Beneficiary Bashing On The Rise

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In this week’s news we have seen our government, once again, engaging in beneficiary bashing.

According to Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett, New Zealanders who are receiving particular benefits, such as the Jobseeker Payment or the Supported Living Payment are abusing the ‘privilege’ by going on luxury overseas vacations.

Personally, I find it very hard to believe that the issue is as severe as Bennett claims it to be. Labour’s Social Development Spokeswoman Sue Moroney puts it better than I ever could. “If Paula Bennett thinks it’s easy to live on a benefit and somehow have money left over to go travelling, she needs to have a go at living on a benefit for a while and see how she gets on. Might have been the case in her day, but it’s not the case now.”

First and foremost, I think more of an effort needs to put into making it clear that people on the benefit are not really on it by choice, nor is it something that people generally brag about. It’s hardly considered a long-term solution. Instead it’s more of a measure taken out of necessity to provide for an individual and / or their families until another, more desirable option comes along.

This means that not only are beneficiaries are put into a situation where there are little or no other options they can take to look after themselves, but they are also demonised for being between a rock and a hard place, which is almost never out of choice.

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Secondly, benefits only fund the bare necessities, which takes me back to Moroney’s point. To say that beneficiaries are living the high life and possibly taking innocent taxpaying New Zealander’s money overseas is a baseless argument. If the real issue was to stop hard-earned money going offshore and out of circulation in the New Zealand economy, which it should be, beneficiaries are not the culprits we should be targeting.

It’s possible that the beneficiary isn’t even the one funding their overseas trip and that it was for no legitimate reason; what if it was a gift from a family member or friend? What if they need to visit someone? Do they have to be sick in order to see them? a special occasion perhaps? These are only two of many possible scenarios. This shows a real lack of insight or an analysis of the situation from a holistic perspective. No one deserves to be bound to a country for reasons totally out of their control.

39 COMMENTS

  1. Is inciting suicide still a crime in this country? As far as I’m concerned, the relentless and deliberate cruel and vindictive treatment we have been subjected to by this government is going to result in that, if it hasn’t already. It’s gone from anecdotal to proven in the UK. I can say under the anonymity of a screen name that every time Paula opens her mouth like this I spiral into a suicidal depression, and I’m not alone. And I’m someone who’ll never be able to work again so the prospect of many more years being beaten up by my fellow countrymen, being made to feel like the lowest form of life, well, perhaps that’s what the bashers – governemt included- want me to do. I have never been so terrified of a general election ever. If the Nats win, our lives will get even worse, and there will be blood on their hands.

    • Don’t take it out on yourself……take it out on her. I’m still amazed no one has had a real go at these disgusting apologies for human beings!

    • Hatespeech ….targetting one part of the population…although that is often characterised with a racist and sexist bent as well just for added impact.

    • Yeah I feel for you Kaye. But fighting back is the only way. I can’t believe a government is legally allowed to treat people like secondclass citizens.

      I am sure there is a cyber crimes bill introduced to make inciting suicide illegal online. Therefore the government taking these actions is tantamount to breaking there own laws…

      If government pressure has been proved in the uk to cause suicide then the government should respect this research. I think Paula Bennet and her cronies will have blood on there hands if they go any further.

    • As far as I’m concerned, the relentless and deliberate cruel and vindictive treatment we have been subjected to by this government is going to result in that, if it hasn’t already. It’s gone from anecdotal to proven in the UK.

      I know that they’ve (this government) been told that their actions will increase suicides. If someone looked they may find enough evidence to convict. The problem is getting someone to look and then actually get this government in front of a judge.

      Would do wonders for our country if we could put the whole lot of them behind bars.

      • The new season of Game of Thrones is out today, offering a tasteful smorgasbord of ways of dealing with bad rulers.

        The tree of liberty must from time to time be watered…

    • Yes she leads by example taking a ministerial car to a hundred dollar a plate young nats conference. What a waste of taxpayers money why didn’t she get her hubby to drive her.

  2. Someone should remind this horrible excuse for a Human being, that she was once on the DPB, went off it then went back on it because she was stressed, then remind her that she purchased a house with assistance from housing corp`. I wonder if she remembers doing her tertiary education with assistance from the very department she is minister of?

  3. Look . Here’s what you do .

    Get a decent sized crowd of friends and friends of friends and times that by the six degrees of seperation theory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_degrees_of_separation

    Then , once having done that , take your crowd down to Paula Bennetts office , march her outside and tell her she’s just lost her job . Good bye . ( You can feel free to use this space for any other comments you’d like to make as bennett humps off , on foot , not in our BMW , to the nearest bus stop . ) Thus , paula bennett is no longer a problem for any of us . Sorted .

    Then install a temporary human being , not a monster , to her office until a bi election can take place to elect a new representative to the Office of the Minister of Social Development .

    If that is not done ? Then she will continue to go about her work unabated and unrepentant . She , and others , will continue to do terrible harm to our already gravely at risk society and communities .

    You have to come to terms with having to apply direct action to the already over heated air that’s blown off on a daily basis here on The Daily Blog , other Blog sites and occasionally on the MSM .

    There is one commonality that’s clear . Nothing is changing for the better .

    The creeps are getting richer and us poor humans are on the ropes .

    It’s that simple .

    You must act . Strongly , bravely , without fear of any repercussions . You must Unite Browns and Whites . All sexual preferences , all class , all people must forget their relatively petty grievances and Unite now . Today . To get rid of these creatures who are causing such distress in us all .

    The revolution to take back our democracy begins today . Now . Right now . Organise a crowd . Create a date . Move in on YOUR parliament and kick out the creeps . We can do it . We can make do while we regroup . There’s no pressing order of the day where by we might need a cohesive Government . Like war , storms etc .

    Bennett has to go today . She’s doing terrible damage and we pay her to do that to us . The Arch Dominatrix .

    • It’s a pity data roaming is so expensive overseas, otherwise beneficiaries could organise your revolution on their iPhones.

    • “You must act . Strongly , bravely , without fear of any repercussions”

      That’s the problem isn’t it- she’s made it perfectly clear there WILL be repercussions for any public criticism (and privacy laws be damned).
      Like we haven’t got enough stress in our everyday lives. Once upon a time I would’ve protested, these days I’m too scared to even send her a letter, it’s not paranoia to expect she’d order a full audit on my benefit. Not that expressing my views in writing, even politely, would make any difference. She’s proven she is incapable of empathy, sociopaths can’t be reasoned with. Face it, she has us running scared which is all part of the plan.

      • Yes Paula would be definitely be diagnosed as sociopath maybe even a psychopath she has all the characteristics. How can she be allowed to get the reigns of power and in such an important humanitarian area. She is pretty much presiding over peoples lives here…

    • “Get a decent sized crowd of friends and friends of friends and times that by the six degrees of seperation theory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_degrees_of_separation Then , once having done that , take your crowd down to Paula Bennetts office , march her outside and tell her she’s just lost her job . Good bye .”

      I wish it was that easy. We have the police, the courts, and many other “law enforcers” out there supporting and protecting this government and what they do, and in the most extreme situation they can even call in the army.

      Most Kiwis have become too easily intimidated, too conformist and not dissimilar to the average German, Austrian or whomsoever, who lived in the times an almost insane “Fuehrer” ruled over much of Central Europe and who tried to rule a large chunk of the world, until his end in 1945.

      People are now so divided, they rather follow the mainstream, and they suck up the propaganda from the government, spread by the complicit mainstream media, than spare a thought for the lost souls living further down the same street or road.

      So once a mob may dare to take revolutionary action, the “forces” will come down on them, and they will be dealt to, and nobody will raise a voice or hand. It so reminds me of stuff I read of the Third Reich, sorry for the comparison.

    • Unfortunataly people like me don’t agree with your rather subversive ideas and there are enough of people like me that will actively oppose your attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government of the day. In which case you will have a civil war along the lines of what happened in Spain during the 1930’s but instead of the leftists defending the democratically elected government it will be people on the right.

      • Bennett is conducting a civil war on the poor already.

        I’m sure though that your chinless hordes of cryptofascists will make all the difference.

        • We seem to be in the ascendency at the moment. What are you advocating to counter this? Another Occupy protest perhaps. That worked wonders last time.

            • Yeah right. I’m quaking as I type. Seriously though, the left has been banging on about radical social change for over a hundred years. Aside from a handful of failed countries mainly located in poor nations it hasn’t been entirely successful at trying to implement this. Why do you think that is?

      • Gosman I’m curious. How would you cope if you contracted a debilitating incurable illness (eg rheumatoid arthritis) which left you unable to support yourself?

        • We have a social welfare system that is the envy of the world that would help. And there’s something else that would help if it was me. It is an incredible force that post-modernists have tried to destroy. It’s called the family.

  4. Paula Bennett’s weekly base salary as Minister inside Cabinet is about $ 5,150. The Prime Minister earns about $ 8,230 per week, and MPs earn a fair bit more than us average mortals as well, as you can see by clicking this link:

    http://www.careers.govt.nz/jobs/government/elected-government-representative/about-the-job

    We all know that the above get generous travel perks as well, plus other expenses paid!

    The basic benefit rates for a SINGLE unemployed person, or a sick and disabled person with “deferred” job test expectations on the jobseeker support benefit is about $ 209,06 (if you are over 25 years old, which is a “peculiar” age threshold for being an “adult” according to WINZ)! If you are 20 to 24 years old you only get $ 174.21 per week, if you are 18 to 19 you get $ 174.21 if you live away from home, and if you are 18 to 19 and living at home it is $ 139.37 a week!

    Singles on the now very hard to qualify for Supported Living Payment get roughly about $ 50 more than the above.

    All other benefit rates can be found here:

    http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/brochures/benefit-rates-april-2014.html

    Accommodation Supplement payments barely cover actual rental or other accommodation costs, mostly it is only about half of actual costs, and the rest must be paid from the base benefit. Special Benefits have been abolished and only few get that to add a bit to cope with high living costs, and Temporary Additional Support is capped and never enough for those getting it. Disability costs are only paid for actually proved costs for health and disability costs, and what may be directly related to health conditions and treatment.

    So you can get an idea about what people live from. It is impossible to “save” or otherwise finance any overseas travel on such incomes, unless receiving some extra help from family or friends. Some may scrape together a bit over longer times when living in overcrowded homes by sleeping on couches at friend and relatives, but that means sacrifices elsewhere.

    We know what the minimum wage is now, and we know that many workers get just a bit above it, and have to make ends meet.

    So having Paula (F**king) Bennett come and lecture people about travel and not suffering, she better do her damned homework. But we know she never really liked homework, as she rather rants and raves about herself and her achievements, and how great this government is, and how inappropriately dressed and negative the opposition are.

    Has anyone perhaps given it some thought, that this was all published to distract from the recently announced outsourcing of work ability assessments to private service providers like Linkage and APM (the latter from Australia), and that there was much criticism of this step, as it goes down the way disastrous welfare reforms went in the UK?

    I suspect there is some truth in this, and that we get repeatedly presented statistics, which may actually lack a lot of credibility, if looked at closely, simply to distract and to direct public attention to negative news about beneficiaries, while in the background most appalling stuff happens in welfare policy at the coal face of WINZ:

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15264-welfare-reform-the-health-and-disability-panel-msd-the-truth-behind-the-agenda/
    (see the last few comments in that thread)

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15463-designated-doctors-%e2%80%93-used-by-work-and-income-some-also-used-by-acc/

    Those that travelled will have had reasons and only forgot to inform WINZ, in some cases WINZ may have stuffed up themselves, and otherwise many may simply have bought a cheap ticket to Australia, to try and get a job there!

    Shame on Paula Bullshit!

  5. Which beneficiaries? How many? What are their names? PB hasn’t minded coming up with names before, so why not now? The reason is because, like most other National Party press releases, it is spin, b…t, or outright lies taken from the Crosby Textor files. She won’t provide details because she can’t. And even if there are some beneficiaries who have done or are doing this, how much money are we talking about, tens of millions, millions, hundreds of thousands? I would bet my last dollar that how much ever beneficiaries are ripping off the taxpayers, it would pale into insignificance compared to the ripping off of the tax system by the 1%, but we don’t have PB abusing and denigrating them do we? Why not? because most of them are National Party hacks.

  6. I remember when the Minister of Social Welfare was the Vicar of Dibley. She was a lot nicer to people – even that guy who said ” No no no no no yes”. It’s funny how people can change when they get into politics.

  7. And while we discuss the lot of beneficiaries, some sick and even with terminal illness, who may get a trip shouted by relatives and friends to see a nice place before it may be too late, tomorrow, John Key and his “cabinet”, which includes one Paula Bennett, will roll out the red carpet for the most expensive BENEFICIARIES on this planet!

    They will bend over, kiss their hands and feet, offer presents, tax payer funded niceties and food and what else there is, they will get special protection and top class service, will be chauffeured around, housed and cheered on for their whole stay, and it will cost us all about 1 million NZ Dollars!!!

    The couple with a little newborn, having their livelihood paid to a fair degree by the UK taxpayers, living in style and being protected 24/7, getting the best childcare there is, will not be blamed for traveling around the globe, to come and enjoy more FREELOADING here, they will get front page coverage of all papers, top headline reporting on TV channels, talk back will be full of praising persons ringing in and talking about “royalty”, “heritage”, “family” and many meaningful things.

    Ah, how nice that is, ah, wonderful, why now, tell me, are our “common” beneficiaries receiving a sharply different treatment then, also getting meagre weekly living support, that many struggle to get by on?

    Is it they were born “bad” or “unworthy”, were they not children of one and the same “God”, are they not human even, or what is going on, please?

    I bet Paula will be one of the first to welcome and shake the hands of these more welcome “beneficiaries”, and she will have no scruples to join them for a glass of bubbly at a public function, as she did with the young dear privileged ones at the Young Nats Ball the other night – at the expensive hotel in Central Auckland, handy also to the “body guard” of the government, wearing blue, just across Vincent Street.

    What a wonderful world we have, social justice, now what does that mean again? Yes, lick the feet and bums of the powerful, and inherit wealth, privilege, status and title, and you are one of the ELITE, otherwise, bugger off, get a damned job and make yourselves “useful”!

    Some can manage to climb the ladder, get a hand up, but some also make sure nobody can follow them. Thank you, Paula, we know where you stand, and what your “values” and “principles” are!

    • I forgot to mention, that the brother of one of the “beneficiary couple” from the UK, also referred to as “royals” for some reason, will not be coming, as an invited ‘beneficiary’ to the NZ taxpayer today.

      It was not because of the following, i.e. wearing a NAZI costume at a party, that caused him to not gleefully reauch out and take the generous hand stretched out to his younger brother and wife:

      http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=prince+harry+nazi+uniform&qpvt=prince+harry+nazi+uniform&FORM=VDRE#view=detail&mid=A47DF8E7057F3D598CB3A47DF8E7057F3D598CB3

      That was quickly forgiven in the case of the “beneficiary” “Harry”, it would not be forgotten so easily had this be done by any “common” New Zealand beneficiary, yes it is not even forgiven, if a “non beneficiary” business man with a “mega” successful internet operation in New Zealand has a certain hand signed book from one author, who got into disrepute some time back, re similar “associations”.

      Now are any questions going to be asked to his brother and wife about the past conduct and “loyalties” of their fellow family member?

      Anyway, the whole issue about “beneficiaries” and travel and supposed “free loading” or “bludging” at the taxpayer’s expense gets a totally different treatment, when it is about “elite beneficiaries” and “royal bludgers”, does it not?

      Now what does that word hypocrisy mean again?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocrisy

      Perhaps John Key, Paula Bennett and others have a read of it, it may also cause some reflections re own conduct and attitudes?

    • Unfortunately for you Frank, the previous Labour Govt was so bad it is a gift that keeps on giving.

  8. Well said Latifa. Your point on $ flowing out of NZ was also well made. Beneficiaries are insignificant in this problem compared to the Privatised energy companies that are now bleeding what was NZ govt funds to international investors.

    • How much of the energy companies profits are being repatriated offshore? Since you think this is a major problem you must have done the research on this surely.

      • Every dollar is one too many.

        The renationalisation of these stolen assets is a priority for the incoming government.

          • It is if they want to win.

            The issue has great public support – a reflection of the lack of mandate to steal them in the first place.

            A new tax band – let’s call it ‘the wanker tax’ on trusts, and income over $2 mill can pay for it.

              • No, but interestingly he has (perhaps unwittingly) committed to buying some of them back. He really is a nutter.

      • Gosh Gossy, you are AGAIN picking one typ of business or companies to argue a case, while you know full well, we are talking here about some other businesses, e.g. multinationals handing over profits and dividends to their overseas holding companies and shareholders!

        What will be your next angle of mischief-making?

        • I didn’t pick any type of business. It was Jrobin that brought up the privatised energy companies. I asked him/her how much of the profits were being sent offshore. If they thought there was a problem they should know this.

  9. Besides of travel, WINZ staff are even interfering into the treatment plans for sick and disabled, as Scoop published 21 Oct. 2013:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1310/S00210/winz-staff-interfere-in-treatment-plans-of-beneficiaries.htm

    “WINZ staff interfere in treatment plans of beneficiaries”

    “Unqualified WINZ staff interfere in treatment plans of beneficiaries

    Graham Howell, spokesperson for the Benefit Rights Service expresses concern at the interference by unqualified Work and Income staff in treatment plans of those on benefits and low incomes.

    Work ands Income use Regional Health Advisors (RHA) or Regional Disability Advisors (RDA) to tell case managers to exclude items from the “Disability Allowance”. The Disability Allowance is intended to reimburse treatment costs if the person or their children has on-going health issues likely to last six-months or more. These RDA or RHA staff often have no formal medical qualifications, and even those that do have not been employed in a medical capacity for years – yet they are saying to case managers, “do not include” this item or that item when the person’s doctor says it necessary for ensuring their well-being.”

    “The Social Security Act is, however, designed to protect these RDA and RHA people from being taken to the Health and Disabilities Commissioner because legally they only make “recommendations”. But almost no case manager is prepared to go against their “recommendation”.”

    “Beneficiaries in turn are not aware of their rights and because of the way they feel disempowered when at Work and Income, they simply take what is dished out to them.”

    So add that to your grievances, dear folks, harassment has no end at the hands of WINZ RHAs, RDAs and case managers enforcing the rules!!!

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