I guess it’s not exactly news that WINZ is dysfunctional, but its interesting to have some actual data on one of the symptoms:
Complaints about Work and Income up almost 30 per cent under National
Since National took office in 2008 the number of complaints about incorrect information being provided by Work and Income has increased by 122 per cent from 537 complaints in 2008 to 1197 this year.
On top of the increase in incorrect information complaints, there has also been a 62 per cent increase in complaints about Work and Income staff attitudes, and a 66 per cent increase in procedural complaints.
In total, complaints at the Government department have risen by almost 30 per cent from 5695 in 2008 to 7228 this year.
Squeeze any organisation hard enough and of course it will start to break down. The fact that WINZ staff are the front line of implementing the Nat’s beneficiary bashing agenda also doesn’t help of course. Naturally the Nats propose another explanation:
A staggering increase in complaints by Work and Income clients has been written off by a Government ministry who blames the increase on more Kiwis using its services.
“In 2008 there were 850,532 people receiving a benefit from the ministry. This number grew in 2009 to 923,105 with the increase in part attributed to the impact of the Global Financial Crisis and the growth in our ageing population,” a ministry spokeswoman said. To date there are 1,045,837 clients on Work and Income’s books …
An 23% increase [updated for current figure not 2009] in users does not account for a 30% increase in complaints, especially as that increase is due to counting superannuitants who have the least cause to complain. Note that the Nats are always telling us that numbers on the benefit are falling. Now when it suits them they include superannuitants, and lo the numbers on benefits are up!