web analytics

Through the Looking Glass.

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, October 31st, 2016 - 15 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, discrimination, International, political alternatives, uk politics, unemployment, welfare - Tags: , ,

The culture being addressed will be familiar enough to many here in NZ who deal with Work and Income. Government strategies to address that culture? Well, that’s another story. This isn’t just happening half a world away. It might as well be happening in another universe – back on the sane side of some looking glass NZ has fallen through.

From last Friday’s Glasgow Herald.

In the words of Social Security Minister, Jeane Freeman …

“Creating a (social security) system that treats people with dignity, fairness and respect shouldn’t be a big ask. But given people’s experiences of the current system it absolutely is a big deal.”

…ministers are to turn their backs on talk of ‘welfare’, Ms Freeman said.

“It is important to us that this is a social security system. We are absolutely convinced that social security is an investment that we make individually and collectively for ourselves and each other. Neither you nor I know when we might need that help and support,”

“Rhetoric from some politicians and parts of our mainstream media has created the impression that people who need the support of the social security system are undeserving,” she said. “Where there are fraudulent behaviours, we need to spot them and deal with it. But that is very different from designing a system that presumes that everyone who comes into it is trying to pull a fast one,”

Before the end of the year, the Government aims to recruit 2000 volunteers to help advise it over the next four and a half years, as it sets up a social security system from scratch,…Volunteers will mainly be people who currently rely on benefits, but also workers with knowledge of the system, such as welfare rights advisors, and those with experience of payment systems and even ex-DWP* employees…

Meanwhile, back here in ‘godzone’?

Pants.

* equivalent to Work and Income.

15 comments on “Through the Looking Glass. ”

  1. Henry Filth 1

    Social welfare systems are usually a good example of systems designed by people who don’t use them.

    Clever people creating bad or second-rate systems out of ignorance.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Clever people creating bad or second-rate systems out of ignorance.

      I’m pretty sure you’ll find a whole heap of arrogance in there as well.

      • Henry Filth 1.1.1

        Mmmmmmmmmmmm, no, I’m not so sure.

        I’m pretty sure it’s ignorance. New Zealand has become such a class-sodden society that there is a real ignorance about what all those pretty flow-charts and interaction-diagrams actually mean for the real people who live in the real world.

        Theory and process take precedence. Sad. Very sad. But I doubt that you’ll find more than a smidgeon of actual malice or arrogance.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          Arrogance != malice

          Arrogance

          offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.

          Bunch of people acting with an I know best attitude without truly understanding what’s happening in the real world.

        • Rosemary McDonald 1.1.1.2

          “But I doubt that you’ll find more than a smidgeon of actual malice or arrogance.”

          I’m not so sure about that.

          When it comes to accessing government funded disability supports (for those disabled NOT on ACC) one has to go through the NASC. (Needs Assessment and Service Coordination).

          After 17 years of assuming that the stunning level of ignorance and incompetence was down to simple lack of education and experience (and this was the reason that our needs had not been recognised nor any services coordinated) we asked for our file from our local NASC.

          Hmmm…Yes we found ignorance. And yes, we found indicators of lack of knowledge and experience of specific disabling impairments.

          But…we also found gross inaccuracies in record keeping, which when we challenged these and asked for an explanation, we were told that those ‘team members were no longer working there’. A quick phone call to the NASC confirmed that two of the ‘team members’ mentioned in our complaint where actually still working there. The manager lied. In an email. Then lied again. In an email.

          So…eventually a meeting with manager, advocate, and two high up bureaucrats from local DHB.

          The manager and his superiors from the DHB closed ranks and flatly refused to address ANY of our issues with their history of shit record keeping and gross inaccuracies.

          Flatly refused.

          We had to ‘move forward’, despite the fact that our being able to trust this government funded service was of paramount importance.

          Unsurprisingly to us (we have followed the welfare, NHS and disability support ‘reforms’ that have wracked the UK over the past decade) the lying manager and the hard faced and uncompromising bureaucrats were ALL recent migrants from Britain.

          Funny that.

      • Richard Rawshark 1.1.2

        Paula Bennet is not clever, but still she managed it.

      • Liberal Realist 1.1.3

        Clever people creating bad or second-rate systems out of ignorance.

        I’m pretty sure you’ll find a whole heap of arrogance in there as well.

        And clever people creating bad or second-rate systems by design.

  2. Venezia 2

    The Ken Loach movie “I, Daniel Blake” is highly recommended here. From what I have heard, it traverses very similar experiences to those dependent on Work and Income in NZ over the past 8 years.

  3. Siobhan 3

    I’m all for small victories and all that “The new social security powers will only account for 15 per cent of the total Scottish benefit bill, or £2.7 billion – with the bulk of spending still controlled at Westminster, including job seekers’ allowance and the employment and support allowance.”

    But how are the SNP planning on paying for it all?? Ah yes…”deepening spending cuts on councils, schools and student support.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/mar/01/scottish-government-to-set-up-benefits-agency-to-streamline-welfare

    • Bill 3.1

      Are you being deliberately mis-leading or just idiotic there Siobhan? The point of the post is that the culture is being shovelled.

      That piece you linked was from just before the Holyrood elections (y’know politicking and all that?) and reports that unnamed opposition parties asked “how increased payments would be funded amid deepening spending cuts on councils, schools and student support.”

      I won’t go into all the swings and merry-go-rounds of undermining UK imposed austerity policies on a fixed budget.

      Given that at that point in time Labour were still the main opposition and Dugdale was reported as claiming that “Neil’s proposals fell short of her far more ambitious offer, which also included doubling maternity grants to £1,030, and giving care leavers full grants for further and higher education.”, I’m guessing the main opposition weren’t complaining and the Guardian was just stirring its usual shit on Scottish affairs.

      That you then ripped even that shoddy piece of reporting out of context and tried to give it extra wee false legs is less than impressive.

      btw. Labour (third party in Holyrood now) have signalled their appreciation over the fact that the SNP adopted an amendment around (I think carer allowances) that they’d proposed but had no hope in hell of pushing through using traditional parliamentary procedures – ie, bullshit numbers games.

      edit. Skulled from the comments below the article linked in the post.

      Gail Hughs – “Where does it come from in other countries? The UK spends 16.5% of GDP, or 37.5% of total government expenditure on social protection. The average of the 28 EU countries is 19.5% of GDP or 40.4% of government expenditure. The UK spends just 0.2% of GDP on unemployment, only Bulgaria of the EU-28 spends less at 0.1%. The EU average is 1.5%. On sickness and disability we match the EU-28 average at 2.8% of GDP. Our pensions cost us 8.5% of GDP, trailing behind the EU-28 average of 10.3%. How do those countries afford their social protection?”

      As an aside, and it is an aside because the post is about a shift in culture – I wonder what the percentage is in NZ?

      • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.1

        “I wonder what the percentage is in NZ?”

        http://briefingpapers.co.nz/2016/05/recent-trends-in-public-spending/

        A clever person might be able to put Mr. Easton’s graphs up…

      • Siobhan 3.1.2

        It’s all opinion ain’t it Bill…even the Glasgow Herald has its agenda. There is no harm in presenting different points of view. In fact I find people who resort to personal abuse in political discourse are those most in need of confrontational opinions…so here’s one on the SNP, just for you, from Mr Jeremy Corbyn…who has his agenda too…

        Mr Corbyn said: “Just under a year ago I was elected leader of the Labour Party because people could see a need for change. That need for change isn’t going away – and neither am I.”
        He added: “It’s Labour’s commitment to making that difference that means that we’re not looking for an alliance with the SNP.
        “Let me make it clear. I will welcome support for all or any of our policies from any other political groups or parties … but I’m well aware that Labour and the SNP come from different traditions and have different goals.

        “I don’t see a party that welcomed (then Chancellor) George Osborne’s corporation tax cuts, relentlessly attacked local government and is committed to a benefit cap as reliable allies for a radical Labour government.
        “There are many people who have voted for, or even joined, the SNP who want to see many of the changes we want to implement.
        “I don’t think these people are always being served properly by the SNP.”

        • Bill 3.1.2.1

          If you’d been paying attention you’d have been aware that I’ve repeatedly pointed out that alliances (ie – coalitions) have no place in places with fixed term parliaments and that parties work through things on a case by case basis.

          The SNP tried to point this out during the last UK election while the media spun its lines about an SNP tail wagging the Labour dog in a Westminster coalition government.

          Corbyn’s more or less just speaking common sense but underpinning it with Scottish Labour speaking points – speaking points that have seen them lose their position as main opposition in Holyrood to the Tory Party.

          But again, the post was about dismantling a heinous social security culture that exists over here just as much as it does over there.

  4. Richard Rawshark 4

    Bill, I see no point in referring to the UK system as this lot ain’t interested in looking at anything anyone else suggests.

    They are following their idea’s come hell or death, there is no good outcome .

    Change the government. end of.

    • Bill 4.1

      Not aware of any such thing coming from opposition though. The SS Act here is a bloody shambles and the culture no better than in the UK.

      Government after government has made hollow promises to review and/or rewrite and nothing has ever happened.

      Like I wrote in the post – NZ is pants. Change the government and it’ll still be pants.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Deed of Settlement signed with Ngāti Rangitihi
    I pānuitia i te rangi nei e te Minita mō ngā Whiriwhiringa Tiriti o Waitangi, e Andrew Little, kua tāmokohia tētahi Whakaaetanga Whakataunga i waenga i te Karauna me Ngāti Rangitihi, e whakatau ana i ngā kerēme hītori Tiriti o Waitangi a taua iwi. Ko Ngāti Rangitihi tētahi o ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • World Soil Day: valuing our soils key to a better world
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has marked World Soil Day (5 December) with a $6.25 million investment in mapping New Zealand’s most valuable soils which are vital to our economic, environmental and social wellbeing. “The more we know about our natural resources, including soils, the better we can make good sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government receives interim report from the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Government has received an interim report from the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-Based Institutions. The terms of reference for the Royal Commission required a progress report on the inquiry‘s work to date to be delivered to the Government by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs announces diplomatic appointments to Malaysia and Austria
    Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta has announced Pam Dunn as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to Malaysia and Brian Hewson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Austria and UN Permanent Representative, Vienna. Malaysia “New Zealand and Malaysia enjoy a warm bilateral relationship. We have had diplomatic relations for more than 60 years, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Intention to appoint a Commission for Tauranga City Council
    Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta, has confirmed the Tauranga City Council has been advised of her intention to appoint a Commission in response to significant governance problems among the Council’s elected representatives and the findings of an independent review. “I have been closely watching the conduct of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Health Scholarships 2021 about improving access to healthcare for Pacific communities
    Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio is calling on any Pacific students studying health or disability-related courses to apply now for a Ministry of Health Pacific Health Scholarship. “These scholarships acknowledge the vital role Pacific people play in our health workforce. This was most visible through our Pacific workforce's ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to Auckland Trade and Economic Policy School
    CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY   Thank you for the opportunity to speak today. I want to recognise the hard work of the University of Auckland’s Public Policy Institute in putting on this event. Bringing together internationally recognised leaders and thinkers on trade and economic policy, with exporters, business leaders, diplomats, economists, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NCEA Level 1 changes give students a broader foundation
    The Government is making changes to NCEA Level 1 to ensure it remains a strong, credible qualification that supports young people into employment and further education, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Last term, the Government initiated a wide-scale review of the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA), involving consultation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crown accounts reflect positive economic trend
    The Government’s books were again better than expected as the economy continued to recover post COVID lockdown, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Crown Accounts for the four months to the end of October were far more favourable than what was forecast in the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Increase to supplier diversity through new procurement target for Maori Business
    Māori enterprises are in line for greater opportunities to do business with government agencies under an initiative to spread the benefits of the economic recovery.  The Ministers for Māori Development and Economic and Regional Development have announced a new target to encourage public service agencies to cast the net ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Climate emergency declaration will be matched with long-term action
    Today’s climate emergency declaration will be backed with ambitious plans to reduce emissions, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw today. “Our Government has put New Zealand at the forefront of climate action over the last three years. Declaring a climate emergency and backing this with long-term action to reduce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Celebrating the success of Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki Award winners
    28 young achievers who have been in the care of Oranga Tamariki or involved with the youth justice system have received Oranga Tamariki Prime Minister Awards in recognition of their success and potential, Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. At the awards ceremony in Parliament, Kelvin Davis congratulated the rangatahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Public sector to be carbon neutral by 2025
    Public sector to be carbon neutral by 2025 Immediate focus on phasing out largest and most active coal boilers Government agencies required to purchase electric vehicles and reduce the size of their car fleet Green standard required for public sector buildings The Government has launched a major new initiative to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government fulfils election undertaking on new top tax rate
    The Government will today keep its election promise to put in place a new top tax rate of 39 per cent on income earned over $180,000. “This will only affect the top two per cent of earners. It is a balanced measure that is about sharing the load so everyone ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Sir Robert Martin re-elected to UN Committee
    New Zealand welcomes the news that Sir Robert Martin has been re-elected to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, says Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni. “Sir Robert has been a lifetime advocate for persons with disabilities and his experience brings a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New rules to protect Kiwis from unaffordable loans
    The Government is making sure all consumers who borrow money get the same protections, regardless of where they get their loans.   “Building on the work to crack down on loan sharks last year, we’re now making the rules clearer for all lenders to help protect borrowers from unaffordable loans” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New visitor attraction to boost tourism
    The opening of the first major new tourism attraction since the global outbreak of COVID-19 closed borders to international travellers will provide a welcome boost to visitor numbers in our largest city, says Tourism Minister Stuart Nash. Mr Nash has this afternoon taken part in the official opening ceremony of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt moves on drug checking to keep young New Zealanders safer this summer
    The Government will pass time limited legislation to give legal certainty to drug checking services, so they can carry out their work to keep New Zealanders safer this summer at festivals without fear of prosecution, Health Minister Andrew Little says. Next year the Government will develop and consult on regulations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Public Service Commissioner reappointed
    Minister for the Public Service Chris Hipkins announced today that Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes CNZM has been reappointed for three years. The Public Service Commissioner is appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. “Mr Hughes’ reappointment reflects the need for strong leadership and continuity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pōwhiri marks the start of a critical year for APEC
    New Zealand kicked off its APEC host year today, with a pōwhiri taking place on Wellington’s waterfront with local iwi Te Atiawa, and a number of Government ministers welcoming representatives from the other 20 APEC economies. “APEC is a hugely important international event, and New Zealand is hosting amidst the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech at APEC 21 Opening Pōwhiri
    9am, Tuesday 1 DecemberTe Whare Waka o Pōneke, Wellington Central He Mihi Kei aku rangatira no ngātapito e whā o te ao huri noa, tātou e huihui mai nei. Tēnā rā kōutou katoa. He tangiapakura ki ngā tini aituā kei waenganui i a tātou, ka tangi tonu te ngākau ki ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government extends business debt relief to October 2021
    To assist with the ongoing economic recovery from COVID-19, rules allowing affected businesses to put their debt on hold have been extended by 10 months. “New Zealand’s economy is recovering better than we expected, but the impacts of the pandemic are far-reaching and some businesses need continued support to keep ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill introduced to support workers with 10 days sick leave
    The Government is delivering on a key commitment by introducing a Bill to Parliament to expand sick leave entitlements from five days to ten days a year, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. “COVID-19 has shown how important it is to stay at home when people are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Progress on pay equity for DHB staff
    Today’s initial agreement between DHBs and the PSA on pay equity for clerical and administration staff is an important step toward better, fairer pay for this crucial and largely female workforce, Health Minister Andrew Little says. If ratified, the agreement between the Public Service Association and the country’s 20 District ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Iconic Milford Track officially reopens
    One of New Zealand’s premier hikes and a cornerstone of the Te Anau community, the Milford Track has officially reopened, “From today, hikers booked on the popular Great Walk will be able to complete the walk end-to-end for the first time since early February,” Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Support for farmers beefed up ahead of La Niña
    Further funding for feed support services and new animal welfare coordinators will help farmers who continue to feel the effects of an extended drought, says Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor. “In March this year, I classified the drought in the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chathams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Next steps for Christchurch Hospital campus redevelopment
    Canterbury DHB will be better placed to respond to future demand for services and continue to deliver high quality care, with the next stage of the campus redevelopment programme confirmed, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The Government has approved $154 million in funding for the construction of a third tower ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers’ Joint Statement
    The Defence Ministers from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and United Kingdom reaffirmed their nations’ continued commitment to the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA), and commended the achievements over the past 49 years as the FPDA moves towards its 50th Anniversary in 2021.  The Ministers recognised the FPDA’s significant role ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding protects health of Hawke’s Bay waterways
    A joint Government and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council project will invest $4.2 million to protect local waterways, enhance biodiversity and employ local people, Environment Minister David Parker announced today.   Over two years, the Hāpara Takatū Jobs for Nature project will fence 195km of private land to exclude stock from vulnerable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Year border exception for seasonal workers in the horticulture and wine industries
    2000 additional RSE workers to enter New Zealand early next year employers must pay these workers at least $22.10 an hour employers will cover costs of managed isolation for the RSE workers RSE workers will be paid the equivalent of 30 hours work a week while in isolation From January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government increases support for New Zealanders to work in seasonal jobs
    The Government is offering further financial support for unemployed New Zealanders to take on seasonal work. These new incentives include: Up to $200 per week for accommodation costs $1000 incentive payment for workers who complete jobs of six weeks or longer increasing wet weather payments when people can’t work to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government receives Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mos...
    Minister for Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti has today received the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mosques, and will table it in Parliament on Tuesday December 8. “I know this will have been a challenging process for whānau, survivors and witnesses of the terrorist attack ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Government to declare a climate emergency
    The Government will declare a climate emergency next week, Climate Change Minister James Shaw said today.                                       “We are in the midst of a climate crisis that will impact on nearly every ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Call for urgent action on Pacific conservation
    A declaration on the urgency of the global biodiversity crisis and the need for immediate, transformative action in the Pacific was agreed at a pan-Pacific conference today. The 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas is taking place this week across the Pacific.  Minister of Conservation Kiritapu ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech from the throne
    E aku hoa i te ara o te whai, Kia kotahi tā tātou takahi i te kō, ko tōku whiwhi kei tō koutou tautoko mai. Ko tāku ki a koutou, hei whakapiki manawa mōku. He horomata rangatira te mahi, e rite ai te whiwhinga a te ringatuku, me te ringakape ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keynote address to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand conference
    Speech to the CAANZ conference - November 19, 2020 Thank you, Greg, (Greg Haddon, MC) for the welcome. I’d like to acknowledge John Cuthbertson from CAANZ, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue Naomi Ferguson, former fellow MP and former Minister of Revenue, Peter Dunne, other guest speakers and CAANZ members. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Expert independent advisory group appointed to strengthen the future of Māori broadcasting
    A panel of seven experts are adding their support to help shape the future of Māori broadcasting, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has announced today. “Today I will meet with some of the most experienced Māori broadcasters, commentators and practitioners in the field. They have practical insights on the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to review housing settings
    New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus is on improving access to the housing market for first home buyers and ensuring house price growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Crown accounts reflect Govt’s careful economic management
    The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance before gains and losses, or OBEGAL, was in deficit. However that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community launch marks next step in addressing racism in education
    The launch of Te Hurihanganui in Porirua today is another important milestone in the work needed to address racism in the education system and improve outcomes for Māori learners and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis says. Budget 2019 included $42 million over three years to put Te Hurihanganui ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago