Welfare ‘reform’

Written By: - Date published: 6:27 pm, September 18th, 2012 - 99 comments
Categories: welfare - Tags:

Paula Bennett’s 143-page second welfare changes bill is out – with a nasty added sting in the tail.

Anyone who refuses a ‘suitable’ job will be blocked from getting a benefit for 13 weeks. ‘Suitable’ means any work with 20-40 hours per week for the unemployed, or any work with 10-20 hours per week for sole parents with children aged 5-13 and sickness beneficiaries who aren’t capable of working fulltime.

Job’s on the other side of town and it’s impractical to get there?  Don’t care, your children can starve.

One strike and you’re out – even murderers get 3 strikes…

Here – as in Britain, which is undergoing a similar ‘simplification’ of the benefit system – the framing is that welfare is a trap that people can’t get out of. As though poor quality housing, an inability to afford heating and having to carefully manage the weekly budget to afford any milk for the kids is somehow addictive.  In Britain, the Tories are slowly managing to get that idea accepted, even as people say they want higher taxes rather than more cuts.

The enforced Early Childhood Education for beneficiaries (especially when ECE is scarce in low income areas, and usually not free as advertised), has provoked plenty of comment.

Tapu Misa has life on Planet Paula:

Doesn’t everybody know that when you get money from the state, you automatically lose the right to make decisions about your own children?

It stands to reason: if you’re too hopeless to work, you’re too hopeless to be trusted with the care of your own children.

Clearly, only ignorant and lazy people are unemployed.

It’s true that people who get Working For Families are also receiving money from the state, but they still have rights because people who do a minimum of 20 hours a week never neglect their children. It’s just common sense, isn’t it?

Andrew Cardow of Massey wonders how the party that cried ‘Nanny State’ could be so interfering with how you bring up your children – without even any good evidence that their solution will help.

Apparently efficient lightbulbs is insanity, but telling you how to raise your kids isn’t the Government invading the private lives of citizens at all…

But best was Toby Manhire who contrasted:

Fail to keep any preschool child aged 3 or over in certified education for at least 15 hours a week and your benefit could be cut by as much as half, comes the warning, part of a list of “social obligations”.

with Paula Bennett’s maiden speech to Parliament:

“we are pushed to increase women’s participation in the workforce, we need to ask who will be raising our next generation … I advocate for choice – for women to work part-time or full-time in paid work, or not at all, or to stay home and raise their children … A good government does not come into people’s homes and tell them how to raise their children.”

Compulsory vaccination? Drug-testing? Compulsory ECE? Does any of that mesh with this government’s rhetoric of a small state who keeps out of people’s lives?  Doesn’t interfere with how they raise their children?

Apart from a cut of $8.53/week for widows, the only ‘savings’ will be from forcing people off the benefit and onto the streets by insisting they work ‘suitable’ jobs that may not be practical – as Kay Brereton Coordinator of the Wellington People’s Centre says: “It could be quite huge because I have seen people turning down jobs for really good reasons and having their benefit sanctioned as a result.”

As villifying as this package is, at least there aren’t the cuts that the UK are looking at – a benefit freeze because wages have been shrinking in real terms under their Tory government (like here).

But then this government seems to keep wanting to copy the UK Tories’ failed economic policies, so maybe we better watch out for ‘reform’ round 3…

99 comments on “Welfare ‘reform’”

  1. Hilary 1

    A suitable job from Work and Income’s perspective may be in fast food chain. Starts at 20 hours a week but then the next week there might be only a couple of shifts and you have to turn up when the company says even if you have kids to look after at night. But if you turn that down you lose – if you take it you lose.

  2. Dr Terry 2

    Thanks for reminding us of what Bennett had to say in her maiden speech. This about tells us all.
    There is plenty of time left yet for out Tories to do worse things still. They will only become more benign in election year, of course. But I have to wonder in my worst moments, “is this a country full of masochists” (with the exclusion of beneficiaries and the poor)?

    • BernyD 2.1

      Maybe it’s us , we need to be civilised and do a proper analytical study on the “Ethics of Torture”.
      Publish it for them and we all can live in peace finally ….
      We could call it “The Bible of Torture” or “Modern day New-Liberalism”
      (No Offense Intended)

      I’m sure someone tried this in the 20’s …

      I should add , Is it masochism if they are in denial ?
      And if they are in denial how can we educate them in civilised behaviour so they can make their own choices for once ?.

      • Jokerman 2.1.1

        just sortin out moi library. start with Weber. Not

        • BernyD 2.1.1.1

          I’ll leave you guessing I guess

          • Jokerman 2.1.1.1.1

            Be Open. Already breathed through foolishness. Remember Jenny? ”The more windows u open, the more Light u let in””. Fear nothing but the source of Wisdom

      • Jokerman 2.1.2

        nothin’ like a little ‘self-flagellation’. Get in first i say. Plenty ready to put the boot in

        • BernyD 2.1.2.1

          Always has been, like I said, take any Political Ideal Printed before now and rename it.

          • Jokerman 2.1.2.1.1

            Left Hook?

            • BernyD 2.1.2.1.1.1

              You get the first hit free bud, then it’s at your own risk 🙂

              • Jokerman

                Poem is my manifesto and Thesis. (re-read it for the first time yesterday. Still Stands. Rock On, i say) Doubt Not. Love; Yes!

                • BernyD

                  Look forward to hearing some more

                  • Jokerman

                    hmmm. been gettin the feelin’ ‘they onto me roun’ these here parts’ . I State: i have no regrets; all grist to Mill. Takes a community to raise a child. Grace and Mercy. and gratitude.

                    (btw, thats the neo-lib agenda re delivery of social services; impose it back upon the community. Bennett exorcising her own demons foolish woman, but not the first)

                • Carol

                  Like this?

                  Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
                  Bird fly high by the light of the moon
                  Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.

  3. Rusty Shackleford 3

    “Anyone who refuses a ‘suitable’ job will be blocked from getting a benefit for 13 weeks.”
    In practice, any person who refuses a “suitable” job will be able to “recomply”. WHat this means is they will be expected to attend weekly meetings in order to track how the client’s job search is going and to refer them to extra services if needed.

    This is currently what happens when people “abandon employment. Theoretically they are subject to a 13 week stand down. But, as long as they attend the reccompliance meetings, their benefit will commence from the statutory date it would have under normal circumstances. And the case manager does have leeway to waive the 13 week stand down under extenuating circumstances.

    • Zorr 3.1

      Actually, that was how it was. When I was unemployed last year, I left my job at WINZ to return to the family house (luckily it was rent-free else this story sucks even harder) in order to escape the Christchurch earthquakes. I became *willingly* unemployed and, therefore, my family (me, wife + 2 kids) had to survive on FTCs only (<$200 pw) for 13 weeks while also being required to meet recompliance (regular travel + clothing costs) in order to qualify for the Unemployment Benefit at the end of those 13 weeks.

      I have been on both sides of WINZ and recompliance is the exception, not the rule. Tell me again how recompliance gets you the benefit back? The lengths some case managers will go to in order to prevent recompliance or make it as impossible as feasible are quite extraordinary…

      EDIT: Also, turning up to meetings 2-3 times a week is considered a necessary part of just receiving the unemployment benefit. When was the last time you had to rely on the mercy of WINZ to keep the power on?

    • XTASY 3.2

      Haha, “weekly meetings” while their benefit is docked or cut, aye?!

      How can you put a positive spin on such meanness? Case managers NEVER use their leeway, unless you come with a legal advocate or lawyer, by the way, I have total proof of this! F**ing BS, really, what “advice” is this?

    • james 3.3

      Not my experience i did the 13 week stand down luckily i found work over the christmas period and had 5000 dollars of saving and i could live at home rent free thanks to my mother otherwise i would have been sleeping at the night shelter and on the streets.

  4. marsman 4

    Bill English claimed they were going to spend MORE on Welfare in the future but he didn’t specify whether that was on Corporate Welfare or on profits for private Welfare Agencies helping Paula Bennett to force unemployed people into non-existent jobs.

  5. Blue 5

    Starving people, coming to a street near you. Good luck with that.

    I predict we will soon see what happens when the Government breaks the social contract.

    Homelessness, theft, suicide, prostitution, drugs and murders. Brighter Future brought to you by the National Party.

    When jobs are scarce, all that’s needed is to pound beneficiaries into the ground and that’ll fix it. Along with the Emperor’s New Jobs repeatedly promised in successive Budgets, and JK’s awesome cycleway, and his ‘do-fest, not talk-fest’ Jobs Summit.

    People won’t put up with this humiliating micromanagement bullshit. They’ll go off grid and choose less legal methods of surviving.

    Good old National, though. Rearranging the benefit categories allows them to shift the goalposts so no one can see how shit their record is on unemployment.

    • shorts 5.1

      “I predict we will soon see what happens when the Government breaks the social contract.

      Homelessness, theft, suicide, prostitution, drugs and murders. Brighter Future brought to you by the National Party.”

      I’d suggest we’re seeing much of that already to varying degrees

      The problem is the more some see the less they care… and the more they accept it as normal

      We’re better than this as a people and nation, or should be

      • muzza 5.1.1

        We’re better than this as a people and nation, or should be

        Shorts, I would like to believe so, but currently it is not the case!

        • aerobubble 5.1.1.1

          Irrelevant. We humans, we’re only better if we say we are, and then its irrelevant if true or not.

          The very basics are that we are deluded as a people, we are deluded about the NZ debt, about the housing problems, leaky, poor standards, everything from land right up to professionalism of the civil engineers (CTV). Our country, our world is run by truism that re so obviously hocus pocus. Romney is supposed to be one of the most richest people in the world, yet he believes in his heart that government is useless and half of America are going to vote for him to be useless at the job.

          National party believe that not serving is serving the people. Banks disservice is irrelevant says Key, its the service he expects from a Minister of his government.

          Its all lies, and unlike the 70s when we just had oil crunches, we now have food criseses…
          …the great depression was broken because oil fueled the military industrial complex of German,
          it took two goes to get it off the ground but it happened under Hitler.

          Will our current world depression be broken by oil, no. We’re in a world contraction, not on the eve of a world expansion. That makes the whole farce of politician all the more scary, they know shit is hitting the fan, and bollocks is all they can talk.

  6. mike 6

    +1

    Golf courses for everyone.

  7. xtasy 7

    Next proposal will perhaps be ‘water-boarding’ “reform resistant” beneficiaries, I presume?!

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Best not to give the bastards and bitches ideas.

      • BernyD 7.1.1

        True, If you ask for it in the therapy session ….

        • Jokerman 7.1.1.1

          ‘qualified’ listening is excellent therapy for every body.
          (beware long-term SSRI prescription; the withdrawels upon cessation are lengthy and terrifying)
          see Thomas Szasz and other critics of the medication of society

          Interestingly, empathetic blogging facilitates the expression and experience of emotional range and the expansion and confirmation of thinking, thank you Iprent

          • BernyD 7.1.1.1.1

            Well said, not an easy task with the emotions of the day in play

            • Jokerman 7.1.1.1.1.1

              appears ‘determination’ is always at play
              i ‘stumbled’ across your associative prompt (imagine the unsettling?)
              yet,
              helpful eventually i believe
              rather than ‘just’ Outlaws, i now have an ever-increasing circle of friends from all walks of life

              btw, a confirmatory ID clue would be helpful please and we may leave it at that?

              • BernyD

                What? ….. clue ….. Do you remember Bob Marley bud ?
                Nice too have friends again I guess.
                My full alias should read BernyDBass, but I’m lazy.

                • BernyD

                  Just google me and email is your friend

                • Jokerman

                  i rarely google.
                  i read. then it is all in my Head. stuff just comes out. kenosis and únformed block’ thought
                  (i.e, un prejudiced thinking) all contributions have been spontaneous, not pre-meditated

                  So far?
                  -C.E
                  -D.T
                  -Sumner
                  -Heads

                  maybe more. only He knows for certain

          • BernyD 7.1.1.1.2

            Can’t forget the teeangers and cyber bullying, you think it helps ?
            If it’s a physiscal reaction (i.e Fear), how can they get ground under their feet ?

  8. xtasy 8

    One of the last socially minded and research focused journalists, Simon Collins, still writes for the Herald, I am astonished. Also am I surprised his articles still get published.

    Most of print and broadcast media is instead focused on the “sufferings” of a “bare breasted” royal, an admittedly great sportswoman looking forward to have her gold medal put around her neck, about this, that or the other, but to bother looking into what goes on in the welfare arena, that seems to be too much to ask for for most journos.

    There is also one overpaid, insensitive, mean spirited – or at least very “misguided” minister in Wellington, who I honestly wish to suffer a fate, that she can never work again, and lose income, savings and security, thus having to go on a sickness benefit for the rest of her life.

    I know this sounds mean, but that is my reaction to meanness from the top!

    • Deborah Kean 8.1

      who I honestly wish to suffer a fate, that she can never work again, and lose income, savings and security, thus having to go on a sickness benefit for the rest of her life.

      Mean, yes, but I feel the same way!

  9. mike 9

    This is what Paula Benebash’s benebashing has been leading up to. Lay the groundwork by demonizing them with the drug-testing, parenting concerns, and ‘lifetime’ costs, then the sheep’s eyes will glaze over when she rolls out the real pain.

    So now people will be forced into jobs they don’t want, or kicked to the gutter. Are the night shelters being underutilized or something? Unemployment and benefit numbers go down, slave workers stuck in dead-end jobs for the benefit of their elitist overlords – up.

  10. Tom 10

    It could be worse

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ministry-of-social-justice-will-look-into-grievances-of-eunuchs/1004717/

    .. but I don’t think we are there just yet.

    Parody is easy, but giving people a reason to vote on election day is not.

    I was apalled by the empty school hall in which I voted in last time.

  11. Lou 11

    Our parliamentary leaders seem to have completely lost the ‘redistribution of taxes’ as the main driver of welfare system. Consequently widening the gap between rich n poor, haves and have nots, even at the bottom level. Benefit bashing instead – pitting average people against average people.

    Young man went into army (career choice) physically unable to stay there, sent home, no jobs, no income, parents and friends running dry of helping funds, applies of unemployment benefit to help with living costs and costs of job searching and interviewing, 8 weeks now of repetitive getting messed around. “ask your friends and family” say WINZ, what if family sucked dry????????

    High rate of suicide in young people, ‘start talking about it’ says coroner – not all low mood is to do with girlfriends and boyfriend dumping – NZ Govt dumping on youth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • KJT 11.1

      Now have two of the teenagers, we were helping out, on sickness benefits for real.

      After at least two years of being stuffed around by WINZ and dodgy “employers” and “work ready schemes”, which never lead to work, both are severely depressed.

      The latest ways of avoiding paying UB.
      ” no sickness benefit without a medical certificate” we have had to give them money for medical certificates. Seems to be every week? How are you supposed to pay for a doctors visit without even money for food?
      If they get to the end of the queue after your appointment time they are considered to have missed your appointment and have to re-schedule. Everyone has to get in the queue. Then have to go back with no money left for bus tickets.
      If they miss returning one phone call the benefit is taken away. Often because they do not have credit on their phone.
      The attitude of most WINZ staff is now so bad I wonder if WINZ itself is a make work scheme for the un-employable.
      A lot of the things they make the kids do are not even in the rules, but they seem to be allowed to make them up as they go along. Harassing genuine claimants until they give up seems to be SOP.

      No wonder why so many people are so angry with WINZ staff. Being continually refused, when they have nothing to live on, for all sorts of petty made up reasons by a bunch of judgmental and unpleasant apparatchiks would try a saint.

      Basher is just legalising what they do know.

      • KJT 11.1.1

        Correction. Now!

      • BernyD 11.1.2

        I understand. Those WINZ offices can be an evil place.
        The only advice I can offer is stand strong, you have a right to stand in that office.
        Don’t walk out/get up from that chair until they have recognised your needs.

        • Rusty Shackleford 11.1.2.1

          “Being continually refused, when they have nothing to live on, for all sorts of petty made up reasons by a bunch of judgmental and unpleasant apparatchiks would try a saint.”

          The reasons aren’t made up. There is legislation and a process. If you ask, your case manager will show you the relevant legislation in an easy to understand format. You also have the right to appeal if you think your CM got it wrong, which they do due to stress, over work, inexperience, etc.

          “Don’t walk out/get up from that chair until they have recognised your needs.”
          Act like a brat until you get your way? Sounds like a good plan.

          • XTASY 11.1.2.1.1

            What the bloody F*** ar e you on about mate?

            Have you ever faced an unsympathetic case manger?

            I know hundred, yes thousands of beneficiaries that NEVER get their rights told, get legislation explained and so forth, because for a start, most case managers are not disclosing any info unless asked. Any client can only ask if she or he has some knowledge for rights and laws, but most DO NOT!

            I have never met one case manager truly and fairly explaining the Social Security Act to me or others, as they are not meant to tell people more than clients may ask them.

            What “appeals” are you on about, I have had an appeal, and it was treated by biased panel members years ago, against natural justice. That is a farce all this!

            That is the bloody agenda: Do not tell, only answer the minimum bit of info if you get asked. It is a NAZI like system, my dear, and I bloody well know what I am talking about.

            The biggest problem in wider NZ society is, there are too many NAZI minded people out there, brainwashed by this unsympathetic, ideological government, which treats human rights, democracy and the law with utter contempt.

            To me you are just another sucker to grease up to your government, no logic, no sense, no information, no real life experience about what you brag on about. Get a f**king life and get real, thank you.

            Amen

          • McFlock 11.1.2.1.2

            Of course, from the client side many WI case managers are small minded stupid little bastards who bully and treat people like shit and decline people what they are legally entitled to. And as soon as you turn up accompanied by a known advocate or someone who obviously has some legal/procedural nous, riches flow like manna from heaven.
               
            Funny how perspective changes things. 

            • Rusty Shackleford 11.1.2.1.2.1

              In my experience, this wasn’t the case. Most CMs are too stressed and over worked to give a crap. I saw an attractive 18 year old girl blithely say to a CM in her youth planning meeting , “I don’t want to work and I have no intention of working” (this is a default of the client’s work obligations. you have to be actively seeking work to be on an unemployment benefit). The CM laughed and proceeded to grant her a special needs grant (SNG) for food.

              I saw a number of instances of blatant fraud go unpunished. The process is too unwieldy and expensive to bother with small time cases. Even if they have been going on for a long time and show no signs of stopping.

              I saw a man act violently towards his CM be granted an SNG simply to get him peacefully out of the building. Despite the fact he had used up his entitlement for help during that time period.

              There are probably more. Stuff like that becomes common place after a while and you stop noticing.

              • McFlock

                Well, I saw quite a bit working in an advocacy office. My general impression was that quite a few case managers wouldn’t have given a shit, overworked or not. And it was amazing the change in attitude my flatmate got when she complained to our local MP – bank direct credit of the funds and telephone apology that day, written apology in the mail. Simply to get what she was legally entitled to in the first place. That was after waiting more than an hour for the privilege of being told she was ineligible by the CM, and seeing someone else in the office. 

                • XTASY

                  McFlock: Thanks for putting a REAL experience to this!

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    By “REAL”, do you mean “REPEATS MY POINT OF VIEW BACK TO ME IN A WAY THAT MAKES ME FEEL SAFE AND SECURE ABOUT MY WORLD VIEW”?

                    • XTASY

                      You have no world view, is my observation, you seem to have narrowed it down below a “world view”.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  If they don’t give a shit, why would they be bothered denying people what they are “entitled” to? That is more work than just granting the benefit.

                  • McFlock

                    Fuck if I know. Like I say, it was strictly client side.
                       
                    Things like giving clients a recoverable loan for glasses or dental work, rather than a grant, and waiting until challenged on it. Or the client going into the office with a support person (grabbed as an afterthought), and during the course of the consultation two other staff members were invited in because the subject was more of their field, and then there weren’t enough seats in the meeting room. I’m sure it was pure accident that it ended up being the three WINZ staff, including 2 standing, in a small, warm meeting room trying to persuade the client to accept less than her entitlement. The trouble was that it was an accident that kept happening.
                         
                    Occasionally you’d get a CM who was leaving – suddenly they’d remember grants the clients were eligible for (unprompted), offering additional support, etc. Fecking awesome. 
                             
                    But basically, quite a few CM were prepared to leave someone with massive (ie 3-figure, which is massive if you’re on fuck all) debt, no food, no electricity, etc – even if legally speaking the client was entitled to assistance. When they are in the position of power, they should know the system and the entitlements, and yet still are happy to “request” the client leave with no further assistance. If you can find a better phrase for that than “doesn’t give a shit”, I’m all ears.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      When it comes to SNGs, the CM basically has zero power over accepting or denying an application. It’s basically a matter of plugging the relevant info into the computer and waiting to see what it spits out. Food grants (in my experience) are always granted. Ambulance fees are never granted. Ever. Even if they are entitled under the legislation. I just used to over ride them as a matter of course as you don’t need a service centre manager (SCM) sign off.

                      One occasion that genuinely annoyed me was a client was asking for a transition to work (TTW) grant of $100 to buy a pair of work boots so he could start a job the next day. He was an orphan of all things. He was denied because he was under 18 and was only guaranteed 20 hours a week. If the welfare system isn’t there to help orphans into work, then what is it there for? I’d have given him the money myself in any other context. Later on a couple blatantly came in at different times on the same day to get TTWs so they could get boots, jackets, shirts etc so they could work in Iceland. Despite the fact they were claiming single unemployment benefits.

                      My point is, the CM doesn’t have very much power and people who are cheating the system get cash all the time.

                    • McFlock

                      Funny.
                           
                      It was always fascinating what people had been denied, and then what they were granted when they popped down with an advocate – or what happened when an advocate called the CM on the phone.
                             
                       ” Ambulance fees are never granted. Ever. Even if they are entitled under the legislation.”
                          
                      Are you saying (shock horror) that WINZ routinely breaks the law and denies people their legal entitlements?  What did you do about this shocking and surprising state of affairs?
                             

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “Are you saying (shock horror) that WINZ routinely breaks the law and denies people their legal entitlements?”
                      The computer software Work and Income uses to assess eligibility consistently denies people who apply for ambulance fees. I have no idea if it is illegal or not.

                      “What did you do about this shocking and surprising state of affairs?”
                      I said already. I just overturned the computer because it would let me. Most other things need a SCM sign off to be overturned.

                    • McFlock

                      Ever check it out? 

                  • McFlock

                    oh, by the way, “entitled” in the legal sense
                    I know that the concept of a moral entitlement is beyond you.

                  • XTASY

                    “Rusty” misinformation and bias should perhaps be considered.

                    • XTASY

                      “Rusty” What crap are you on about re “food grants” ALWAYS being granted. YOu must be years behind of what goes on. I have (while needing WINZ support) – so have others – applied for special needs grants for food. They have stringent regime, and if it is more than twice in a period of time, they say NO, go see a budget advisor. They also often refer clients to CAB offices now, which are inundated with poor calling in for food aid. They can hardly handle it. Even before any client get accepted by CAB, they need to “apply” for a letter from WINZ stating they have no more entitlement.

                      CAB only give help with food once or twice, then it is: SEE WINZ again!

                      The problem is just getting shifted and “outsourced’, and the new bill provides for yet more outsourcing, UK style, resulting in an increase in suicides. How “social” and “caring” a policy, really!?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      You are entitled to $200 for food grants in any 26 week period. I never saw the computer deny an application for a food grant as long as the client had entitlement left. If you have received 6 SNGs and advances in the last 6 months, you might have some issues.

                      “they say NO, go see a budget advisor.”
                      In my experience, they don’t say “No”. They say “Yes”, but if you want another advance in the future, you will need to show evidence that you have undergone budgeting advice at some point after this meeting.

                      Citizens’ Advice Bureau do food parcels? I didn’t know that.

                    • XTASY

                      Your “compuer” tells you, right? Yes. that is how it works like largely. But the fact is also, it ignores the particular circumstances a beneficiary may be facing and then is asked to prove and document.

                      But that grant for food over 26 weeks becomes a miniscule “help” when rents in Auckland are beyond what any beneficary can afford, and which never gets covered even in half by the capped accomodation supplement (max 145 pw in Auckland).

                      So no extra help is given for exorbitant rental costs, no extra help is given under temporary transitional support, and no support is given to meet the actual living costs for most beneficiaries.

                      You will naturally have thousands make sure they pay exorbitant rent, water, power and other costs first, but then have nothing left to feed themselves or thier kids. So maybe you can now get, why some parents cannot feed their kids before they go to school?

                      NZ is a divided, hate driven and uncivilised country to me, which was not the state of affairs when I came here in the 1980s as a hopeful immigrant.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “NZ is a divided, hate driven and uncivilised country to me, which was not the state of affairs when I came here in the 1980s as a hopeful immigrant.”

                      Are you being serious? What would you be “entitled” to in your country of origin?

          • weka 11.1.2.1.3

            “The reasons aren’t made up. There is legislation and a process. If you ask, your case manager will show you the relevant legislation in an easy to understand format. You also have the right to appeal if you think your CM got it wrong, which they do due to stress, over work, inexperience, etc.”

            Rusty, I’m inclined to agree with xtasy, you don’t appear to know what you are talking about. What are you basing your opinions on?

            Legislation dictated the parameters of what can be paid, but many beneficiaries don’t get entitlements because of policy not legislation. That is due to WINZ staff either not knowing the rules, or being not inclined to help. There is a direct conflict of interest between WINZ client’s right to assistance, and WINZ policy of reducing payments. Frontline staff get caught in the middle. IME some staff are good at their shit job, others are bad at it, and others are just mean fuckers who shouldn’t be working in the organisation except for the fact that WINZ want staff who can find ways to deny assistance.

            Still don’t know exactly where those directives are coming from within the department, but obviously when you have the Minister bene bashing in public it is going to encourage those staff that are arseholes.

            The other thing that makes me think you don’t know what you are talking about is that WINZ no longer uses case management. Not that the case management system was ever that good, but at least it existed. It doesn’t any more. The deliberate removal of case management is a crime IMO. It wastes taxpayer money at the same time as dehumanising people on welfare.

            The final thing is the idea that beneficiaries have the right to appeal. That is technically true, but the process is unevenly applied, often abusive, and requires a reasonably high level of capacity to negotiate. Anyone that is stressed, ill, not good with systems, doesn’t have the skills or energy to fight or manage the paper work etc is unlikely to do well in that process (many people just don’t bother).

            • Rusty Shackleford 11.1.2.1.3.1

              “Rusty, I’m inclined to agree with xtasy.”
              Why? He is obviously attempting to incite emotional responses.

              “What are you basing your opinions on?”
              I worked there for a while.

              “The other thing that makes me think you don’t know what you are talking about is that WINZ no longer uses case management.”
              The people who see clients are still called case managers.

              • weka

                Yes, they use the term ‘case manager’, but it’s a lie.

                How long did you work there? Are you aware that WINZ policy varies hugely from area to area in terms of how it is implemented? 

                “Why? He is obviously attempting to incite emotional responses.”

                I didn’t see that. I saw them expressing strong emotion. Seemed valid to me.  
                 

            • just saying 11.1.2.1.3.2

              …WINZ no longer uses case management….

              A few years back someone I knew who worked at ACC told me that ACC had introduced a policy of not having case-managers for long-term claimants living in the same city as their clients. The reason for this, she told me, was that it was easier for case-managers to make “harsh decsions” if they had no particular relationship with clients, especially where there was serious disability and hardship. Any kind of compassion or fellow-feeling was seen to be a potential hindrance to the job, and the job was disentitling claimants.

              Soon after, I heard that WINZ had made a policy that there would no longer be WINZ case managers and that clients would be dealt with by whoever was free at the time. WINZ clients weren’t even allowed to ask to make an appointment for their following visits with the WINZ worker they had already gone through their personal information with.

      • XTASY 11.1.3

        WINZ should be renamed as WINaZi, for sure, that is my and many other persons experience!

      • Vicky32 11.1.4

        The attitude of most WINZ staff is now so bad I wonder if WINZ itself is a make work scheme for the un-employable.

        Very likely!

  12. Rusty Shackleford 12

    The process by which a CM assesses a client’s entitlement to assistance is know as MAP. It basically strips away all the legal jargon and sets out step by step the requirements a client must satisfy in order to be illegible for assistance.

    “To me you are just another sucker to grease up to your government,”
    I’m a liberal ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism ), so I don’t believe in the power of centralized govt (among other things).

    “no logic,”
    Says the man who resorts to labeling people Nazis in his response.

    “no sense,”
    I at least have the sense not to swear and name call in order to attempt to get my point across.

    “no information,”
    I’ve been on both sides of the desk.

    “no real life experience about what you brag on about.”
    I’ve been on both sides of the desk.

    “Get a f**king life and get real, thank you.”
    Cheers.

    • XTASY 12.1

      Ha ha, I know MAP inside and out, dear gullible “liberal” commenter!

      It does NOT disclose ALL that the MSD staff use to work under, indeed much has as of recent been deleted and made inaccessible on those web pages, due to a legal challenge re MSD’s illegal use of biased “designated doctors” they trained themselves. Heard of the ACC story as of recent???

      There are admittedly some very dumb and also dishonest benficiaries, and again, I say, let them face the music and address it with them in person, if you know better than some idiot CM.

      I am talking about the serious cases, and I have myself been contemplating suicide, when I was faced with totally biased, illegal decisions by WINZ case mangers, relying on wrong, unfounded info.

      I also know of others having been so distressed, sick and near suicide, because of unfair, biased treatment. You belong to the “Paula Bennett, pick what suits my agenda brigade”, and your comment disqualifies you from being taken seriously!

    • XTASY 12.2

      To have been on the other side of the desk makes you somewhat biased, I fear, because you will have been receiving “training”, which in NZ I find very intimidating, biased and ideology driven (left and right wing, depending on the government of the day).

      So welfare should be handled by independent and competent, well educated, and trained staff, not my biased, brain trained idiots like mercenaries for a cause, like most of them are.

      MSD is a shit department and needs a real fix and clean up. Instead governments, especially this one, use it to meet political agendas and to hammer down on the weak, vulnerable and to do all to save costs on their expense, while giving tax cuts to the upper 10 to 20 per cent of the population.

      As a “liberal” you may be part of that upper bracket, I suspect, so you can rant on about knowing best, but have never been down and out. Shame on you, mate!

      • Rusty Shackleford 12.2.1

        “MSD is a shit department and needs a real fix and clean up.”
        I would just abolish the MSD.

        • XTASY 12.2.1.1

          http://igps.victoria.ac.nz/WelfareWorkingGroup/Downloads/David-Bratt-Benefit-Sunshine.pdf

          http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/2012/Fri_DaVinci_1400_Bratt_Medical Certificates are Clinical Instruments too – June 2012.pdf
          (see pages 3, 16 and 33)

          http://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=bratt.ppt&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&ved=0CD0QFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rgpn.org.nz%2FNetwork%2Fmedia%2Fdocuments%2FConference2011%2FD-Bratt.ppt&ei=9NdWUMGeOrChiAeVoIGwAg&usg=AFQjCNFEdYN_dDW9BAZvZo_cQpC2rFyelg
          (see page 27)

          Look up these links, to see how “independent” and “fair” WINZ staff are! The Principal Health Advisor, actually put into a job Labour created, is biased as shit. He is comparing benefit dependicey to drug dependency.

          Look this up to see how their designated doctors are selected (to meet such expectations) and more. I can tell you now: MS is very hum about it all, is NOT disclosing any info, and is covering up breaches of the law that happened since 2008. Yet the biased and dumb NZ media, pre-occupied with responding to “media releases” by the government, having largely numb skull journos, busy with “grooming” themselves than do their job, does not bloody pick up on it, research it and expose it.

          This is DICTATORSHIP stuff we have in NZ, man!

        • RedLogix 12.2.1.2

          Of course you would rusty.

          Then you’d be here whining that dozens of starving desperate people are lining up outside your employers office demanding to do YOUR job for say… less than half what your being paid.

          • Rusty Shackleford 12.2.1.2.1

            “This is DICTATORSHIP stuff we have in NZ, man!”
            Did the Nazis have a social welfare system? They probably did.

            • Carol 12.2.1.2.1.1

              Indeed they did, RS. They had a special work filtering system, to ensure people were allocated the jobs best suited to them. Those not suited to mainstream jobs, were allocated to special, purpose-built facilities, providing accommodation, work and food. These workers were kept in a secure environment for their own safety.

              However, those considered not to be fulfilling their obligations had all these provisions removed, and they were shown the exit.

              this ensured that those suited to the mainstream jobs, were never short of jobs best suited to their superior capabilities.

            • XTASY 12.2.1.2.1.2

              Paula Bennett’s and the CEO of WinZ’s political and corporate statements are very similar to the propaganda NAZIs used, it is just not going “all the way”. So I call them “SOFT NAZIS”!

              Sometimes I, as a health sufferer nto wanting to disclose too much, I feel treated exactly as a jew, political dissident, sick or else was being treated in the Third Reich!

              I may for times be able to do some work, but under market conditions, most employers would never look at me to hire. So this law draft does NOT at all adress that for a start, it PUNISHES, STIGMATISES, MARGINALISES and treats many affected like SHIT.

              So much for “caring” and “helping”. Lies, lies, lies and more lies, 1840 repeated, I’d say!

              THERE IS NO TRUST I HAVE IN WINZ AND MSD!!!

    • sam b 12.3

      Rusty, I’ve got some sympathy for case workers. It must be a very stressful job.

      That said, my experience with WINZ was that they would set up hurdles – pointless ones – and wait for me to fail so they could cut the benefit off. They would set appointments, send a letter the day before, and cut the benefit when I didn’t turn up (not having received the letter.) The appointment itself would be pointless – they had nothing to share, no changes, no job leads – just the hope that I wouldn’t turn up so they could shuffle me off the list. It is truly infuriating.

      I’m a healthy, university-educated young man, and I was able to find work after a few months. The point is, I’m not too stupid, or old, or ill to deal with a reasonable system. But dealing with WINZ was a nightmare.

      I vividly remember my first WINZ interview. I was there with another guy who’d just finished his PhD in epidemiology, had some hopeful leads but was a few months off any paid work. He basically, as someone who had no savings after years of study, just needed to pay the rent til a job came through. (Exactly the kind of person we should be trying to keep in the country rather than drive overseas, right?) He had a case manager telling him he’d have to go out to the Hutt and take place in a 6-week ‘job skills’ course, to make sure he knew how to get out of bed in the morning and wipe his own arse basically. I wanted to shout at somebody – “this is someone who has already worked harder and achieved more than your tiny brain can even imagine!” But that summed up my WINZ experience, really. You can get an easy ride with a relaxed, trusting case manager, or your life can be made hellish by a stupid, vindictive troll. I wouldn’t want to speculate on the relative numbers of each within the organisation.

      • Vicky32 12.3.1

        your life can be made hellish by a stupid, vindictive troll

        Oh yes, I have had my share of those!
        I remember being refused a TIA when my son was 11* and I was on DPB, as the CM didn’t approve of my choice of study (language teaching). Then, she told me she’d rather I got a job, any job (she suggested cleaning, or working at the local MickeyDs) and ultimately confessed that she resented women on DPB. It turned out that her husband had disabilities, and was a ‘house-husband’ – she was simply jealous! If hubby were not disabled, he would work and she’d be the housewife, and it just wasn’t fair that I (and others) got to stay home just because we didn’t have husbands to make us go out to work!

        (I got a student loan, did my study, and she eventually quit. The colleague who told me that, was cheering. She was not liked by her colleagues.)
        This took place in 1998, when TIAs were still theoretically available, but as the CM told me, discretionary.

      • KJT 12.3.2

        They seem to multiply like fleas, whenever the RWNJ’s are in power.

      • KJT 12.3.3

        Yeah. Those on the lowest incomes are supposed to tighten their belts for the GFC and the sake of the countries accounts. What about those on the highest?? How about they pay some taxes?

  13. Lou 13

    And so if intelligent blogging type lefties can get into an emotional back n forth (as above) imagine what ‘authority dumping’ is doing to our youth’s wairua.

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    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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