief that they aren’t bennie bashers when they clearly are. I see guys at work get in a froth over DPB mums and dole bludgers but when this came up last week those same guys were in a froth that we would be treated this way. They don’t get that it is just an extension of their own attitude to others and that unless the abuse is close to home they don’t see it.

    • Bored 3.4

      Tracey, as a real life story that is heart rending. Unfortunately your brother in laws story is far from uncommon. It is a good example of what we are up against as a society: the comment on being tested during Labours tenure speaks volumes. Would be nice to have the moderators post this as a full story.

    • ianmac 3.5

      Tracey. Your story should make those who are comfortable, distinctly uncomfortable.

      • Tracey 3.5.1

        The thing is I have family who agree with Ms Bennett etc but also know all about my brother-in-law’s history and express concern. They don’t get the two issues are related, which, presumably is how they can sleep well at night. These are so-called well education high achieving folks… and they don’t get it. They complain about how “their” taxes are being wasted, they dont appear to even understand that low income folks working 40 hour weeks pay tax and work bloody hard, but dont have a beach house, two investment properties, overseas trips etc etc… I sometimes ask one of my brother’s the question I’d like to ask the PM

        “Is the sky blue on your planet?”

  4. Adele 4

    The Government has estimated the total life-time cost of the main beneficiaries at $44 billion, or $136,000 per beneficiary. What opposition parties are failing to articulate, in return, is that the $44 billion is being returned back into the country. Beneficiaries spend this money usually locally. Albeit for a few miscreants, they rarely get to spend this money off-shore, or on luxury items sourced from foreign markets. They do not swan off, at whim, to pleasure themselves in foreign destinations or indulge in hedonistic pursuits elsewhere.

    They are stuck here and most often than not are barely able to afford a bus ticket after the necessities of life have been accounted for. In this respect they are likely to spend their cash at the local dairy rather than a supermarket – because of the lack of transport. They will buy from local businesses for the same reason.

    And for the unscrupulous, they will rent your dank crappy house. They will pay exhorbitant prices over a lifetime for homeware and clothes labelled ‘bargain.’ They will buy your fucked up car surreptitiously held together with duct-tape.

    Many rural areas are supported by beneficiaries, not by the cow cockies. Reducing the payments to beneficiaries will reduce the money in circulation in rural communities as well as through local businesses. Its a complete dog whistle to suggest that beneficiaries are a cost to the taxpayer and country.

    • Tracey 4.1

      And let’s hold their feet to the fire on this, WHICH beneficiaries. This government is not running an economy or society they are running a ledger book. They are running us by accounting not economics, and no concept of social contracts, etc…

  5. Now is the time a complaint was taken to the human rights commission and
    the health and disabilites commission.

    The human rights commission has 13 prohibited grounds for discrimination
    in its act, including age,colour,disability and ethical beliefs.

    This has become an urgent matter and labour need to take a complaint
    on behalf of beneficiaries and the children of nz.

    • Tracey 5.1

      you mean like reporting breaches of the Privacy Act?

      • starlight 5.1.1

        Obviously a ‘political deal’ was struck in that case and involved one person,however
        in the case above it involves the discrimination of a large proportion of nz’ers and children.

    • weka 5.2

      “Now is the time a complaint was taken to the human rights commission and
      the health and disabilites commission.”

      HDC can’t get involved because WINZ aren’t health providers (the exception would be the designated doctors system). HRC on the other hand…. 

      Human rights deal with how people live together. In particular they set out the basis for the relationship between the governed and those who govern.
      Examples of human rights include civil and political rights such as the right to life and liberty, freedom of expression, equality before the law and the right to be free from discrimination. Social, cultural and economic rights include the right to participate in culture, the right to work, the right to an adequate standard of living and the right to education.


  6. Bill 6

    Does anyone have a breakdown of that $130 000 figure or how ikt was calculated?

    Even assuming that only those on dpb are being talked about it means that $13 000p/a is meant to bring up a child to age ten – leaving some 30 odd years of zero payment where the parent is in paid employment. Throw in other entitlements such as UB or SB and that figure drops. Throw in pensions and it drops again. Throw in accomodation supplement that applies to working people as well and the figure drops further.

  7. vto 7

    Welfare for business. No welfare for the people who need help.

    Tax cuts for the upper income earners. Cuts for the lower income earners.

    This government are disgusting. I have almost run out of spit to gob on them with.

    The last labour governments warts were nothing like the evil resident in this government. I sincerely hope that these things they do to people come back to kick their arses, in a personal sense, very very soon. They deserve nothing but scorn and contempt. They are not welcome in my house.

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    What happened to “we take care of our own”? (I guess the Nats do and very well too).

    Vulnerable kiwis used to be looked after without major stigma attached. Until the early 80s really, co-inciding with the return of high unemployment levels. Bennies are now demonised and hunted down like rogue beasts at every turn-childcare obligations a reasonably paid person would have trouble meeting with travel involved, dodgy over priced drug testing, pointless work ready seminars–transport needed, constant time wasting ‘jolly up’ meetings with case workers-transport needed. “Pass Cards” for certain young bennies to be able to spend their miserable entitlement.

    As another poster said, benefits go straight into the money go round, they are not sent off shore as repatriated profits or selfishly invested in property development and speculation.

    What a joke-Where Are The Jobs? With mining wobbles in Australia and limited to no welfare available to kiwis under an agreement with the two governments, we may see more would be beneficiaries back in this country and it will start to get interesting. The Oz flight option, high unemployment and WFF have together acted for some years as a safety valve allowing employers to put downward pressure on wages.

  9. Uturn 9

    Hmm. Looks like National have once again over-extended themselves.

    Wedged into all the yapping about that imaginary construct “personal responsibility”, I’ve recently heard that the basis for “welfare reform” is The Social Contract. Which social contract they mean hasn’t been explained. I think it must be a new definition, made for media soundbites, that stops just short of examining the division between inalienable or natural rights and political or legal rights.

    What National are doing is saying that the citizen’s social contract to give up some freedoms to the ruler is all there is to the social contract; a distorted interpretation to support authoritarian or control fantasies. It’s short hand for, “Do what I say, because I have power”. The bit they’ve conveniently left out, is that citizens give up some freedoms, to be protected.

    Would someone in parliament ask Bennett and Key which rights, under the concept of a Social Contract, are beneficiaries being protected?

    Of course they can’t answer that without exposing that it is they who are breaking the social contract. What they’d say, is that they are “freeing the beneficiary”. Missing out, as they like to do, an acknowledgement of the reality they are “freeing the beneficiary” into: they aren’t going back home to the farm where they can persue their own ends, they’re out on the street with nothing. The state is no longer protecting the citizen. The citizen becomes, stateless. You cannot, as a ruler, refuse a person their inaliable rights and think you’re taking the high moral ground or supporting a social contract.

    But money, yes money, and power. It’s all anyone wants these days. Manipulation, control, hatred, all so easily accepted. It’s quite the country were making here.

    • Uturn 9.1

      And for the record, I really don’t give fuck who is worthy or not, who is the deserving poor and who is a “bludger”. I’ll not purposely starve people and by doing so, destroy the country I live in. I don’t care if you fell off a roof, have a bad luck illness or are brave enough to have ten different children to ten different husbands. As someone else put it the other day: Without fear, or favour.

    • marsman 9.2

      The odious Jenny Shipley had ‘Personal Responsibility’ as her wee bene-bashing catchphrase. She also had ‘the trickle-down effect’ which thankfully we are being spared by the current bunch of lying, thieving traitors, they are an insult to the people of NZ.

      • Bored 9.2.1

        I am told Parker thinks the same way, from the same “personal responsibility” school of thinking. Anybody able to confirm that?

  10. Blue 10

    I’m so disgusted with these latest announcements I can barely put it into words. The audacity and inhumanity is just astounding. I’m sickened by the fact that they know they can get away with this, and in fact that many Kiwis will cheer them on.

    All I can say is that if you lose your job in this country now you should be terrified.

    Who knows for what infraction your benefit (which is already set below subsistence levels) may be cut in half. They’re dreaming up new ones all the time.

    I don’t even want to imagine what those families are going to do. Barely getting by already, and suddenly if your kid misses a doctor’s appointment, or you can’t afford preschool, or there’s a delay processing some paperwork, then suddenly your only means of survival is cut in half.

    What do you do when you can’t pay your rent, your power bill, feed your kids, pay school ‘donations’ or get any sort of transport to look for those scarce jobs?

    If you get put out of work when the company you are working for closes down, and can’t immediately find another, then you are screwed. You will be treated like some incompetent sponge who can’t think or do anything either as a human being or a parent, without the state pushing you into it. Who said Labour were the ‘nanny state’ again?

    Words cannot express my disgust, both for Paula Bennett and John Key, ex-beneficiaries themselves, and for each and every Kiwi who votes for these clowns and supports the measures they are putting in place.

    • starlight 10.2

      +1 and they also have to be available for work, for their ‘social responsibility’

    • Hami Shearlie 10.3

      Me too Blue. Many people have felt very secure in their own jobs for years and have poured scorn on “bennies” – especially people on the sickness benefit and solo mothers. Funny, the dead-beat dads who have run off to Australia to avoid child support and are living the high life, never seem to have any of the approbrium poured on them!! But these same people who used to feel so smug and secure will now (especially if they are public servants) be feeling very nervous and will wonder if they themselves will be beneficiaries soon!!

  11. shorts 11

    these draconian tactics give the opposition parties plenty to work with…. but will they?

    The opportunities for Labour (especially) to stand up and show they care are many… and I expect them to do so… rather than leave it to Mana and the Greens as has been too often the case

    Stop framing the debate around punitive measures and stop gaps, step up and talk for those whom can’t speak for themselves and take command!

    Your people need you

    • Carol 11.1

      Hone’s response yesterday, is a bit longer than usual….. spells out some background to the issue, and is on the mark:


      “And you know why they continue to push this line? Because they know that beneficiary-bashing helps drum up voter support and keep the focus off their total lack of solutions to stop yet more job losses throughout the country”.

      “To pretend it’s for the good of the kids involved would be laughable if it wasn’t so sickening. The government’s repeated efforts to punish beneficiary parents is a sure fire way to ensure their kids remain at the bottom of the heap – and it’s a move that will affect Maori and PI kids most of all”.

      “Yes we need welfare reform – but it should start with creating decent jobs for those who’re unemployed and ensuring those who are on benefits get a liveable income. It should start with picking up key recommendations from the Children’s Commissioner’s expert advisory group on child poverty like providing meals in low decile schools. It should start with what works to enhance whānau and community wellbeing which is certainly not about making continuous brutal attacks on those who already have the least”.

      More at the above link…

      • Tracey 11.1.1


        Greens and Mana have more of my respect than Labour… Labour just keep on NOT getting it. Tobe honest I don’t worry so much because the Greens are a very viable alternative

  12. weka 12

    Calculations by the Social Development Ministry put the total lifetime cost of main beneficiaries at $44.7 billion at March last year – or $134,638 for each beneficiary.

    Can someone please explain what lifetime cost means? Does that mean $134,638 is the average cost to the state over the lifetime of the beneficiary? Where does the $44.7B figure come from? 

    • mike e 12.1

      Weka Its the big stick that Key and cronies use to beat up benes.

      • weka 12.1.1

        I know that mike. I want someone who understands the figures to explain them to me, specifically what “lifetime cost” means.

        • Colonial Viper

          The figures are bullshit. Don’t even try to waste time understanding how Bennett got her staff to contort those numbers.

          She’s stolen corporate ideas like Total Cost of Ownership and applied it to the context of main beneficiaries.


          I want to know what the lifetime cost of her Government’s Unemployment policies are. I’m sure Shearer will ask her this afternoon.

        • Tracey

          well whatever you do dont ask the government, their track record on “figures” is quite scary.

      • mike e 12.1.2

        Weka its the average cost per person that recieves a benefit.
        When you deciminate it its not a huge amount like over ten years its only $13,464 per annum
        considering most people are on the benefit for less than 3 years its a spurios figure.
        Before National came to power 80% of benficieries were on the benefit for less than 6 months .
        It makes Nationals Jobs claims look bad .
        175’000 jobs where are they Mr Key!
        In Australia how many have left to Australia since Nact have been in power!
        More blame shifting thats all they have left after promise after promise has been broken beat up on those who don’t vote or won’t vote for you.

      • David H 12.1.3

        So When Key and Bennets Parents go on the National Superannuation, will they then become Filthy Beneficiaries???

    • Murray Olsen 12.2

      The figure is what an Australian consultancy company was paid $1 million to come up with. I doubt it means anything useful at all. As I posted on Facebook:
      Another million wasted on consultants to come up with a bullshit and meaningless figure. I would have done the research for one percent of that, arrived at a more accurate figure, and spent the rest on making a “Paula Bennett, This is Your Life.” That’d have to be more interesting than the vacant Ridges. After all, it’s a huge journey from living on your knees to standing tall (or broad) as a minsta the crun fa soshil deplement. There must be many people who’d remember her and love to be involved.

  13. Brian 13

    If ECE is so good, why is it going to be compulsory only for the children of beneficiaries?

    • Carol 13.1

      PB was asked about that in the House yesterday. I can’t remember the exact response, and unfortunately the print version of answers doesn’t seem to be online yet:


      Firstly, it won’t exactly be compulsory for all beneficiaries, but (according the the Benefit lady) there will be checks to discover if there are places available for the children.

      As I recall there was a bit of a waffley answer to the supplementary about why it wouldn’t be compulsory for working parents. I think something to do with practicality.

      • weka 13.1.1

        I’m guessing that most of this is posturing by Bennett, for the purpose of feeding anti-bene sentiment. In reality, things like ECE requirements will be formed in policy, and policy is always challengeable on a case by case basis. Unfortunately, too many beneficiaries won’t be aware of their actual rights and/or won’t have the personal resources or situation that allows them to fight for their rights.

        WINZ beneficiaries need to get unionised.

    • weka 13.2

      “If ECE is so good, why is it going to be compulsory only for the children of beneficiaries?”

      Because NACT want to make sure that those on the DPB are work ready, not doing something useless like raising young children. 

      • Carol 13.2.1

        Or because they are smearing beneficiaries as bad parents….. unlike working people… another dog whistle.

  14. Bored 14

    For the record I had a spell on the dole in the late Muldoon years (and had to move city to cure the issue) and in the Douglas era briefly. After the second time (due to redundancy) I decided that I would only work in higher risk areas (greater rewards) and only for myself (whether employed or not). The mindset was that any trust I had in employers, the economy, politicians etc was a waste of time and made you further vulnerable. It is a peculiar mindset and I neither recommend it NOR wish it on others. It is too precarious and lacks security. An original term for welfare was social security, and I contend that as a .

    On this issue to change the thinking we again need to change the language. The word beneficiary needs to go, it implies an unearned benefit and therefore a debt, and debtors are lesser creatures especially if they cant pay. We need again to rid ourselves of the term “cost”, we all contributed to enable the payment so it is not costing us anything we did not pay for. Again therefore no “debt” especially to some other bunch referred to as “taxpayers” or “society”.

    I am hoping that as the chill winds blow stronger we will reconnect to the idea of shared “security” rather than our Randist faux individualism.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      The Right Wing, Crosby Textor, and all their PR and psychological marketing resources recognise the importance of the control of language.

      Which is why I get so pissed off when Labour et al simply buy into that linguistic framing, and let the Right take over and corrupt important concepts like “The Social Contract” etc.

      • mike 14.1.1

        I’ll repost this from open mike:

        “Social development minister Paula Bennet has just announced new ‘social obligations’…” Did anyone else just feel a cold shiver?

        So this week benes are bad parents. Does she have a pile of these ready for each week? Or does she spend wed-fri chugging Starbucks in her cubicle brainstorming the next one?

        I’ll go! Benes must carry ID at all times. Spot fines for benes who don’t wash their hands in public toilets. Benes are now subject to random home inspections to make sure they’re not cooking P. Every week one randomly selected bene must work for free cleaning the Beehive toilets.

        And just two days later it’s the ‘lifetime cost’. This benebashing is proceeding at such an almost bizarre rate. It’s almost like NAct is hugely desperate to distract from the clear evidence that they are doing a crap job running the show, (or a from the clear evidence that they are doing a great job robbing the poor and giving to the rich, take your pick), and pathetically all they can think of right now is this incessant dog whistling about benes. The left responds with more outrage, the right responds with more indignation about ‘their money’ funding pot-smoking lifetime dole bludgers with bad parenting skills. It’s divide and conquer with a daily sledgehammer.

    • Tracey 14.2

      My partner was made redundant and was out of work twelve months looking for work. We claimed no benefit, although we would have qualified. I say that only to suggest there may be many more like my partner than we think who are not reflected in unemployment stats

      • lprent 14.2.1

        At the start of 2009 I was doing a short contract as a transition from one project that I’d finished up on in Jan. The first quarter of the year is always a nuisance for getting work. They unexpectably reached for the termination clause on the contract because they weren’t getting the traction that they were expecting from their prototype product offshore. It took me almost 3 months to find work because all of the projects were in shock as capital dried up (it has never taken more than 2-3 weeks previously) and there were literally no projects hiring.

        I looked at going to WINZ as I was still dealing with a leaky building sucking up all available finance and I was starting to get worried about eating. But it was quite apparent that it’d probably take longer to get through all of their strange procedures than it would to find work. Like trying to tell me how to job-hunt or write a CV? FFS I have a current CV on file at all times since I was 16. What they were saying was a good job hunting procedure wouldn’t ever get me an interview in my areas of work. Because I never actually got on to the gyro I’d expect that I’ve never registered as being unemployed.

        Many people never bother with WINZ. The household employment survey is probably a far better estimate. It’s technique is more rigorous.

        • Anne

          Like trying to tell me how to job-hunt or write a CV?

          In 1993, whilst briefly on an unemployment benefit, I was directed to attend a training course on how to dress for a work interview including tips on how to look clean. I took great delight in sending them copies of my various qualifications plus work record. I never heard another peep out of them and… no, I didn’t attend the course.

      • The Woodpecker 14.2.2

        When my son finished school, I was prepared to throw him some pocket money for chores etc. Then shonky and bennett started fudging the numbers, so I made him go down to Winz and be counted. He eventually found work, but we were driving somewhere and he said to me that he now looks at poor people in a new light. My reply was , yes and I now look at rich people in a whole new light.

  15. Steve Wrathall 15

    Where else are people given money to do stuff, and there’s no consequences if they don’t do it? Examples please.

    • J. Andals 15.1

      There are consequences.
      If you don’t do it, you have half your income taken away. If you manage to get an appointment at the local WINZ office within a week (good luck) you might be able to stop the next weeks benefit from being cut too. Do it three times and you’re outta the WINZ ball park all together.
      To go from paying half your money to rent to paying all of it to rent, and having to borrow from family to cover food & electricity/internet bills isn’t fun, I can tell you.

      • Steve Wrathall 15.1.1

        You haven’t answered the question: What OTHER areas of human interaction are there no consequences of not doing what you are supposed to?

        • starlight

          To steve, you tell us of your situation and then perhaps you might get a response or
          are you a ‘nact’ troll? you wont distract us from the total disgust at what your ‘mates’
          are doing to nz and its people,take your rose coloured glasses off and think of
          some sort of human decency,and caring about our fellow nz’ers,this site cares
          about people and their plight.
          How about we have a cgt to harness the $20b that goes off shore in profits,dont
          challenge me on that figure either,it was reported in a paper some time ago, i’m sure
          you wont have trouble finding it.

          • Steve Wrathall

            My situation? Taxpayer

            • Te Reo Putake

              Just a guess here, Steve, but I reckon you’re receiving more income from the Government than you pay in tax. You sound like someone with an academic interest in the subject, not someone who actually works for a living.

    • Blue 15.2

      Are you kidding?

      Hello, politicians and CEOs. Ever seen one of them miss out on their pay and bonuses for not doing what they said they’d do?

      Nope. Me neither.

      • Steve Wrathall 15.2.1

        Politicians and executives get demoted or fired all the time. What are you talking about?

        • Colonial Viper

          No, the better they do at raping the country the more they get paid.

          Plus, what risk is it to them if they already have a $1M house and a $1M pension fund all saved up? They’re not exactly going to miss the next power bill and risk having their lights turned off, are they now.

          • Steve Wrathall

            So you admit that politicians and exectutives are subject to sanctions if they do not do what they are required to. So I ask again: examples please of any group who are NOT subject to sanctions if they do not do what they are required to.
            Otherwise, please explain why beneficiaries should be in this priveleged position, and pass those entitlement attitudes on to their children.

            • Uturn

              You haven’t proven that people are required to do as you’d like. Your perspective and argument remains baseless opinion.

              • Steve Wrathall

                Every employment contract contains provision for consequences/dismissal if conditions are not met. Or have you never had one?

                • Uturn

                  Prove the requirement for other people to do as you say.

                • brybry

                  Hang on. My requirements at work are that I have the required skills, show up for certain hours, complete my workload. The requirements for someone seeking social security are that they prove that their circumstances necessitate it, and they are eligible (there are a whole host of requirements). So you argument of ‘privileged position” is just nonsense.

                  If we want to start telling people how they spend their money or bring up their kids, why should those receiving social security be the only ones that need to abide by the requirements?

                  • Steve Wrathall

                    Because I don’t get extra money from my employer if I have extra kids. Beneficiaries do get extra money for extra kids, and this is justified due to needs of those kids. Hence the taxpayers’ investment in the wellbeing of these kids needs to be ensured.

                    • Uturn

                      Right, so you agree benefit levels should be raised to ensure the wellbeing of the kids. Great news!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Steve Wrath-All

                      That’s why you should be supporting all beneficiaries able to work be given full time, decent paying jobs. We need a ploicy of 100% employment.

                      Then they would be in the same privileged position as you. Wanker breath.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  You mean like this one?

            • mike e

              My heart bleeds for these hard up CEO’s

              • Steve Wrathall

                Your cardiac haemorrhaging does not alter the fact that no-one has provided an example of any other group who has no consequences if the fail to do what they are paid money for. So why shield beneficiaries from this principle, which they’ll have to get used to in the real world?

                • mike e

                  well with that level of income they are able to put money aside and invest in assets where a poor person doesn’t have those options..

                • Colonial Viper

                  Steve Wrath-All = Bile for Brains

                  Living in poverty and being despised by shit heads like you isn’t sufficient consequence for being on the benefit?

                  Fucking wanker. Piss off.

                  • Steve Wrathall

                    Please explain how holding everyone to the same standards, namely having consequences if you do not do what you are supposed to, represents “despising” of any one group.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Sure, hold people to the same standards if you give them the same level of reward. You good for that mate? You want to hold bene’s to the same level of responsibility as a full time worker? Then pay them the same, you chickenshit.

                      Because you seem keen to intrude on the lives of people trying to survive at the lowest end of society. What kind of dirty shit goes on in your mind I wonder?

                      Basically people need to be given decent full time jobs, and be expected to perform them well.

                      You support full employment don’t you, Bile for Brains?

                    • mike e

                      same standards hunger, no CEO is going to go hungry you idiot!
                      How many CEO’s should be in jail right now after the GFC for their Ponzi schemes home detention caviar and champaign.
                      Trool of the day to you Silly Wanker.
                      Worst arguments of any trool since Gooseman.

                • The Woodpecker

                  How about those clever people running POA?

                  • Steve Wrathall

                    Please post evidence that any Ports of Auckland employee has an employment contract that does not require them to perform any specific duty in order to recieve their remuneration.

                    • The Woodpecker

                      How much did that totally unnecessary strike cost? What happened to the instigators of that strike?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey Steve you still on this track? If you want beneficiaries to act as if they have employment duties GIVE THEM JOBS

                • Murray Olsen

                  How about police who are accused of something and given leave with full pay? Then, if likely to be found guilty, can PERF out beforehand and start a private company offering drug testing services to the government or some such parasitical rubbish. Nice consequences.
                  Or judges found guilty of perjury who get a minimal sentence and then three times the salary as legal advisor to some multinational? Beneficiaries would love those consequences.
                  Or John Banks lying about donations and staying in government?
                  Or the director of POAL, who is paid to run the port efficiently but tries to strip it down for privatisation instead?
                  Beneficiaries receive a minimal amount, and begrudgingly, to survive. The vast majority accomplish this. Anything else is voyeuristic and sadistic interference in their lives.

        • mike e

          Golden parchutes anyone i’ll just take the kids down to kindy dear in the porcshe cayenne i don’t have any work today.I’ll stop in at the wine shop and deli for supplies for the dinner partey!
          Yeah Right!
          Poverty means you don’t have options

          • Steve Wrathall

            Please state what are these circumstances that prevent beneficiaries from exercising their “options” of sending their kids to (taxpayer funded) health checks, and (taxpayer funded) ECE/school.

            • mike e

              Transport ECE is not free you should come down off your high horse and find out how expensive it is to bring up a family today.
              ECE should be free and compulsory to all if we want a smart economy and inoculate our youth against poverty.
              Maybe this is what bill english is going to do in the next couple of weeks.

              • Steve Wrathall

                “Transport (to) ECE is not free…” yes, and will get more expensive with the Lab/Greens’ more costly ETS

                ” find out how expensive it is to bring up a family today.”\
                I have three children under nine

                “ECE should be free…” Great! More middle class welfare, less for the poor.

                “… and compulsory…” ????????…So you’re supporting Paula Bennet on this one?

                • mike e

                  This govt is putting the ets charge on fuel Aready 3 weeks ago they added the 3 cents a litre where did you get your facts from
                  farming is being subsidized by leaving them out of the ETS,
                  ECE is only compulsory for the poor under paula benefit basher!
                  Facts Silly W@*%r

                  • Steve Wrathall

                    That’s right. John Key is putting unneccessary costs on everyone, but Lab/Greens will put on more-and faster. Dump the whole ETS, withdraw from Kyoto, and then no-one will have to subsidise anyone. I don’t blame any sector for trying to avoid these costs-which will disappear at the end of the year anyway, and the global collapse of AGW alarmism means that Kyoto will be replaced by…nothing.

                    Making ECE compusory for beneficiaries frees them up for work-which they want-right? If this makes PB a beneficiary “basher”, then I guess that makes a supporter of universal ECE compulsion like you an everone-basher…right?

    • Colonial Viper 15.3

      It seems like Steve Wrath-All has no idea what real life is like. Just some Ayn Rand story book version of it.

    • prism 15.4

      Hello Steve, up at last and trolling again. What a life you, sort of, live.

    • Tracey 15.5

      CEO of Arthur Anderson,. Enron, SCF,

    • Bored 15.6

      Steve to answer your question Where else are people given money to do stuff…if you refer to benefit recipients the answer is they are given their own money: whilst in work they happily contributed tax in anticipation of an evil day when the work dried up. So given they gave themselves their own money why the hell should they answer to you (or Bennett s block-warts)?

  16. captain hook 16

    My opinion for what it is worth is that these psychologically stunted infantilised manques who constitute the present national party are no more than paranoid creeps who want to pry and peer and micromanage other people s lives in the hope that this will give themselves the appearance of having a clean bill of health personally.
    Why dont thye apply the same rules to corporate welfare?

  17. Tracey 17

    Anyone going to ask what happens when people struggling to pay bills etc have their income cut? I am pretty sure the consider illegal activities. Any costing on that Ms Benefat?

  18. ak 18

    Brighter Future farm

    In the year of the long white victim-bash

    Ms Gannett waddles back to the trough

    The blood of the weak still flecked on her beak

    But for NATZ more is never enough

    “They’re breeding for a business” lisps the lizard in her ear

    “Sink your fangs further into their backs

    That brat’s nearly one: rip it out of her arms

    And set her to work on the rack.

    Hammer those crips and weaklings and scum

    And squat on any quacks that demur

    (They’re mostly birds of our feather, and we fatten their bums

    So expect little heart-bleeding there)

    And harden your wee heart to any barbs they might fling

    As you slash sitting ducks with glee

    You’ll not feel much in the way of a sting

    Because those birds are mostly brown, you see

    You’re doing corker, Porker, our new baby Brash

    In your sleek styly suit, cooking hate

    Not far away now, your brighter future in cash

    In just a tiny, MOMentary wait

    Because we’re struggling, dear Pork, in our quest for the prize

    And we need your recipe for division

    Our claws on their jewels have lost their thin velvet guise

    So redouble your scapegoatery provisions.”

    In the year of the long white victim-bash

    Porker Gannett pulls the wings off a fly

    Cleans her teeth with her tongue

    Smiles sweetly at the sun

    And says what a good girl am I.

  19. Steve Wrathall 19

    If Lab/Greens/etc care so deeply about poor poeple being unable to afford their food & energy, why do they want to strengthen an emissions trading scam that will ensure that those costs will “neccessarily skyrocket”? Even if every country has such a scam, the effect on global temperatures a century hence would be indetectable.

    • mike e 19.1

      We give them jobs

      • TightyRighty 19.1.1

        paid for by whom?

        • mike e

          by highly paid troughing consultants

        • Bored

          Always the classic question. I have a lot of sympathy for it when asked simply because I know the income and redistribution principle is employment and / or tax, both of which depend upon small / medium / large enterprises running at a profit. Without sufficient profit there is little tax, without profit fewer jobs. Most people calling for benefits employment etc forget this and go straight to the desired end result.

          If we stay in the current economic paradigm our ability to pay a social wage to all is not going to happen. Lefties can call for as much redistribution as possible but with increased competition for declining dollars the race is only downhill. The day the government cannot borrow any more to bridge the gap the shit hits the fan. Righties need to wise up to the inherent contradictions of the capital system and face the fact that it fails the community.

          • TightyRighty

            But it doesn’t fail the community? Do you think society got this far without capitalism? the capital system is fine and well. It’s the distortions placed on it by either individuals acting dishonestly or governments hell bent on “redistribution” through the welfare state. The capital system functions just fine when it has only a light hand on the tiller and strong punishments for those who act in a dishonest manner.

            • mike e

              Chicago bullshit

            • Colonial Viper

              What capitalism?

              All we have is a kleptocracy and crony capitalism now. The rich aren’t sharing the wealth and building with it, they are simply taking it for themselves, and for their mates.

              • I am a capitalist, I think capitalism can and has worked and I support it continued to be utilised…but not in the way it is currently. 

                “All we have is a kleptocracy and crony capitalism now. The rich aren’t sharing the wealth and building with it, they are simply taking it for themselves, and for their mates.”

                Agree. Those trillions being held in offshore accounts? Doing sweet fuck all when they could be used to grow business, capital and society.

                • Colonial Viper


                  • Instead of Crony-capitalism and having people take and take and just store it away in some tax-haven people who earn capital should be encouraged to spend capital and invest it.

                    That is how pure capitalism, in my opinion, should work (and does work according to the theory as i understand it – waxing lyrical here though).

                    Capital used to create which in turns creates jobs which creates more capital and on we go…

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Dude you’re really scaring me here…can’t disagree with any of that.

                    • It’s because I am not what people actually think I am on The Standard i.e I am not a ‘tory’ – I am a believer in social democracy and well-regulated capitalism which I believe can benefit all and not the few.

                    • Bored

                      TC, the problems with capital are:
                      * stoping it accumulating into fewer hands….
                      * making sure it gets spent….
                      * making sure it pays its true costs….
                      If it could cure those problems it would be a mechanistic system without excessive winners and losers…and the people who call themselves capitalists would be outlaws because robbery (their current modus operandi) would be the only way to get rich fast.

                    • I agree, there are problems but no system can be problem free, there’ll always be greed and people trying to make a quick buck. However there are ways to mitigate the damage. 

                      I believe that there’ll always be winners and losers but we can find ways to bring the gap between the two closer than it is currently. 

                      One thing I don’t believe in is tax havens. Income should be taxed, no matter where it resides or what is happening with it. Income is income.
                      For a start that makes sure some is always spent and it isn’t always accumulating.

                      The less you do with your money the higher the tax you pay. Investing in dirty energy will increase your tax burden, investing clean decreases the amount.
                      Direct the spending and provide an incentive.

                      “If I do nothing with my money I get taxed heavily but the cleaner and more technological/beneficial the industry I spend my money in the lower my my tax bill” 

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      …can’t disagree with any of that.

                      I can because it has never worked that way.

                    • Of course you think that, sweetie.

                      You’re a fucked up ideologue. 

                    • You know what the problem is Draco, you label anything you don’t like or anyone who doesn’t believe as you do as “capitalist”. Anything bad is ‘capitalism’, I have even heard you refer to Stalinist Russia as capitalist.

                      Capitalism is a many varied beast with varying applications and methods of application.

                      Your grand generalisations are unhelpful, not educational and, basically, meaningless.

                    • fatty

                      “You’re a fucked up ideologue.”

                      So are you…you’re a capitalist

                    • I’m not the one pulling the whole breadth of different aspects of capitalism into an implied pejorative based on an ideological disagreement.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      ou know what the problem is Draco, you label anything you don’t like or anyone who doesn’t believe as you do as “capitalist”.

                      No I don’t. I refer to any society that uses a top down hierarchical governance as capitalist because it is. I could just as easily refer to capitalism as feudalism as it has the same structure and when the structure is the same and it gets the same result (mass inequality, a few rich that hold all the power and the majority of people living in poverty) then it’s the same beast.

                    • fatty

                      “I’m not the one pulling the whole breadth of different aspects of capitalism into an implied pejorative based on an ideological disagreement.”

                      That’s true TC…but you’re still a capitalist ideologue…being fucked up is debatable.

                    • “mass inequality, a few rich that hold all the power and the majority of people living in poverty”

                      Well regulated capitalism could stop such mass inequality resulting.

                       “That’s true TC…but you’re still a capitalist ideologue…being fucked up is debatable.”

                      I would say I was fucked up and not a capitalist ideologue.
                      Merely holding a position on something does not make one an  ideologue

                    • fatty

                      TC…above you stated: “I am a capitalist, I think capitalism can and has worked and I support it continued to be utilised…but not in the way it is currently”

                      Would you consider someone an ideologue if they said this?…
                      “I am a socialist, I think socialism can and has worked and I support it continued to be utilised…but not in the way it is currently.”

                    • fatty

                      I would…I define an ideologue as a person who is adherent of an ideology.
                      How do you define an ideologue?

                    • Someone not just an adherent but a very zealous adherent to the point of exclusion of other points of view.

                      Strictly speaking we are all ideologues as in we all adhere to a view of how the world should work…some of us are far more obstinate than others to the point of almost demonising the opposition.
                      Paul Ryan and other Randian’s are pretty serious ideologues

            • mike e

              Tighty almighty well its time you took a heavy hand to your self then for being dishonest.

            • Tracey

              you understand the “Capital system” is an inanimate theory don’t you?

              Society got “this far” as you call it from all kinds of pseudo systems, not just capitalism. Feudalism worked pretty well for while too for some… are you saying if the pseudo capitalist system is doing ok for some we must never ever change it?

              As for punishment for the dishonest, do you mean like for breaching the privacy act or double dipping on accommodation?

            • Draco T Bastard

              Do you think society got this far without capitalism?

              I think it could have gotten a hell of a lot further. Capitalism holds us back as the capitalists work to restrict what people can do (patents etc) and what they can do with their resources (privatisation of the commons).

          • mike e

            Where are these light hand to the tiller economies you RWNJ’s talk about but never give any example its just a right winger wet dream!
            Come on front mr economist.
            You and your cohorts have been asked all over this site and others but have failed
            You guys are all about punishment darwinism and calvinism.

    • Tracey 19.2

      Perhaps even the poor want to be able to breathe fresh air?

      National appears to want growing poverty AND pollution.

  20. When is this National/ACT Government going to start WAR on the undeserving RICH?

    Where’s the National/ACT review of CORPORATE WELFARE at local and central government level?


    Where EXACTLY are rates monies being spent?

    Where’s the TRANSPARENCY?

    Why aren’t ‘the books’ OPEN?

    When are the NAMES of the consultants/contractors; SCOPE; TERM and VALUE of the thousands of contracts which provide long-term corporate welfare dependency for thousands of corporate welfare beneficiaries with their private snouts in our local government public trough, going to be made available for public scrutiny?

    Where’s the LONG overdue review of corporate welfare at local (and central) government level?

    When is this National/ACT Government going to start WAR on the undeserving RICH?

    ie: These long-term corporate welfare beneficiaries who are providing core local government services for private profit which used to be provided ‘in-house’ under the ‘public service’ model on a non-profit-making basis?

    If the private ‘contracting-out’ model is SO ‘efficient’ – then how come RATES KEEP GOING UP – NOT DOWN?

    How many billion$ could be saved at both central and local government level by CUTTING OUT THE CONTRACTORS and CONSULTANTS?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’


    • Mary 20.1

      “When is this National/ACT Government going to start WAR on the undeserving RICH?”

      Could write a letter to the PM and ask him?

      Seriously though, you could begin an OIA campaign to get this and other information you want. I don’t just mean writing a few requests then getting annoyed at vague and non-sensical responses – I mean asking strategic questions then being vigilant with follow up questions and use of the Ombudsman, and being prepared to be in it for the long haul (especially how sluggish and overworked the Ombudsmens Office is at the moment, but that’s a different issue).

    • Steve Wrathall 20.2

      “…how come RATES KEEP GOING UP – NOT DOWN?”

      Because Helen Clark’s awarding to them of powers of general competence, means there are now limitless ways for them to waste our money.

      So you support ACT’s bill to cap rate increases?

      • Colonial Viper 20.2.1

        Hey Steve, here’s a heads up…Key and English have been in power FOUR YEARS now. And the amount of money they have wasted has been on a different scale altogether.

        • Steve Wrathall

          Correct, they’ve carried on Clark’s now-unaffordable election bribes

          • Colonial Viper

            There’s plenty of money out there Steve, just tax it back for recycling into the economy.

            • Steve Wrathall

              Or just print more of it-worked for Zimbabwe. I mean, no-one has to actually produce anything, do they?

              • framu

                oh zimbabwe yippe – well i guess once youve just got idiot bingo! you win a prize.

                tonights special prize is brought to you by Giant Douche Inc

              • Colonial Viper

                Or just print more of it-worked for Zimbabwe. I mean, no-one has to actually produce anything, do they?

                Not sure what you are talking about here. If you maintain a productive exporting economy, printing money is extremely helpful.

                Many major countries of the world do it, to a sum total of hundreds of billions per year.

              • Mike

                From “Web of Debt” – Ellen Brown

                The Case of Zimbabwe
                The same foreign banking spider that has been busily spinning its
                debt web in the former Soviet Union and Latin America has also been
                at work in Africa. A case recently in the news was that of Zimbabwe,
                which in August 2006 was reported to be suffering from a crushing
                hyperinflation of around 1,000 percent a year. As usual, the crisis
                was blamed on the government frantically issuing money; and in this
                case, the government’s printing presses were indeed running. But the
                currency’s radical devaluation was still the fault of speculators, and it
                might have been avoided if the government had used its printing presses
                in a more prudent way.
                The crisis dates back to 2001, when Zimbabwe defaulted on its
                loans and the IMF refused to make the usual accommodations,
                including refinancing and loan forgiveness. Apparently, the IMF
                intended to punish the country for political policies of which it
                disapproved, including land reform measures that involved reclaiming
                the lands of wealthy landowners. Zimbabwe’s credit was ruined and
                it could not get loans elsewhere, so the government resorted to issuing
                its own national currency and using the money to buy U.S. dollars on
                the foreign-exchange market. These dollars were then used to pay the
                IMF and regain the country’s credit rating. Unlike in Argentina,
                however, the government had to show its hand before the dollars were
                in it, leaving the currency vulnerable to speculative manipulation.
                The hyperinflation was caused by speculators who charged exorbitant rates
                for U.S. dollars, causing a drastic devaluation of the Zimbabwe
                The government’s real mistake, however, may have been in playing
                the IMF’s game at all. Rather than using its national currency to buy
                foreign fiat money to pay foreign lenders, it could have followed the
                lead of Abraham Lincoln and the Guernsey islanders and issued its
                own currency to pay for the production of goods and services for its
                own people. Inflation would have been avoided, because the newly created
                “supply” (goods and services) would have kept up with
                “demand” (the supply of money); and the currency would have served
                the local economy rather than being siphoned off by speculators. But
                while that solution worked in Guernsey, Guernsey is an obscure island
                without the gold and other marketable resources that make Zimbabwe
                choice spider-bait. Once a country has been caught in the foreign
                debt trap, escape is no easy matter. Even the mighty Argentina, which
                at one time was the world’s seventh-richest country, was unable to
                stand up to the IMF and the “vulture funds” for long.
                All of these countries have been victims of the Tequila Trap –
                succumbing to the enticement of foreign loans and investment, opening
                their currencies to speculative manipulation. Henry C K Liu writes
                that the seduction of foreign capital was a “financial narcotic that
                would make the Opium War of 1840 look like a minor scrimmage.”
                In the 1990s, a number of Southeast Asian economies would find this
                out to their peril . . . .

      • Penny Bright 20.2.2

        No – I support ‘open, transparent and democratically-accountable’ local and central government – where the ‘books’ are ‘open’ and we know EXACTLY where our public monies are being spent, and public majority benefit from our public monies, not a private minority of corporate welfare beneficiaries.

        Penny Bright
        ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’


      • mike e 20.2.3

        It was mainly right wing councils and Rodney hides underming of the Aucland peoples democratic rights that have cased most of the increases.
        Quite a large portion of Aucklanders will have their rates reduced by 8%

        • higherstandard

          Bullshit……… Auckland ratepayers have been and will continue to be treated like cash cows by a profligate council who’s only too happy to spend other peoples money.

          There hasn’t been a useful mayor and council in the region for well over three decades.

          • Colonial Viper

            Thankfully, National’s changes to Auckland will pay off handsomely in savings. John Banks said so.

  21. Uturn 21

    Now you’re just thrashing about. Cognitive dissonance is fun, isn’t it.

  22. vto 22

    Does anyone know why Bennett is not making this ECE attendance across the entire population?

    What is her own reason for such discrimination?

  23. Dv 23

    I see the Nacts spent 800k to find out that lifetime welfare was going to cost a lot of money.

    • js 23.1

      Not counting National Super which is by far the most expensive benefit for New Zealand. 25 years on National Super amounts to a lot more than a couple of years on the DPB.

  24. fatty 24

    Can anyone explain how these figures were calculated?
    Where can we get a copy of the report?

  25. gobsmacked 25

    A quick reminder –

    This was the argument used by some (not just the Paganis and Salmond but some misguided people on here, you know who you were) during the Big Roof Paint Fight:

    “If Labour’s approach sounds more like National’s, that takes the issue off the table. Got to swallow dead rats!”

    The counter-argument:

    “But if Labour do that, then National will just keep putting more and more things on the table. Why would they stop? The dead rats will just get dirtier!”

    So who was right? (No points for the answer).

    • just saying 25.1

      Great minds, gobsmacked. Been thinking about that a lot lately, with every new “reform” announcement.

      It’s turned into a grotesque and extended game of ‘chicken’. How far can they go before Labour is forced to blink, and what will they have they been forced to go along with in the meantime?

      And yet still, when they do, (and National will keep accelerating the abuse until Labour is forced to defend beneficiaries), they will get the same amount of kickback as they would have met if they’d shown some principle and backbone, except without any of the respect that comes from behaving with principle and backbone.

      And they’ll still be called the party for beneficaries just as often, by just as many.

      lose, lose, lose, lose, lose

    • xtasy 25.2

      Where is Labour’s clear stand on human rights, on welfare, on their TRUE agenda? I have done a fair bit of research into welfare and what the last Labour led government introduced, and it does in part not look nice! They prepared the grounds for this, but to be fair, the earlier ground works were done by National led govenrment in the 1990s.

      Anyway, I did not go on cheering to Shearer and Labour for the food for school kids proposals. I support the idea in principle, but I suspected from the start, that that sounds too nice a bit of a “flower present” to Labour sympathisers and prospective, socially minded voters – too nice to be true.

      I am sure they view it a bit like a “payment card” approach, giving food to low decile school kids, thus ensuring they get what they need, and at the same time perhaps having a reason to cut back a bit with what the parent may get in future (as they no longer may need that).

      Today in Parliament Shearer’s speech may have been genuine, but it was weak and not convincing. I see a lot of talk about kids, fair enough, but what about the sick, disabled and so, there is NO proper opposition from Labour MPs to what the government is pushing through at present. We get a bit of words about “distraction”, but that is NOT OPPOSITION to what Bennett and National are doing.

      Poor and worrying performance this is. And I will NOT support Shearer on his performance to date!

  26. How is this WAR on the POOR – lawful?


    21Prohibited grounds of discrimination
    (1)For the purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are—

    (k)employment status, which means—

    (i)being unemployed; or
    (ii)being a recipient of a benefit under the Social Security Act 1964 or an entitlement under the Accident Compensation Act 2001:

    (l)family status, which means—

    (i)having the responsibility for part-time care or full-time care of children or other dependants; or
    (ii)having no responsibility for the care of children or other dependants; or
    (iii)being married to, or being in a civil union or de facto relationship with, a particular person; or
    (iv)being a relative of a particular person:
    (2)Each of the grounds specified in subsection (1) is a prohibited ground of discrimination, for the purposes of this Act, if—
    (a)it pertains to a person or to a relative or associate of a person; and
    (b)it either—
    (i)currently exists or has in the past existed; or
    (ii)is suspected or assumed or believed to exist or to have existed by the person alleged to have discriminated.

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’


    • Mary 26.1

      It’ll be lawful because they’ll make it part of the Social Security Act which can’t be overridden by the Human Rights Act. You could trot off to the Human Rights Review Tribunal and get a declaration saying it’s discriminatory but (a) that wouldn’t make the policy unlawful in a way that forces them to change it because the tribunal can’t strike legislation down like it can for example in the US or Canada and (b) it’d be bloody hard just getting a declaration because the tribunal would be likely to say government’s entitled to make policy so is justified therefore is not discrimination (in the legal sense) in the same way that happened in the first CPAG case about beneficiaries being denied the in-work tax credit.

  27. Bill 27

    Kate Shuttleworth has a reasonable piece on all this in the Herald where she attempts to break down the figures somewhat.

    I was going to put a post as an addendum to this one, but am too busy to trawl through the available material. So, if you’ve a mind to, here are the documents the msd has released on the Taylor Fry report.

    A very quick scan suggests to me that the numbers are way over inflated and (as generally reported) incredibly misleading. But you make up your own mind.





    • xtasy 27.1

      “was going to put a post as an addendum to this one, but am too busy to trawl through the available material.”

      Can’t see the wood for trees, aye?

      Maybe that is the purpose of the whole exercise?

      Maybe just push the stop button for a moment?

      Inundate with figures and details and confuse, in some way perhaps also ‘shock and awe’, kind of, is that not what has been done in other areas, just to “mellow” the ground and then come with the resolute “push for change”?

      All strategy, I am afraid!

      • Bill 27.1.1

        This is true. Although there are some fairly obvious counter points to make about the figure being bandied about. Such as that is a pre-tax amount and that the calculation involves all people who claimed a benefit at any point in time during the period in question and then makes calculations on those (inflated) numbers out to the age of 65 for each and every person.

        But what I’m more interested in is any ‘give-a-ways’ re, a privatisation agenda. Because one of the things privatisation must have in place is a stripped down measurable system that lends itself to simple monetary criteria of profit/loss and ‘efficiency’.

        And it’s all there (just like National Standards and Charter Schools)…plus the vague recollection that some pilot programme (was it ‘for’ youth or DPB?) was being run by a private concern and not WINZ.

        And from there, to look to the UK model and the attendant suicides and scamming by the private agency there. And a coherent and compelling argument against all this shit can be made.

        • xtasy

          Outsourcing and privatising welfare has been in discussion and is already taking place.

          Yes, you are right, this is also groundwork for that.

          So they will contract out services, like getting clients off-loaded to be looked after private agencies, tasked to get those clients “work readied” and put into any kind of work there may be.

          There have been some real crap experiences with this in a number of European countries, also a lot of fraud, where agencies were set up, cashed in, left the clients they were supposed to train or whatever in the cold, and suddenly vanished, with the money going whereever.

          NZ governments are great at either starting new idiotic experiments in social and economic areas, and some governments – like this one – are great at adopting shit that has not worked overseas, to (like an idiot) try to prove what cannot be proved.

          This is just one such case again. Sadly many will suffer and pay dearly due to it.

          That would make a good headline by the way:
          “Paula sells her children” (being the beneficiaries)

  28. marsman 28

    The Stuff article with it’s bene-bashing headline of billions of dollars life-time cost of benefits mentions insurance. That’s obviously the other reason the odious Paula Bennett is doing her weekly bene-hatemongering and of course with Rebstock in charge and an insurance man on the Welfare Board they are set up to hand over big money to private insurers. Social Welfare for Corporate Profit and we already have plenty of Corporate Welfare for Corporate Profit- serfs in our own country.

  29. Colonial Viper 29

    So has Labour come out and slammed Bennett with a take down on this bullshit yet.

  30. xtasy 30

    Welcome to fascism, dear NZ!

    This is nothing else but the beginning of the road to a defacto fascist society, where people are getting targeted and stigmatised – just for being unfortunate and not be able to work, be this for lack of jobs, lack of skills, lack of ability to work for sickness or disability, or for being a solo mother, having no other support but the state, to manage while raising kids.

    There were brown- and black-shirted lines of men and women marching down streets in towns and cities in Central Europe exactly 80 years (2 generations) ago, and it seems that the ideas to “save” society from “ruin” and “disaster” can only be done by stigmatising some unfortunate few, who are in the wrong predicament and wrong place at the wrong time are catching on in some circles in the politosphere and society in NZ.

    Fall-out from the GFC, debt crisis in some developed nations and now economic recession in much of the world are used as the handy reasons for this, and I suppose they add the Christchurch disasters to it as well.

    Bring out the armbands with the yellow “bludger” signs next!

    And a poll on stuff.co has nearly 2 thirds show understanding for this and seeing the positive in this.

    You cost us, dear “bludgers”, you horrible, lazy, complacent, useless lot, get off your “arses” and get some work, some will say on talk back.

    There was for once a revealing, very good investigative expose about the evil schemes that have been followed at ACC over recent years on last Sunday, on ’60 minutes’ of TV3. But I hear NOBODY debate the scandalous revelations, not even politicians discuss this, there is nothing on talk-back, and even David Shearer has also not explained himself on the “sickness bene roof-painter” to date.

    That is NZ 2012, a semi fascist minded country to a fair share, I am afraid, one against the other, many falling like wolves over the ones to hate.

    Now, how much were the jews, gypsies, dissenting communists, social democrats, gays and lesbians getting “invoiced” for “costing” the NAZIs while they “looked after” them in labour and gas camps?

    I have NO good feelings about this country anymore. The only hope is that enough will wake up early enough to take a stand and stop this mad, mean-spirited shit!


  31. Bruno 32 31


    [lprent: banned a few days ago. Doubled to 4 weeks. ]

    • Colonial Viper 31.1

      some provinces have good employment prospects 🙂

      also, when there are jobs going, people prefer to work and not be on benefits 🙂

      also, there’s a strong work ethic in many rural communities, and willingness to help people into jobs 🙂

    • xtasy 31.2

      Bruno: Your comment may be a bit off topic, but I would comment like this:

      That is part of the agenda of pushing down wages, I am sure. Immigration NZ is also still issuing work permits to so-called “working holiday” visitors, allow students to work “part time”, issue permits for people wanting to work only temporarily here, same as those coming in under the “work for residence” option, which in many cases does not lead to actual permanent residency. That happens despite of local unemployment and is apparently wanted.

      The government is happy with this, to create competition and to keep wages low. It has been so “successful” that some affected migrants have resorted to work below the minimum wage, in order to just get the foot into the door, in order to get longer term employment and perhaps residency.

      All this happens while some supermarkets and other employers have hundreds or thousands apply for only a few handful of jobs here in Auckland.

      The fact that you have so many migrants or temporary workers from overseas down there will have something to do with the Christchurch rebuild. Clearly it is intended to be done as cheap as possible, so that the companies doing the rebuilding can get healthy profits for themselves, their shareholders and so forth.

      Ok, some skilled staff may also not be available so easily in NZ, given the fact that tens of thousands left for Australia. There may be some NZers being trained in building and so forth, but it seems that the rebuild will not result in the expected lowering of unemployment.

      Divide and rule is the motto, nothing else.

      • Bruno 32 31.2.1

        I am so pleased that you guys want dialogue on this issue.


        [lprent: unfortunately you were banned a few days ago. Doubled again -16 weeks. ]

        • Colonial Viper

          if you are paying your manager $64K pa, how much are you paying his subordinates? How many people is he managing?

          What kind of farm is it?

          Are most of the workers paid a salary? If so, how many hours do they typically work a week?

          • Bruno 32


            [lprent: banned a few days ago. Doubled again to 64 weeks. ]

            • Te Reo Putake

              “apart from the South American on a holiday visa who is on $36000 / annum for her 4 month stint”
              Is that entirely legal, Bruno? (Dinkum question, I don’t know the rules around holiday visas).

              • Colonial Viper

                I find it random that Bruno would pay 20% more than comparable farms in the South Island. What is that about. Trying to impress us with his tales?

            • Colonial Viper

              Those are very decent wages. I know of very few dairy farms which require their farmhands to work less than 50 hours a week on a regular basis. In fact I know of none.

              Typical pay rates work out at between $11/hr and $12/hr effective.

              Your outfit is very atypical.

        • xtasy

          $ 64 k p.a. sounds good, but what hours are involved for that apparent “salary”?

          Is it the not uncommon rise at 05 am, work til lunchtime, have 30 minutes break, then work on until sunset term, study at night until eyes drop for further bit of “spice” on top term added “cost free”?

          Why are you not hiring NZers that already are here?

          Let me guess: They are all supposedly too “lazy”, “inflexible”, cannot bother and cause “too much trouble”. Is that your experience?

          • Bruno 32


            [lprent: banned a few days ago. Pointless doubling to 128 weeks. Now it is permanent. ]

            • Colonial Viper

              Honestly, you’re just showing off your stories now.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Yep, I’m calling bullshit on Bruno, too. Well sussed, CV.

                • xtasy

                  Is this perhaps the same person, who phoned up one NZ Herald weekend column writer, claiming he would be able to go on the sickness benefit and go sailing around the Hauraki Gulf for a year?

                  Ha, there are some real bizarre stories going around, and I would not believe most, if any of them.

                  Maybe these are online identities and aliases adopted by Hooton, Slater and Farrarr?

                  Would not surprise me one bit.

                • Bruno 32


                  [lprent: already banned]

                  • xtasy

                    “A human brain cell equivalent of nitrate leaching perhaps ??”

                    Please yourself. I grew up on a farm, by the way, but no nitrate leaching here.

        • Colonial Viper

          I’d like to also know if you are providing your manager or any of your workers with food or accomodation, and are you charging them for it.

        • fatty

          How many days holiday has this worker had in the past 4 years?

    • Te Reo Putake 31.3

      Unemployment is Ashburton is twice what it was in the last days of the Clark Labour Government, Bruno. And for the last few years its mostly been 4-5 times as bad, but as people leave the district in search of jobs, the pool of people looking for work drops. Queensland’s gain, Ashburton’s loss.
      There may well be a lot of foreign workers in the district, but so what? They’re in every district. And, funnily enough, Kiwi workers are regarded as excellent hires by aussie recruitment agencies because of our excellent work ethic. So what’s your point?

      • Bruno 32 31.3.1


        [lprent: banned a few days ago. Doubled again to 32 weeks. ]

        • Colonial Viper

          You’re just showing off now, right 🙂

        • Te Reo Putake

          I do believe you, Bruno. I looked it up, which is why I know unemployment in Ashburton is worse now than it has been for yonks. I’m still keen to find out what your point is.

        • xtasy

          Lots of Tagalog and other various Philippine tongues are spoken all over NZ, and many work for $ 14 or $ 16 an hour as “carers” and the likes in numerous rest-homes, here in Auckland also as check-out operators, but in some cases other jobs. Most in resthomes come here with desperate hope and expectation to one day be able to work as nurses in NZ. That is what they are usually qualified in, but they do in so many cases not fulfil the criteria to work as registered nurses here. That requires further training, improved English and a job offer as a nurse, which most never get. So they can work as caregivers for a while, but will not get residency, as it is not a sought after qualification.

          It is modern day exploitation, and I have seen it first hand, where some operators make nice earnings for themselves and shareholders, but pay minimum to motivated but intentionally misled staff from there, never having a real chance to work as nurses here.

    • fatty 31.4

      I’m guessing that a lot of those Filipino workers work in old peoples homes, or as carers.
      Many older people in NZ are moving to provincial areas because its cheaper and quieter. In the 2006 consensus the Ashburton District had 16.3% over 65 (most likely more in Ashburton itself)…compared to 12.3% in NZ. This means that Ashburton’s economy is helped by having less ‘eligible’ workers, gets relatively more money into the economy via superannuation, and also providing disproportionally more jobs for Filipino immigrants.
      Many of the younger people under the age of 30, who have high unemployment levels throughout the country move to other places, therefore Ashburton does not have the youth unemployment problem to the same degree. Compare the 20-30 year old age groups on the first two graphs here. You can see the difference is quite obvious, and the graph shows the higher percentage of elderly people.
      To bring this back to the post topic, Ashburton will have less people on the unemployment benefit, but has more people on superannuation. Universal benefits can be effective in creating more equality and therefore we should be funding the DPB, child benefit and superannuation more.
      Ashburton has a lower percentage earning over $50,000…only 13.8% compared with 18% throughout NZ. Also Ashburton has less people living under $20,000…42.2% compared with 43.2% throughout NZ.

  32. Bruno 32 32


    [lprent: banned a few days ago. Doubled again to 8 weeks. ]

    • xtasy 32.1

      Why don’t you or the employers you may refer to, then not get together with other employers, to hold workshops where there are many job-seekers, to check whether you can find the skills you or the other employers need right now, and if they are not, discuss with candidates, and perhaps also government agencies interested, to train those that could be trained swiftly, to facilitate them to go and work down there? Blaming people for not moving, while not knowing the skills are available, does not convince.

      • OneTrack 32.1.1

        xtasy – he has a business to run and he has people to do the work he needs done. He is telling you that there is work available if only people would make themselves available.

        Why dont the unions “get together, to hold workshops,……”, etc. Why does a potential employer have to hold your hand before anything happens.

        • xtasy

          Isn’t that what employers do, when they are desperate for staff? Place an ad, contact a personnel agency, in some cases maybe even contact a work broker at WINZ?

          If he is too busy to do that, he is not a good “manager” of his affairs, as some time must be spared for keeping “in touch” with the “outside world”.

          Why does he not phone a union then, saying he has well paid, good conditioned employment – with paid leave, many breaks, reasonable hours and even “fresh eggs for breakfast” to offer?

          Well, you just shot yourself in your own foot now.

          • Mike

            “Why does he not phone a union then, saying he has well paid, good conditioned employment – with paid leave, many breaks, reasonable hours and even “fresh eggs for breakfast” to offer?”

            Because he’s full of shit???

    • Te Reo Putake 32.2

      They do move, drive two hours north and you’ll meet plenty of North Islanders putting their skills to use. And, no doubt, a few of your former neigbours.

    • gobsmacked 32.3

      I do not understand why unemployed people don’t move to where the jobs are

      Fair enough for a single itinerant worker.

      But what is the cost for a family to relocate (accommodation, schools, etc)? Are the jobs permanent, or long-term? Can you give examples?

      Is it more worthwhile to relocate to Ashburton, or Australia?

    • felix 32.4

      Out of curiosity, what are the wages like for the 2000 – 4000 imported workers in your region?

      • fatty 32.4.1

        Many of them are a few cents above minimum wage, on short term contracts, long hours, and few workers rights – working in private old peoples homes…these homes are making massive profits on the back of our superannuation system.

        • Colonial Viper

          A lot of farmers promise to help immigrant workers with immigration, and those foreign workers will put up with a lot of shit from the farmers in order to get their PR.

          Those same farmers refuse to pay wages which would be attractive to NZers of course. For the hours that a farm hand works they should be getting in the mid 40K mark but usually they are lucky to get in the mid 30K’s.

      • Bruno 32 32.4.2


        [lprent: banned]

        • felix

          About 15 bucks an hour before tax according to the figures you posted above.

          Can’t see too many people packing up their families, leavimg their friends and communities, and moving to Ashburton to work 50 hours a week for 15 bucks an hour.

          Mind you it’s all moot because you’re not really an employer in Ashburton, you’re just a guy telling stories on the internet.

    • Draco T Bastard 32.5

      I do not understand why unemployed people don’t move to where the jobs are ,rather than accept a pathetic handout from taxpayers to barely survive.

      Because movings not cheap?

      We have had to resort to overseas labour through absolute necessity,rather than free choice.

      Actually, it was probably more due to you not wanting to pay a reasonable amount.

  33. xtasy 33

    Invoice nr.: 12345678

    Date: 12 Sept. 2012


    IB recipient
    x Street
    Mt Victoria

    Charged to:

    John Key
    Nat ACT government


    Loss in potential income due to:
    Accident at workplace in 2001, insufficient rehabilitation cover by ACC from 2001 to 2009, resulting in unaddressed disability and restoration to work capacity, followed by “exiting” from claims cover since 01 Jan. 2010 by unfavourable assessor, and hence “passing on” to Work and Income invalid’s benefit since:

    Income received per annum on IB and supplements: $ 22,000
    Potential income if restored to partial work capacity: $ 50,000

    Actual loss per annum: $ 28,000

    Accrued since 01.01.2010 up to 31.08.2012: $ 74,666

    This invoice covers loss of earnings costs for the period stated above.

    ….So guess, what would be the costs the invoicing beneficiary has over a lifetime then?

    Hahaha, actuarial expertise, aye?

  34. Drakula 34

    Someone ought to tell Bennett that in East Christchurch where there are most beneficiaries that there is now one suicide a day.

  35. OneTrack 35

    They could save taxpayers a shed load of money by dropping the pointless ETS scheme completely. Then they could spend that money on things that are useful, such as education,housing, public transport and,maybe, breakfast for children of parents who cant work out how to open a packet of cornflakes and a bottle of milk.

  36. OneTrack 36

    xtasy @7:11 – Invoice denied as most of the period in question was another government. Please redirect to Attn H&H, Level 22, United Nations Tower, New York, New York.

    • xtasy 36.1

      OneTrack: Bad luck!

      That does not let a government of the day off at all!

      Whosoever takes over “business” as a going concern with all attached “baggage” must pay for the damage done by that baggage!

      Nice try, though.

  37. Bruno 32 37

    Banned eh. For telling the truth. you kids sure are a sensitive lot. May you fester in your own shit,if thats what you want.

    [lprent: Felix pointed it out the comments down below. I couldn’t give a shit about most of what you said. However you violated site policies in one comment on the 9th, and then your subsequent behaviour ignored the consequences.

    You attacked someone for writing comments under a pseudonym which is something we don’t allow. You were dumb enough to do this whilst you were writing under a pseudonym (which I found particularly hypocritical). So you collected a ban.

    We routinely double up bans for people who keep writing after being banned and delete their comments. This discourages people from wasting the time of moderators. It is something that you should look for when you do something dumb in violation of site policies. And it is your responsibility to know the site policy – it is at the top of the page.

    But I guess you don’t like looking at your own stupid behaviour….. In any event you are clearly incapable of working within our rather tolerant limits of behavior – mostly because you seem to think that the rules don’t apply to you. By the sounds of it, I suspect that this has happened to you before. That also makes you a very slow learner. ]

  38. UpandComer 38

    Labour activists sit in National member’s offices and wish they had devised the comprehensive welfare reforms.

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