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.