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Your government at work

Written By: - Date published: 11:34 am, December 8th, 2011 - 18 comments
Categories: benefits - Tags:

Paula Bennett’s staff in tomato-growing contest with MSD staff – Stuff

Benefit numbers up 60,000 under National – MSD

Benefit costs up up $2 billion pa in the last 3 years – Treasury


18 comments on “Your government at work ”

  1. Uturn 1

    “The former, taking a more hands-on approach, have seen their vines struggle. The political staff, taking a more hands-off approach, reckon their vines are bearing better fruit sooner.”

    Yeah because we all know how accurate an analogy of tomato growing is when applied to policy formation. Tune in next week when Bennet will weigh the sand caught in her buttcrack after a beach trip, to calculate new benefit levels.

  2. Leary 2

    A man today, not yet 30 years old, goes to his doctor for his WINZ medical certificate. He has no physical disabilities, is very mobile and mentally competent to participate in society and works on the side assisting at an….with people, and on his own various pet projects …building……things. He is a recovering ……………………. addict. Yet today, his doctor for whom the WINZ client has only been signed up with for less than a year, writes this able chap a TWO year medical exclusion from work to take to his WINZ appointment. WINZ accepted it. Sickness benefit upheld!

    • Descendant Of Smith 2.1

      1. So the Work and Income website states that medicals are issued for Sickness Benefit thus:

      First medical review expiry date at the end of week four
      Second medical review expiry date at the end of week eight
      Third and subsequent medical review expiry at each 13 week period

      Two years Sickness Benefit is just bullshit.

      2. A doctor does the medical assessment so are you questioning the doctors expertise and their access to their ongoing medical reports or are you expecting non-medically trained public servants to know more than the G.P. ? Do you think that patient records do not get transferred from doctor to doctor?

      If you think the G.P. is incompetent you should complain to the professional body that considers doctors professionalism and expertise. Complaining on this blog won’t help.

      We all wish our doctors to be competent and professional and if it can’t get this right god knows what other damage he could do in our community. Medical certs today – wrong limb amputated tomorrow.

      Thank god we have people like you, with such great knowledge and expertise watching out for this.

      Please for the sake of us all do the right thing and take your complaint to the Medical Council. De-register that doctor today!

    • felix 2.2

      What bullshit Leary.

      As DoS points out there is no such thing as a 2-year sickness benefit.

      Your entire comment is fantasy.

      • Leary 2.2.1

        The DOCTOR’s ‘certificate’/letter had that the client would NOT be work ready for two years with the clients medical condition and recovery. His review at Winz had him then continue his sickness benefit.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Except that the rules prevent it which kinda calls your assertion into question.

        • felix

          You’ve misunderstood how that part of the system works, Leary.

          One of the questions on the form a doctor has to complete for WINZ is along the lines of “is the patient’s incapacity likely to last for two years” or something similar, to which the doctor can answer “yes” or “no”.

          I think that’s probably the part of the form you’re thinking of.

          Answering “yes” doesn’t mean that person is granted a benefit for two years, it means they’re eligible for three months, at which time their doctor will have to examine them again and answer all the same questions, to which the answers (hopefully) will change over time.

          There is simply no facility in the system for a doctor to “write a two year medical exclusion from work”.

    • Uturn 2.3

      Let’s believe this is actually true for a moment and since not enough details are present (the personality and historical behaviours of this man) we’ll make them up.

      Thirty year old recovering drug addict has his life under relative control. Key word here is recovering. His doctor, knowing some of this man’s past, writes him a medical exclusion based on his progress and recognises the risks involved should his recovery be interupted. Man takes this exclusion to WINZ where his case manager upholds the benefit.

      Because this is what might have happened:

      Thirty year old Man is given notice that benefit will cease. He enters normal job seeker environment and his resume states his background and that he is recovering from drug addiction. No employer will take him on. Between the wall of employer silence and the increasingly hostile manner of his case manager, he feels isolated and confused which leads to frustrated anger. His schedule of volunteering has been disrupted so that his point of wider social contact effectively ends. His pet projects have become uneconomical and his days seem to get emptier for activity and more full of fear and anxiety. He can’t cope anymore, not with the sudden loss of normality and the social exclusion. He didn’t realise just how tenuous his circumstances were, that people would let him fall so quickly. They said it wouldn’t be a problem, getting work. He thought so himself for a while. But the reality of social prejudice never came up and now he needs something because the noise in his head is driving him nuts and all the old aches, pains and thirsts are coming back. He wakes up in the morning remembering how good it felt and he wants that again.

      So he does what he has to, to get what he needs. He walks out of his place with no intention of returning, goes where he knows it can happen and pretty quickly forgets about the short interlude of society. One night he breaks into Leary’s house while he’s online. Leary has his headphones on and doesn’t even know it when the piece of galv steel pipe smashes the back of his skull. Thirty year old addict just sees what he needs, takes it and leaves. Next morning the papers exclaim the gruesome random death and other people like Leary tut tut to each other over coffee and discuss how there are way too many sickness beneficiaries that could work being given their money for nothing.

      So it might be like that, Leary. Could be your place, or if your security is good, could be someone else. But don’t worry about that, what do you care as long as it isn’t you? Either way, you interupt legitimate recovery and set a big problem free for a few cents and a handful of cheap ideology. Good value, huh?

      • Leary 2.3.1

        Sorry to undermine your ‘ideology’ there Uturn. Have played a major role in hands on helping this person in “legitimate recovery” for a long time. He still works, socialises and is out there… client has never entered a “normal job seeker environment.” Where do you get off justifying committing a “gruesome death” as someone elses fault because WINZ and others in your life didn’t match up to your utopia? The ‘you deserved it and it’s all everybody elses fault’ brigade? So your wee fairytale scenario is just that….your illegitimate fantasy to justify the means.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          So what is that you go from helping him to castigating him.

          Cause you are not really questioning the system – you are questioning the honesty and integrity of the person themselves.

          If in your assessment he is well and fit for work them he must be displaying something else to the doctor – whether by his words or his actions at the time.

          Somehow the G.P. with all his medical experience cannot see what you can see then that can only lead to one of two conclusions – your mate is lying to the G.P. or the G.P. is incompetent and maybe even delusional cause he sees things that you can’t.

          So seriously what is it that causes the helper to turn on the helped?

        • Uturn

          It’s not an ideology at all, Leary. But I have another story for you. Ain’t fiction fun?

          I’ll tell you what really happens here. People like you get bad news around Christmas time. Maybe your holidays haven’t been confirmed as you’d like. You reckon you put in a large effort for your boss this year and feel like he’s stabbed you in the back. You think you deserve better. But in our culture, you can’t vent your frustrations upwards. No, the bullying and the teasing and the hate must always flow downwards. People like you are encouraged to pass the emotional distress (if it even comes close to that) downwards, to some one or some thing that you see as less than you. Sucks to be part of that culture, eh Leary? Sitting round at BBQs and after work functions when the conversation always and necessarily turns to bad mouthing others?

          So anyway you go home and want to talk to the wife, but she’s grumpy too and unresponsive and you just don’t know how to broach the subject. And it’s building up inside you. So after a silent dinner you lock yourself in your office and go online somewhere you know you can unload and make up a story about someone you know – or maybe they don’t exist at all. You come here because you want a fight, to hurt those who you think are like or sympathetic to your (imaginary) friend. That’ll ease the tension. You don’t go to kiwiblog, for example. They’d just agree with you and you don’t want sympathy. Sympathy isn’t a strong enough drug. You’re addicted to something else.

          You do it here anonymously and you know it’s wrong, because you could go through proper channels if there really was a legitimate complaint. You betray all your work – if it really happened – and any friendship you had, publicly. And you know it now. You’re a coward. They say a coward dies a thousand deaths. But there isn’t anything legitimate about your whining. It’s all about how you can’t face your emotions, at least not sober, or any of your problems. It’s you running from yourself, easing the pain by attacking others. It works too, lets out some steam, but the cycle never ends either.

          You see Leary, I know people like you. They’re a lot smarter than the slogans they pump out online or at social functions. It’s like a mask they pull down over their heads, a cultural construct, a shared persona. I gave up pitying them a long ago. As weak and in need of help as the sometimes imaginary people they hate, they cause much more trouble by believing that their efforts have happened in a vacuum, that they are not part of society, ignoring the fact that everything they do effects someone else. To them, they are only good, adding only benefits to our society.

          Become a man (or maybe a woman), Leary, and face your emotions and inner demons. If you have any training in what you say you are, you know it’s all true. Don’t come on here or sit around whining that someone else has your reward. Face yourself.

          • M


            Wish there was a standing ovation symbol for your 2.3 and comments, but this will have to do 🙂

  3. keith ross 3

    that last comment is a load of crap, I have been on ACC for severe nerve damage to my back for the last 4 years. There is no way that I can work but the longest that my Dr will write a med cert for is 3 months. over the years I have had several Drs and even though ACC and my present DR agree that I will not be working any time soon 3 months is the longest that they will write out a cert for. I believe that Leary is either misinformed or just straight out lying. I know that ACC is different but a 2 year med cert is unheard of for any normal person.

  4. mik e 4

    more borrowing and hoping looking back at hisTory alot of these programs that bennett has tried to roll out didn’t work in the 1930’s either.

    • mik e 4.1

      One policy the predecessor to national in the 1930s tried amongst the unemployed was vegetable growing contests .Maybe this is an evaluation seen there’s no back room staff left.

  5. randal 5

    are you sure its tomatos?
    what sort of looks like tomatos but isnt?
    put some used christmas balls on and nobody can tell the diff from a distance

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