Paula Bennett’s racist beneficiary flying hatefest

By   /   April 4, 2014  /   56 Comments

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The three main cultural past times of NZers are beneficiary bashing, domestic violence and alcoholism.

Paula-cartoon1

Cartoon courtesy of Phillip Ure at Whoar.co.nz

The three main cultural past times of NZers are beneficiary bashing, domestic violence and alcoholism.

This Government have built a reputation on bashing beneficiaries. No other Government has been so ruthless in creating ways to disqualify beneficiaries (unless those beneficiaries are pensioners, then this Government can’t do enough for baby boomers), but before they get a gold card, beneficiaries are the filthy thing one steps in and attempts to wipe off by dragging ones foot along the gutter.

Why do we universally hate the dirty stinking beneficiary? Two main reasons. Living in a user pays consumer culture, the well to do need to believe that their privilege has been built by their own clever choices and innate talent. The well to do will refuse point blank to consider that privilege has anything to do with power structures already in place within society. Hence, their position in society has been built by their clever choices, and thus those who don’t succeed are to blame for their lack of resources. To actually empathise with those who have little in itself diminishes the glory of their own position so they remain hard hearted and selfish.

The other reason we hate the dirty filthy bennie is due to the 1990 union crushing employment relations laws created by National. These policies deflated wages so much so that hard working people look at the pathetic amount they are paid each week and then glare at the welfare cheque in envy. Rather than blame the National Party for generating an environment that killed off wages, they blame the solo mother down the road.

When the benchmark for public discourse is Seven Sharp and the Paul Henry Show, it is no wonder these critical explanations never see the light of day.

So after pressuring beneficiary mums to make their daughters go on long term birth control, after using cannabis as a means to get disqualified for the benefit, after forcing teenage beneficiaries into cards that can’t be used to buy alcohol and tobacco – even though teenagers can’t buy those products anyway, after cancelling anyone who fails the very narrow definitions of being a beneficiary, after forcing the sick back to work using cruel tactics, after using bennie bashing as a means of distraction every time the Government gets into trouble, we now have this hypocritical sanctimonious maggot Paula Bennett, who illegally published private details of a beneficiary who had the temerity to criticise Bennett for closing an allowance she herself had benefited from, now that Queen of Slime is doing a victory dance at cancelling beneficiary’s who have travelled overseas…

Bennett accused of ‘cheap publicity stunt’ over beneficiary trips
Beneficiary advocates say Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is unfairly trying to paint beneficiaries as extravagant after she disclosed how many had benefits suspended for unapproved trips abroad.

Ms Bennett said more than 21,000 beneficiaries had their benefits cut in the past nine months for trips abroad that did not meet the rules.

…many Pacific Island families fly back to the Islands for funerals, statistically they feel poverty heavily and are featured highly in unemployment stats – Bennett is being racist by using that cultural norm to disqualify as many as possible from welfare and then having the audacity to claim what she is doing is a good thing shows how venal her policy really is.

The problem here is that National voters love her for doing it. They don’t care if there is suffering or hardship experienced by this cruelty as social policy, their smug sense of self righteous indignation must be mollified at the mere thought a dirty smelly bennie could fly anywhere. ‘If a dirty smelly bennie has money to fly they shouldn’t be on welfare’ the angry Tory snarls while putting on their Paul Henry slippers and ZB bathrobe after a long day of being spiteful. Bennett pulls this shit because National voters love it, she doesn’t do dog whistles, she does dog megaphones.

Tonight Key will be the main drawcard at the $110-a-plate for Young Nats Ball at Auckland’s Rendezvous Hotel. Never before have so many complacent, self-satisfied, egotistical, pompous, conceited, self-righteous, snobbish, self-contented privileged young arseholes all gathered in one place before, here they were last time, didn’t note a Cameron Slater led claims of Nazism when these photos were released…

10155112_472180416217307_159584735_n

…these juvenile monsters would make the spoiled rich wankers on MTV’s Sweet 16 look positively conscientious. These spawn will be joined by Judith Collins, Chris Finlayson, Nikki Kaye, Sam Lotu-liga, Maggie Barry, Jami-Lee Ross, Tau Henare, and other no neck no names from the National Party for a knees up of triumphant cross burnings and jokes about poor people who fly.

If such a sight sickens you and you would like to let Paula know just how much contempt you hold her and the rest of the National Party in, join the loud, noisy and uber cool block party protest outside the event tonight

10151951_842446412435970_1268456117_n

…I wonder if Paula will allow any of the 285 000 children in poverty into the party?

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56 Comments

  1. Good article and analysis. You mention that National voters love her (Bennett) for doing it. National voters would back anything their dear leader would do without question, that is not the point. The point is that National doesn’t have to watch its own back, it has Slater, Hooton and MSM to do that , therefore it can go for new supporters – the wavering and uncommitted voters. What is the best way to get those voters? simple! marginalize some part of society, convince those wavering voters that these people are the cause of all problems and just wait for the demands to do something about these people. The government can then do what they wanted to all along (bash beneficiaries) but claim they are only responding to popular demand. This sort of thing went on in 1930’s Germany. Targets were mainly Jews and the instigators were Nazis.

    • Gosman says:

      Annnnnnnnnd we have Godwin’d the thread already.

      • blue leopard says:

        What part of ‘least we forget’ do you not understand, Gosman?

        How do we learn from the past if we have a rule that noting similarities in approaches between corrupt, violent and hate fueled government/rulers of the past are starting to occur again is somehow a no no?

        Whose interests does such a rule serve?

      • weka says:

        You can only say that Godwin’s law has been invoked if the comparison is hyperbole. Given that Mike was referring to the time of the rise of fascism in Germany as a warning to NZ about where we are headed, the comparison is valid and so Godwin’s doesn’t apply.

        Instead we get to argue about whether NACT are taking us in that direction.

        • Gosman says:

          That is exactly the same argument I have seen used by nutty Tea party supporters who argue that it is entirely valid to compare the actions of Obama in relation to increasing the power of the State to the actions of the Nazi’s in Germany. Of course you probably think that is invalid but it is valid in the New Zealand context. I personally think you both are slightly unhinged.

          • blue leopard says:

            I don’t know a lot about the Tea Party, however it is in a different country, and a different issue. State power is one issue [the fear of which has been used effectively to get corporate entities a great deal more influence over government and this has undermined peoples’ voices in the given democracies] – vilifying a section of one’s own citizens based on misinformation in order to advantage another more wealthy section is quite another. You are drawing a false parallel.

            Bennett and National are vilifying beneficiaries based on false information this false information they propagate and in doing so encourage hateful attitudes towards this ‘group’ of New Zealanders. (where the ‘group’ is changing all the time).

            Bennett implied that beneficiaries are getting enough from welfare to save up and go overseas – this is patently untrue.

            A beneficiary is not necessarily someone without some savings – (they will be dwindling the longer they stay unemployed) – yet Bennett would have you believe that there are no people who have had good jobs who happen to be unemployed – because someone with money and qualifications wouldn’t ‘fit’ with the misperception she and National want people to view the unemployment issue – that it is ‘all their fault’. However this is the most likely type of person who is unemployed yet going overseas. The other likely case scenario is that the welfare recipient has been shouted a trip. This is not a bad thing and a good way to get someone out of a rut – not lowering the likelihood of gaining employment – it is raising it.

            Incidentally, National have cut off a major way to get out of an unemployed rut for 40+ year olds – by cutting the eligibility of education financial assistance. One could be forgiven for thinking they want people to be unemployed…

            Unemployment is a structural issue that Labour now acknowledges and intends to address. It is clear that National intend to keep ignoring this structural problem and by doing so continue to advantage small sections of NZers from others’ misfortune. National wouldn’t want people realising that unemployment is caused by government policies and therefore they keep misinforming and feeding into common misperceptions on the issue and in this way distract NZers from how to fix the problem.

            This is vilifying groups of people in NZ. This is treating these groups as means to other peoples’ ends and ensuring unwitting NZers support such by not knowing any better. This is an unethical way to treat people and is the type of approach that Nazi’s used in Germany.

            Finally, if someone who trots out National party propaganda and slogans verbatim without critically analysing what it is exactly that they are propagating considers me unhinged – I am more than comfortable with that. Furthermore, your unhinged comment really shows that you haven’t got any decent or relevant arguments to back up your stance or address what I (and others) assert – all you have is a pathetic ad hominem. Poor you, you must feel real insecure.

          • weka says:

            Gosman, just because the Tea Party make stupid comparisons doesn’t mean that the comparison being made here is stupid. As I said, what was said here doesn’t fit the definition of Godwin’s Law (look it up), and the issue is whether the comparison bears out on examination. You have failed to even consider whether what Mike said is real, let alone look at the evidence. Not logical or smart.

            Please note that Mike didn’t say that the National party are N*zis

            • Gosman says:

              It is exactly the sort of situation that Godwin mentioned.

              To try and argue that it is a small step from bringing up negatives about beneficiaries to the demonizing of minorities in Nazi Germany is completely ridiculous.

              Why not simply make the case that beneficiaries deserve more respect? Nazi analogies don’t need to come in to the equation.

              • blue leopard says:

                What is ridiculous is attempting to argue a point no one was making

                Noone was arguing that ‘it is a small step from bringing up negatives about beneficiaries to the demonizing of minorities in Nazi Germany’

                Although I would posit that if you keep taking and accepting steps in a negative direction you ain’t going to end up in a positive place.

                When a government cultivates hateful and ignorant attitudes toward one group of NZers – and especially when that group is the most vulnerable and unfortunate – then there is no way that country is heading toward a brighter, better future.

                And if a government is involved in misinforming people in a manner that creates this type of division, like ours is, this is an abuse of power and if this continues unchecked then the future we are creating is a corrupt degenerated one and the society we are cultivating is a corrupt, degenerate, ignorant and small-minded one and the future, therefore, will not be bright.

                Conclusion: Fomenting dissent and cultivating commonly held misperceptions and prejudice by further misinforming the public is not a bright thing to do.

      • Martino says:

        “… we have Godwin’d the thread already” …

        Lets have a look at the Godwin’s theory. It is that when an online discussion goes on and on, a Nazis or Hitler comparison will eventuate.

        In this case the comparison was right a the start, so Godwin does not apply. By definition, you cannot ‘Godwin already’.

        Now, lets look at potential merit of a the Nazi comparison in this case. Nazis propaganda targeted many minority groups and used every possible negative mainstream stereotype to make them look bad and the root of all problems.

        In this discussion it is suggested that there is a stereotype against beneficiaries which Ms Bennett feeds and keeps alive with her ongoing revelations about alleged benefit abuse, like 22 thousand beneficiaries living it up by going on holiday on ‘our’ expense. As a ‘fix’ Ms Bennett limits what they can do and access and she continues to create negative beneficiary headlines that support the (ill-informed) mainstream stereotypes, as she has done before on other benefit related topics.

        Yes, that pattern sounds familiar to anyone who has studied the Third Reich propaganda.

        Lets have that discussion and lets not dismiss it by suggesting an unscientific predictable pattern.

    • David says:

      “This sort of thing went on in 1930′s Germany. Targets were mainly Jews and the instigators were Nazis.” Godwin’s Law in the first comment, some sort of record there. But I do agree with your point that National doesn’t have to watch its own back.

      “The three main cultural past times of NZers are beneficiary bashing, domestic violence and alcoholism.” That’s just offensive and unnecessary for the point you’re trying to make here, Bomber.

  2. Aaron says:

    My first thought was that I don’t believe her numbers. I mean 10% of beneficiaries going on holiday in a 9 month period – it sounds absurd to me.

    After Frank’s article showing how the Nats manipulated the figures for people supposedly earning money while on benefits it’s easy to believe that Bennett is twisting things here.

    Presumably the reason for each trip is available in the WINZ stats, so it would be possible to see how many people actually were going on a club med trip.

    Frank, I hope you’ve got the time to get stuck into this one?

    • Akldnut says:

      I’m guessing she’s counting in the children and spouses of the traveling beneficiary who would have been included on the main benefit.

      Either way she’s playing loose with the truth.

  3. Richard Christie says:

    Ms Bennett said more than 21,000 beneficiaries had their benefits cut in the past nine months for trips abroad that did not meet the rules.

    Ha. The “rules” = They can’t go. Period.

    Attending funerals, visiting seriously ill relatives, all are verboten.

    Implicit in Bennett’s statement is the lie that beneficiaries receive enough on the benefit to fund such trips. It does it matter if the trip cost is met by a party other than the beneficiary such as extended family.

    Nor should the requirement to be available for work be a impediment to finding work while overseas if the trip is of short duration, for example under 14 days. Jobs can be searched for and applied for on-line whilst out of the country and application or interviews set up easily enough. This is the 21st Century, age of the internet and instant global communication. There is little material difference between travelling from Auckland to Dunedin (allowed) or Auckland to Australia/or the Pacific Is (not allowed) in this regard. Return trips can be completed from all destinations within a working day.

  4. mary_a says:

    Good analysis Martyn. Hitting the vulnerable, those with little or no defence, has indeed become a (shameful) past time for the past six years, about the time the gutless, sordid bunch of mobsters aka the National Party, became government!

    If you think about it, this mob of beneficiary bashers and hate promoters are really no better than National Socialists (Nazis). Key, Bennett & Co would have fitted in really well at Hitler’s table!

    • Weepu's beard says:

      Yep, it’s gutter work from Paula Bennett. Timed according to the Government’s marketing brief, of course.

      I must say that even though Martyn Bradbury has done a great job with this piece, the person who should have been all over it on the day was Sue Moroney. She got savaged by money-man Larry Williams and that is a real concern. Everyone heard it.

  5. The Real Matthew says:

    Why have my original comments not been published?

  6. Mike says:

    Articles like this that spit vitriol and scorn on the genuine, ordinary working class New Zealanders who generously give up at least 30% of their income day in and day out to support those less fortunate than themselves do no good for your cause. This country is down to a ratio of less than five taxpayers per beneficiary (including national superannuation). It is not easy for us either. We are generally of the opinion that just as we are accountable to our employers for the time that we are. At our jobs, and accountable to the IRD who have first ‘dibs’ on our hard earned income, it is surely not too much to ask for a little accountability in return.

    You may quite rightly assume that a beneficiary does have a legal entitlement to some kind of emergency living allowance, but to expect a regular weekly or fortnightly income funded by the graft of others with no strings attached and no obligations or accountability is cruel and immoral. The average working class taxpayer is (or should be) a slave to no-one.

    • Andrea says:

      Do you reeely carefully count out thirty percent of your income each pay period and go stand in the queue at IRD to pay it in? Truly?

      Or do you look at the sums wrested from you by government decree each and every time you shop or buy fuel for your vehicle – and truly understand which political party is ‘tax and spend’?

      It’s the same one that promised 175 000 jobs ‘way back in the early days. If those real jobs had materialised, then the number of purse-leech beneficiaries would have dropped markedly, just as they did when Labour formed the government in the Golden Age before that cruel GFC that Bill English bangs on about.

      And, if our Kind Benefactors (otherwise known as Skint or Tightwad Employers) actually paid a living wage, then you, fellow suffering taxpayer, would not be propping up the moribund enterprises of the country through being a Hard-working NZer, over-taxed and under rewarded.

      Every one of those ‘bennies’ is a tax payer. Most are working class. (If you can be fired – you’re working class.) They are little different from you, except that you are currently in employment. You may even have a boss. (Some of us don’t.)

      There’s a touch of confusion in the last two sentences you offered: “no strings attached and no obligations or accountability is cruel and immoral. The average working class taxpayer is (or should be) a slave to no-one.” You have chains. And, should you ever need to attend a WINZ office, you’ll likely discover why people take the risk of travelling without the requisite approvals etc.

    • weka says:

      “but to expect a regular weekly or fortnightly income funded by the graft of others with no strings attached and no obligations or accountability is cruel and immoral.”

      Beneficiaries already have obligations by being a beneficiary. The one that says that they are not allowed to travel overseas or their benefit will be cut crosses a line into restrictions based on class. It’s a stupid policy in an age when there aren’t enough jobs to go around, and as someone else pointed to, the digital age. You can’t force people into jobs that aren’t there, so the question becomes what is this policy really about?

      • Mike says:

        Lots to say but still no acknowledgment as to where the money comes from….only an implied right to an unearned income. The rules are not there out of spite, or to separate classes or any other make believe notion you choose, in your own mind, to believe. They are there to minimise the chance of abuse of the system. The main problem with any welfare system such as ours is the hardcore few who rort the system and ruin it for those who have a genuine need.

        If rules such as these minimise or stop that abuse and allow the benefit to function efficiently, then I’m all for it. And those who value the idea of an all-encompassing welfare system should back these rules too, otherwise the “filthy few” will ruin it for the majority.

        • YogiBare says:

          I have an idea for “where the money comes from”, Mike, from all those corporations and big businesses that don’t pay their fair share in taxes and by stopping some of their taxpayer subsidies.
          It’s a shame as much energy isn’t expended chasing them down instead of bashing the easy beneficiary targets.

  7. xray says:

    No wait, let me guess, post the Young Nats creep fest the Rendezvous Hotel will make the National Party a “donation” because they love John Key.

    Something must be in the wind that is getting National a bit nervy, cos its the quarterly beneficiary kick in at the Ritz again or should I say the Rendezvous. Maybe its the drop in the latest Roy Morgan Poll that has them far from their comfort zone.

    It would be a very interesting case study seeing how squeaky clean and pure young Paula was when she was a solo on the DPB.

  8. Jono says:

    Martyn, great article you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    I think Paula Benefit is a total hypocrite having used the same system to get where she is now. Beneficiary bashing has been totally engineered into this society and used to score political points. Which
    Is only dividing our already inequitable society more. I don’t understand how we can be rated the country with the best social policies???

  9. Marc says:

    Hah, wow, you can get worked up, Martyn!

    But yes, this all smells like “agenda as usual” for Bennett and this NatACT government. Bash the beneficiary, while it is easy and popular, and it seems to be done at a “convenient time” again.

    Click the following link and read that article in NZ Doctor magazine from 02 April 2014, please (or put the main words in your search box and find the article online, if the link may not work):

    http://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/news/2014/april-2014/02/msd-explains-criteria-for-work-ability-assessors.aspx

    “MSD explains criteria for work ability assessors”

    Cliff Taylor ctaylor@nzdoctor.co.nz Wednesday 02 April 2014, 2:56PM

    “Assessors judging benefit claimants’ ability to work should have professional health or disability qualifications, says the Ministry of Social Development’s welfare reform director Sandra Kirikiri.

    Work Ability Assessment (WAA) is the latest scheme introduced by Work and Income as part of the ministry’s sweeping changes to the benefits system.

    But the NZMA has raised major concerns about aspects of the assessment process, particularly the medical qualifications of “vocational practitioners” being contracted to carry out the assessments (>>nzdoctor.co.nz, ‘News’, 31 March).

    NZMA chair Mark Peterson said in a submission on a draft of the proposal last year, there were “significant risks” in using non-healthcare workers to review medical information and discuss recommendations on condition management or treatment.

    “We submit that the role and importance of front-line general practitioners appears to have been underplayed in this proposed list of assessment providers,” Dr Peterson says.

    In response to queries from New Zealand Doctor, the ministry has now provided more information about the assessors and providers it is contracting.

    Suitable qualifications expected

    Ms Kirikiri says, in general, the ministry would expect assessors delivering WAA will:
    • be a suitably qualified health or disability professional
    • belong to a profession that is regulated by the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act 2003
    • demonstrate a good understanding of the objectives of the WAA
    • demonstrate proven experience in the provision of assessment services for people with a health condition or disability
    • demonstrate an understanding of vocational assessment in the context of an identified health condition, injury or disability
    • demonstrate a sound knowledge of the supports and services needed to support people to find and stay in work
    • have the ability to write WAA reports in clear plain language
    • have excellent communication and relationship management skills
    • continue to develop their vocational education and training knowledge and skills as well as their industry competence.

    “The work ability assessor may discuss their recommendations on condition management or treatment at work and the client’s ability to work, with the client’s usual health practitioner (if appropriate) and will send a copy of the Work Ability Assessment report to the client’s GP or regular health professional, with the client’s consent,” Ms Kirikiri says in an email.”

    “Contracted assessors named
    The contracted WAA providers and service areas are:
    • APM Workcare – National
    • Catapult Employment Services Trust – Canterbury
    • Company Medic – Northland
    • ECS Connections Ltd – Taranaki, Central
    • Enableworks Ltd – Canterbury
    • Linkage Limited (Wise Group) – Auckland, Waikato, Taranaki, Central, Wellington, Canterbury
    • Mana Recovery Trust – Wellington
    • OTRS Group Ltd – Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty
    • PhysioACTION Ltd – Auckland
    • ProActive Rehab – Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, East Coast Taranaki, Central, Wellington
    • Southern Rehab (plus ProActive Rehab) – Nelson, Canterbury, Southern
    • Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority – Taranaki
    • WALSH Trust – Auckland
    • Wayne Hudson Physiotherapy Ltd – East Coast
    • WorkRehab Ltd – Nelson, Canterbury, Southern.”

    Yes, this is what we have been waiting for, the further PRIVATISATION of welfare related services, the outsourcing of medical and work capability assessments to private, supposedly “independent”, WINZ paid service providers.

    And we see one mentioned there, which is called “Linkage”, which is like Workwise, who already got contracts to get mentally ill into jobs, part of the so-called Wise Group. Their “Strategic Policy Advisor” Helen Lockett sat on the “Health and Disability Panel” that “advised” MSD and Paula Bennett on the miracoulously “successful” “research” one Mansel Aylward did in the UK (“sponsored” by controversial insurance giant UNUM), to “design” measures like work ability assessments, that will prove that most sick and disabled can and must work, as most illness and disability is nothing more than “illness belief”.

    Helen Lockett is doing well for the Wise Group, getting juicy contracts pulled in, so they get paid by the taxpayer and WINZ to throw more sick and disabled into low paid, insecure jobs and save the government money (for time being that is).

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15264-welfare-reform-the-health-and-disability-panel-msd-the-truth-behind-the-agenda/

    No wonder that the release of “travel statistics” of beneficiaries (data that is easily misunderstood and misinterpreted) happens about the same time!

  10. Marc says:

    These statistics on beneficiaries and talk of them about leaving without supposedly informing WINZ of some travel out of the country are very misleading. The stuff article talks only of “suspended” payments, which does not make clear, whether the benefits were cut or stopped due to the beneficiaries informing WINZ of travel (as they are expected to), or whether the payments were suspended after data matching with Customs or Immigration.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9900592/Jet-setting-beneficiaries-penalised

    Firstly we all know that notifying WINZ of changes is not an easy task, given long waiting times for phone services, and the need to make appointments sometimes weeks ahead. Then stuff and information get lost so often, and records are not being maintained correctly.

    Then they also claim that about 11 thousand “jobseekers” did fall into the category of affected “clients” of WINZ, but that is bizarre. Active, work tested job seekers are these days expected to provide evidence of making 4 or 5 efforts a day to find work, and they have in most cases the obligation to hand in written reports or evidence of this to case managers at the end of each week or fortnight.

    So if active, work tested “jobseekers” were leaving without telling, would WINZ not pick this up much earlier and directly? So most of those may have been those former 58 thousand former sickness beneficiaries, who are now also counted as “jobseekers”.

    The figures are for 9 months, and broken down they are not that unusual. The difference to times before is, that since July last year, there are yet more stringent requirements of beneficiaries to notify WINZ in advance of travel plans. A fair number of WINZ clients will not have received the info, or not understood it. Most that travel will be persons that may have family in Australia or on the Islands, and many will have got help from family and friends to finance travel to family reunions or whatever. Others may “save” while sharing over-crowded accommodation with family and friends here, while being on a benefit (base benefits not affected by that).

    The headline “jet setting” is typical media whip up stuff, and disgusting, as most will be getting free accommodation and food from friends and family at the other side. The article though suggest this is all about leisure trips to places like the Gold Coast, to enjoy a “lifestyle” on the taxpayers’ expense.

    I wonder how many thousands went to Australia to desperately try and find work there, as they cannot find decent, full time, well paid work here? Is that wrong, to try and get a job in Australia, or to see family now and then? I know of many who saw the benefit changes of last year with horror, and who were desperate to get out of New Zealand, to perhaps find a better life across the Tasman (if they could make it there).

    Re the new work ability assessments they introduced at almost the same time, see also this info, found under the following links:
    http://www.rnzcgp.org.nz/work-and-income-update-on-work-ability-assessment-2/

    So the GPs are not trusted to assess their own patients or give second opinions on other sick and disabled on benefits, but once these new, outsourced assessments will have been done, they are then expected to medicate their patients, or refer them to other treatment providers.

    The Wise Group and Linkage:
    http://www.linkage.co.nz/
    http://www.wisegroup.co.nz/file/position_descriptions/position-description-rhp-work-ability-assessment_feb-14.pdf

    The second link to the Wise Group website shows a PDF with a position description for such “assessors” that will be used by WINZ in many cases in future, similarly to the way the DWP in the UK used ATOS there for many years.

    This info reveals the private “business manner” and approach that will be taken, by health professionals, who are expected to belong to professions covered by the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act, but there is not talk of a requirement of them having to be registered.

    The NZMA had serious reservations about this whole approach, see their submission to Dr Bratt and MSD from 25 Sept. 2013:
    http://www.nzma.org.nz/sites/all/files/sub-WorkAbilityAssessments-Providers.pdf

    But this is all about the “work will set you free” mantra, is it not?

  11. Andy K says:

    Looks like today beneficiaries can enjoy as much freedom of movement as Palestinians.

    • Marc says:

      In that Labour was not much better (ten or more years ago), determining regions where unemployed beneficiaries were not allowed to move WITHIN NEW ZEALAND, given the unlikely prospect they were ever going to find work there.

      I cannot find the list for those, but I have it somewhere, and it was rigorously enforced also!

  12. Kaye says:

    I’m one of those horrible bludgers who’s actually allowed to leave the country (SLP and no work obligations), providing I tell them I’m going and when I come back. And yes I have gone overseas several times (well I had to do something with ALL that money left over at the end of each week didn’t I?? Yeah right. Fortunate enough that a relative has given me the opportunity to travel before my health makes it physically impossible).
    But that bitch’s latest gloat yesterday (which I noticed went straight to the lead on the Hearld and Stuff websites, and pretty quickly onto RNZ news) had me sobbing. It’s irrelevant that I can leave NZ for 4 weeks and not get my benefit cut, any attack on any group of beneficiaries is an attack on us all. And each time it gets harder to ignore.

    Re the travel and NOT mentioned in her press release. WINZ do not tell you that when you get back you have to take in your last boarding pass to prove you are back in NZ. Standing in their office holding your passport is not proof that you are back in NZ. They data match with Immigration who are very quick to tell WINZ when we have left NZ but they don’t seem to tell them when we come back. That “rule” has been in place for well over 10 years now and plenty of people have been caught out by it. Others don’t realise they have to go back to WINZ to do another round of paperwork after they get back, despite having done it all before leaving, and can find their benefit cut off 8 weeks later. I’m guessing that’s a big part of those numbers given.

    Oh, and having to ask the State for permission to leave one’s own country- utterly humiliating and on a par with being on parole. And permission IS needed if you want your rent/bills to keep going out.

    Incidentally, up till last July, we were allowed out of the county for 6 weeks, now it’s 4. There’s no justifiable reason for that except that they can. At this stage they’re not able to be as cruel to SLP as with other benefits so they had to find something to do as a punishment for having the audacidity to have a permanent illness/disability.

  13. phillip ure says:

    cool cartoon..

    ..we should do more..

  14. John Drinnan says:

    “The three main cultural past times of NZers are beneficiary bashing, domestic violence and alcoholism”

    Think you are a bit hard on the country you want to save

  15. Priss says:

    How on earth can a benefiary travel overseas on $210 a week?? That doesn’t begin to sound plausible! This is BS!!Bennett is lying!!

  16. fredster14 says:

    Not only racist but incredibly deceitful also.

    The standard a few years ago was that if you were leaving NZ to seek work overseas, WINZ would advise people to leave, and then after 1mo benefit would be suspended. It is a valid method of job seeking.

    – That all leaving are ‘going on holiday’ – what about the huge proportion who go to Australia for contract work because of no jobs here and better pay over there?
    – Most people would borrow money to travel – who can save ANY money on a benefit (loan sharks, credit card debt)?
    – ‘..that did not meet the rules’ How many of those unintentionally broke the myriad of incomprehensible ‘rules’??

    Shame on you PB, you are just plain deceitful.

  17. I am glad you have written this. Has WINZ included pensioners in this figure? Because we all know a lot of the oldies (like my Ma & Pa) were very thrifty and would save like crazy for over 5 years and then have a trip. Ma knows it was always 8 weeks she was aloud to be away, but I doubt she would now know all the rules currently thrust at her.

    I would love to see the actual breakdown in those figures and then do an expose on Bloody Paula Benefit Bitch!!!

    Oh and the beneficiary figures continue to climb even with all the cuts they are doing, I hate to think of how many people are out there that wont apply because of the way they treat us. (:<

    https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/statistics/benefit/post-sep-2013/all-main-benefits/december-2013-quarter.html

  18. Stuart Munro says:

    Time to investigate Bennet’s for benefit fraud and pet slaughtering.

    Name and shame ‘doctors’ who do the ATOS shuffle so that their regular patients have the opportunity to desert them in disgust, and so their ‘patients’ can demand second opinions.

    DDOS attacks on anything connected to WINZ.

    It’s time to fuck back.

  19. Ovicula says:

    I could introduce you to plenty of baby boomers that this government does nothing for. You would be welcome to tell us all about your theory of birth date being the driver of political philosophy and inequality. The walking stick marks would heal after a few weeks.

  20. The Other Mike says:

    Some very good points made in these comments. Aaron correctly points out that the reasons for these trips is in the records – just don’t hold your breath waiting for the release of those reasons as they would destroy a good dog-whistle to the right.

    Apart from job-seekers going to Aus, I suspect the greatest reason for the travel is Cultural, as Bomber alluded to in the OP. The notion that you can save anything on a benefit is so utterly ludicrous it makes the rightie loons seem even dumber. Our Pacific Islanders (or, at least, the first-born or close-to) are expected to visit for important family gatherings and inevitably have to be financed by family, Church etc to enable this. These people are not using benefit money to travel.

    There is another scenario not mentioned here yet. After working and paying taxes since I was sixteen, I was made redundant at age 62 three years ago. It took 2 years (!) to get on a full benefit (yet another WINZ fail). I digress. My wife is a teacher aide at a local school and works about 12 hours a week, 40 weeks a year. She was asked and reluctantly agreed to escort a group of school kids on a 14 day overseas trip between terms 2 and 3 last year as, without her, they did not have enough adults and the trip would have to be cancelled. Lots of unhappy kids and a considerable loss of money in cancellation fees. All this in the hols and unpaid. We were not aware of the rule changes – besides I was the one on the benefit. Wrong. Within days we get a letter saying the benefit was being cut because it was ME going overseas! Good trick without a passport. And we lose out twice. With kids, I had to get a food grant which was about half the amount that was cut.

    How many of these transgressions are because a working spouse did not know the rules and are now deemed as much a beneficiary as the prime person on the books.

    • shelz says:

      A couple of years ago my husband was made redundant and spent 6 months on benefit as he was only income earner at the time for our family. In that time his brother paid for him to go to his 50th in OZ, he was away for about 3 nights over a weekend. When contacted by WINZ for unauthorised travel he said but it was a weekend and was told you dont get a weekend on a benefit, you are paid for 7 days and must be looking for work for that 7 days. Thankfully we no longer have to deal with WINZ.

  21. I wonder how many of those “beneficiaries” were retired superannuitants…?

    • Fern says:

      I’m glad you mentioned that, Frank. My neighbour, aged 76, gets incensed when people refer to superannuation as a benefit. She points out that throughout most of her working life the govt super scheme was the only scheme available for the average New Zealander. Deductions for it were included in their income tax and the govt guaranteed them a retirement income set at a percentage of the average wage – currently 66% I think. It is not in any way, shape or form a “benefit”.

  22. Thousands of these beneficiaries were probably people who packed up and moved to Australia for good. Was any proof of these numbers provided by this woman or are we just to believe what she has said with no proof?

  23. Jan says:

    My son was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at age 45′ he had to give up his full-time job and his driving licences and continues to deteriorate. He eventually after a lot of argument and with WINZ trying to get him work involving heavy lifting, managed to get on an Invalid’s Benefit. His wife now in her 50s was not able as a spouse to receive payment as a caregiver, so had to go back to work as well as look after him. What she earns on $16 an hour as a cleaner is deducted from their benefit. She was suffering a lot of stress so her sister took her on a trip to visit relatives in Australia, which the sister paid for. My daughter-in-law dutifully told Winz, took in her passport and ticket to be photocopied, was thanked for doing so, was away for a huge total of 8 days, took in her boarding pass on return and lost her benefit for those days. Oh and she still got a letter telling her she had left the country without notification ! You cant jump through enough hoops for them ! Wondr how many more of these stories are included in these 21,000 ?

  24. JonL says:

    Disgusting, filthy, slimy excuses for human beings, we have running the country, with Paula out there leading the mob. God, what New Zealand has descended to………..

  25. […] …I reviewed our love affair we have as a country to denigrate and attack those on welfare in a blog last week… […]

  26. […] The Daily Blog: Paula Bennett’s racist beneficiary flying hatefest […]

  27. […] The Daily Blog: Paula Bennett’s racist beneficiary flying hatefest […]


 
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