The reality about welfare right now


The fact is that these days, both Paula Bennet and Metiria Turei, would NOT have been able to get off the dole. Surveillance and a new militancy in the Welfare system, is exacting and precise and it doesn’t let people defraud it.

Their system of punishment, and threatening, and avoiding giving people opportunities to better themselves is pre-emptive, and they treat all beneficiaries as though they were defrauding the government by receiving a benefit.

WINZ effectively stops people from getting off the dole.

This attitude has got to stop.

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Time and time again I have been told by people who think they know it’s true, that the dole ‘disincentivises’ people from getting work.

This way of speaking is a polite way of expressing the same sentiment of disdain. It doesn’t ‘discincentivise’ you need to learn, it actually stops people from bettering their circumstances by limiting their capacity to escape.

When it comes down to it, most welfare money goes directly back to housing NZ and private landowners.

The small remainder gets used to survive, and gradually families, and none more so than solo parents, -usually mums, get ground down until they are operating without a car, without underwear, without food forthemselves, just to get their kids to school and to meet social expectations.

Next time you hear someone say, Oh but I understand what’s happening here, people who get a handout are disincentivised from earning through an honest job, -pull them up on it!

Cuts to welfare in the 1980’s made it a poverty trap for many. And generations are following and suffering from the effect of the poverty trap their parents grew up in. A poverty trap defined by wikipedia, frustratingly describes a situation whereby poor people are discincentivised from earning. FOR GOD’S SAKE!! It’s a poverty trap. Trap means trap. A business can be in a poverty trap. A country can be in a poverty trap. It’s evil to confuse the two.

Look at Africa, they get foreign aid, but doesn’t that just disincentivise them from doing better for themselves?

‘Taxpayer’s money’, is a phrase that suggests that some people are covering for the poor. They’re not. That is an amount of money set aside for common use. The term ‘tax-payer’s money’ is misleading.
It’s everybody’s money. And at the moment it’s being very quickly laundered through the WINZ system, and paid directly to organizations like Housing New Zealand, Private Landowners, and Supermarkets.

Bring it back to the real issue here and that is infrastructure and restoring practicable management and communication to institutions like hospitals, like Winz, and many many other organizations both privatized and government managed.

Reign in this business model of harvesting and accruing wealth for the rich.


    • Yes you are right here Genevieve,

      I have several people around our circle who are trapped in the “poverty economy.

      It is a well structured “managing of supply for the merger pool of taxpayer funds that are available.

      I was listening to Senator John McCain in the US Parliament today as he was discussing changes to US “Obama care health policy which is in deep trouble.

      Senator McCain said in regards to that health plan (Obama care) he indicated it was just a managed health service designed to keep people sick and needing medical assistance.

      So both our own Benefit system’s be they either a health or benefit business are just a business which is encouraging more business to expand their jobs and profits!!!!!

    • Hi Francesca – your article is good!

      Quite apart from their unnecessary and disgusting pollution and nitration of our rivers, and their land application of lethal chemicals such as Cadmium, the Farmers also think they are the Gods of the Nation.

      Their political party encourages them to pay very low wages and also to avoid as much Tax as they can.

      Our dreadful health and housing calamity is caused by people such as farmers who suck off the public teat night and day.

      I am in no way surprised that Pensioners pay more Tax than Farmers (by significant amounts).

      PAYE employees pay the Tax in this country. Not the Gods of the Nation.

  1. What is the problem is the SYSTEM, the fucking system, not so much the front line case workers, forced to do the work within the system. I learned some time ago, this is what others told me:

    They use so called ‘health advisors’ to basically tell lies, misrepresent science or statistics, in order to throw people off health related benefits, that is disgusting.

    It must be illegal, but does anybody care take any action?

  2. The blog mentions the fact the neither the Bennetts or Tureis of this world are able to get off the dpb today.
    Sorry that is an opinion. Please back that opinion with facts. Are the number of people on the dpb increasing or decreasing. If it is increasing that supports the positoon that the dpb is trap, gathering more and more people into its clutches.

    If it is decreasing numbers then it is a bumkim hypothesis.

    Is it true that there are 7.3% less solo parent beneficiaries this year than last. Hmm yes it is.

    • Hi David. I can see how people might query that in the same way you have, but it is based in particular on the use of fraud to escape an entrapment. This piece was not based on government-issue statistics, that is a whole foodfight in its own right.

      We cannot measure benefit fraud being used to escape entrapment in particular, and we cannot measure entrapment caused or alleviated by surveillance and information sharing techniques or other (incresingly bullyish )techniques. So thankyou for giving me the opportunity to explain that.

      I don’t mind acknowledging that I am drawing some strings here between facts and experience, and I reserve the right to do that.

      However my piece as it stands has a valid factual basis, and I am suggesting that if you were able to qualify it, you’d find that I am correct in every aspect. Even if you found that my comment on Turei or Bennet not being able to use fraud to escape financial entrapment was a generalization, as it is, I’m fine with that. It’s completely valid for me to speak make that suggestion as a likelihood that we all know we cannot prove concisely. In fact it’s those very areas of concealment within the managerial infrastructure of winz as an organization that probably needs to be cleaned out of there. The structural abuse in a system, will defile the system, even if no individual would have allowed it. That too, btw, is an un-quantifiable but logical opinion.

      So please, you’ll need to err on the side of something more comprehensive rather than more simplistic to find a lodgement with which to dismantle my statements here, we all know that what I have said is logical, and qualifiable if not quantifiable. And I don’t feel obliged to find out and prove quantity in a different context than the one expressed.

    • Where did they go tho. Into employment to support themselves and their children (if this was the case the govt would be trumpeting it from the rooftops), into crime because they could not find a job, into their car to live if they had no other choice, back to their families to sleep on a sofa, the floor. Who knows, because msd haven’t bothered to keep stats on that. Pretty damning of the govt not to do so wouldn’t you think.

  3. You raise some important points Genevieve. Overall a thought-provoking piece. However…

    “Cuts to welfare in the 1980’s made it a poverty trap for many.”

    The 1980s Labour government did many bad things, but this was not one of them. The slashing of benefits began in the 1990-1991 budgets of Jim Bolger’s National government, whose finance minister was an evil little troll called Ruth Richardson. Life on benefits actually improved somewhat under the Clark Labour government, then got significantly worse under the current National government. If Richardson and Bolger slashed benefits to the bone, Key and English have cut the bone too.

    The thing kiwis need to remember about people on benefits is that we are all workers too. Many of us take casual or part-time paid work when we can find it, but get punished with secondary tax rates and benefit clawbacks (“abatements”), so it’s hard to scrabble together enough secure work to make it economic to go off the dole. When we can’t find enough paid work, most of us do volunteer work, both formally in community organisations and informally in our whānau, friendship, and activist networks. Retired people are beneficiaries too, receiving much more per week than those on unemployment or sickness benefits or student allowances, and many of them are still doing both paid and unpaid work too. The image of a clear dividing line between “workers” and “beneficiaries” is an ideological construct, created to turn workers against each other, so we can’t unite to fight for our fair share of the common wealth of this country. Don’t fall for it.

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