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The real state of our nation.

By   /  February 17, 2014  /  15 Comments

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The way in which we treat our most vulnerable citizens is an important part of how we should measure ourselves as a country.

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egalitarian
The way in which we treat our most vulnerable citizens is an important part of how we should measure ourselves as a country. As an indicator of what our society is actually like, rather than measuring our country on it’s business success, don’t you think?
Our Invalids and our sick, our unemployed and those on ACC, they are being pushed to their limits, to the very edge, and to suicide in some extremes, all trying to survive the system. All of us at any given time could find ourselves requiring Government assistance, all through no fault of our own. Imagine this, you are driving home from work one day and boom, your car is hit by a truck. You are suddenly unable to work due to your permanent injuries.

And so the battle begins. You now have to prove yourself worthy of receiving a particular benefit. This can quite often lead to the most the most frustrating Government department runaround you are ever likely to come across. It is up to you to prove you are telling the truth, you would be surprised just how difficult this is, as walls go up around you every way you turn. You can not simply request your own information and then receive it. It entails many appointments, endless phone calls, going round in circles and eventually getting nowhere, to the point that some have to hire a lawyer that they can’t afford just to prove they are telling the truth. If you have no home phone, car or internet as many don’t, you are stopped before you start. Many of these calls are not returned, endless useless conversations with undertrained call centre staff, they tell you to send in endless copies of this and that. Where do you copy these, and how do you track it all down? It is mind boggling the amount of work involved, and a lot of the time people unsurprisingly give up, then depression sets in. Surely it should be up to these various departments to disprove claims rather than it’s clients having to prove their case. We have WINZ and ACC over ruling Doctors and making ill informed decisions themselves.

Imagine living on as little as $50 a week for three with a child in your care, after rent, this is to pay all your bills and buy food! “We don’t eat or have luxuries like milk” a true statement. When did milk in this country become a luxury. These people are our people. This Government which has no empathy, caring or understanding is building a portion of its population that thinks it is acceptable to have a whole section of society to fend for themselves and be left alone to suffer. Otherwise known as beneficiary bashing, something our current National Government thoroughly encourages, they will have you believe that ALL beneficiaries are bludgers. That is most certainly not the case. Corporate tax avoidance is far larger than our entire social welfare system payments. Some of these people are now thinking that they would be far better off to commit a crime and go to prison as at least there, they would be fed, clothed and have a roof over their head. It leaves me wondering how prison became favourable choice over being a beneficiary.

What happened to compassion and caring and empathy? Isn’t the reason we pay tax so that we can be supported if and when required, to be protected from destitution should the worst happen. It is failing, quite simply our social services are an embarrassment to me and to this country. If we can not look after those who need it most, then in my opinion we are doing it wrong. It has to change and it has to change now before more of our vulnerable citizens die, choosing suicide over life, as this for them is no life at all.

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15 Comments

  1. Priss says:

    I know enough people in dire circumstances to realise every word you’ve spoken is true, Samantha. Personally I think every New Zealander should have to go through the hoops of this system to understand what it is really like.

    The funny thing is that Bennet did go through the system and has become a vile little bitch, attacking those who’ve lost their jobs. She did very well out of the DPB and TIA, but has canned the latter and made other benefits almost impossible to access.

    Cow!

  2. Theodore says:

    Middle class New Zealanders have got the society they voted for. Selfish. Mean. Cheap labour (their kids!) Profitting from housing speculation (no real work required!) Is it any wonder they love that grinning evil prick they voted for as Prime Minister?

    For godsakes, they love him because he is them and vice versa! They love him because he bashes the benes. Can’t do that to Maori and the grievances, that’s a step too far even for the Tories to take. But the benes are fair game.

    That’s the viciousness of human nature, bullying and putting down the weaker guy to stand on his head to get to the low hanging fruit (tax cuts).

    When the shit finally hits the fan and the rioting starts then the middle class will look around guilty looking for scape goats. Fuck them, they just need a mirror. Key didn’t come down with the last shower, the middle class voted him in because of tax cut promises and they knew full well that it would be paid for by dealing to those ‘filthy benes’. And to make sure we get the message, their deranged head-case faithful little dogs like Intrinsic are here to rub our noses in it. the only time lickspittles like Intrinsic, Gosman, Slater, Farrar, and others liked them will disappear is when the system is shaken to the core. Then they’ll run and vanish as the cowards they are.

    • Francis says:

      Can’t do that to Maori and the grievances, that’s a step too far even for the Tories to take.

      They tried that in 2005. Then they realised that they actually need the Maori vote…

      Since most beneficiaries are either non-voters or vote for left-wing parties, they’re fair game for the Right.
      And they need someone to blame so we don’t focus on who’s really the biggest cause of societies problems…

  3. Jack says:

    Society should be measured by how well the people at the bottom of the heap are doing not how much the people at the top of the heap have in their Bank Accounts.

  4. Intrinsicvalue says:

    “You now have to prove yourself worthy of receiving a particular benefit.”

    Excellent.

    “Imagine living on as little as $50 a week for three with a child in your care, after rent, this is to pay all your bills and buy food!”

    Yes imagine. Got any real examples?

    “What happened to compassion and caring and empathy?”

    Oh it’s everywhere. It’s in the large numbers of social agencies who provide budgeting advice, food parcels, housing, assistance with navigating the benefit system, etc etc etc. It’s in the $26 billion we spend on welfare each year. It’s in the substantial welfare and community work performed by the corporate sector. Look around! It’s everywhere!

    • *yawn* You still here…?

    • “Oh it’s everywhere. It’s in the large numbers of social agencies who provide budgeting advice, food parcels, housing, assistance with navigating the benefit system, etc etc etc. It’s in the $26 billion we spend on welfare each year. It’s in the substantial welfare and community work performed by the corporate sector. Look around! It’s everywhere!”

      Oh really? What planet are you from? Because reality planet in small town NZ doesn’t have food parcels (which by the way are given freely from people who are already paying tax), there’s no WINZ offices in small towns, no assistance navigating the system, I’m yet to see one iota of community welfare work by the corporate sector in my town!

      Wake up to the real reality you idiot! Life ain’t all rosy and filled with latte’s and helpers on every corner where I come from!

    • Kingi says:

      “Look around! It’s everywhere!” …. except in your mean-spirited and shallow comments…..

    • Andrea says:

      From which date did “worth” pass “eligibility” as the basis for receiving monetary assistance from the state to prevent hardship and want?

      Why do you celebrate this?

      What are your criteria for establishing “worth”?

      Please note that any sentence commencing with ‘They should’ is simply your opinion and does not qualify, as your opinion cannot be verified or measured.

      You are invited to think before replying. It may improve the quality of your offering.

  5. Nick Taylor says:

    Climb up a hill sometime – look out across your town at all the houses… all those people, all those lives…

    … now imagine all those mortgages, all those credit-cards, studen loans, car financing etc – imagine just how much money is being sucked out, up into the sky – and more often than not, to banks overseas.

    So how do these banks get to have all this money that they’re lending to us?

    They don’t have it. They just make it up. Fractional-reserve banking means that there’s a class of people who have a license to just ‘make up’ money, and lend it to people at interest. When their gambling gets them into trouble, the taxpayer bails them out.

    So the banks use this imaginary money to allow us to compete over (artificially scarce) real-estate, which pushes the prices up to the point that a huge part of the population can’t afford the capital to buy a place to live, so have to spend 25%? 50%? 75%? of their income paying rent to landlords… who are (once their tenants have paid off their loans for them), getting rich off other people’s backs.

    This is clearly fraud. Pure, parasitic fraud.

    Meantime, unemployment benefits cost the average taxpayer in NZ a mere $180 a year – and if you think of it as unemployment insurance, it’s a pretty good deal.

    But… no. To distract us from the parasitism that sees the majority of the population giving decades of their labour to people who are already rich, the rich (via their media companies, and puppet politicians) spread propaganda, so people despise those who are worse off than them.

    We need to do something about this really.

    • YogiBare says:

      @Nick,
      If more people like you realised what a huge scam the banking system is there may be rioting in the streets.
      To paraphrase those dire sultans of swing “Money from nothing and your interest for free”.

  6. Samantha Anderson says:

    Yes intrinsicvalue. My evidence is from actual real people living with $50 a week to feed their family. My evidence from several sources came directly from them. For obvious reasons they are not named. $50 was an average one elderly lady has only $30. The help is not everywhere in NZ and is certainly not reaching as many as it should be. Have you checked out Christchurch rental prices lately? Budget advice is no use on $50 a week. It is not enough to survive.

  7. Samantha Anderson says:

    Yes intrinsicvalue my examples are from actual real human beings that live this nightmare. The help does not reach many of them. I had several sets of examples who for obvious reasons I have not named, one elderly lady as low as $30 a week to purchase food. What use is advice on a non existent budget.

  8. Countryboy says:

    The way in which we treat our most vulnerable citizens is an important part of how we should measure ourselves as a country.

    No shit Sherlock ?

  9. Samantha Anderson says:

    http://nelsonweekly.co.nz/ Further to my blog. For all you doubters out there. An article in the Nelson Weekly.

    Despite an improving economy, it’s still tough going for some locals with more people reaching out for help, according to local agencies which are being “inundated”.
    Last week a Bishopdale woman, who is living on less than $20 per week, was given a food bag with rotten fruit and other goods that were weeks past the used by date.
    Mike Gibson, coordinator of a local food bank, says in just three weeks in January, more than 100 parcels were given out and last week alone saw more than 26 recipients. “It’s getting quite usual to see that.”
    He says that while demand for the parcels is increasing, donations seem to be going the other way and that may be to blame for the off food.
    “People aren’t donating to the extent that they used to, times are hard. People put quite a few items in a bag and it looks pretty big, but when it comes into the food bank and we put it on the shelf, it’s not much in the scheme of things.”
    He says the more support from the community the better.
    The Bishopdale woman, who is on an invalid’s benefit, would only go by her initials JC for this article. She says that after her rent and other bills are paid, she is left with exactly $18.81 to feed, clothe and look after herself.
    “I don’t have money for food. By the time I pay my rent, my insurance and other bills that is all I am left with.
    “I usually ring my son up, but I don’t like to do that all the time. He’s got his own bills to pay. He shouldn’t’ have to look after me. It’s horrible.”
    Last week she says she went hungry for two days before approaching Work and Income and other agencies for help. She was declined a food grant from WINZ and was left feeling demoralised after a local charity gave her a food parcel containing goods passed their best before date and “rotten fruit.”

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