This Government has utterly failed beneficiaries

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This Government has utterly failed beneficiaries. They queue outside WINZ at 2am in the rain desperately trying to get an AAAP advocate to force the spiteful WINZ workers to give them what they are legally allowed in terms of welfare, women are given less food as part of a cost saving measure and the draconian drug testing measures National imposed are still in place.

The arcane relationship laws are set up to punish women and men who are struggling and used by WINZ to implement mass surveillance powers to infringe upon the privacy of beneficiaries in a way that no one else would ever accept…

Beneficiaries to PM: the welfare system needs to urgently change – start tomorrow by ending harmful relationship rules

Mothers kept single by Government rules about relationships for beneficiaries

Hannah McGowan: My disease is not my fault, so why am I being punished?

…to date Labour have done sweet bugger all to reform the toxic culture within WINZ and MSD towards beneficiaries…

Benefit suspensions drop after new policy
The number of people whose benefits are suspended or cancelled each day has dropped by more than a fifth in just a matter of weeks, the Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni says.

…holding up a pitiful 20% reduction on a policy of needless cruelty is nothing to celebrate.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

“We are 20% less spiteful than National” is hardly a rallying call is it?

Shame on Labour.

Beneficiaries are frightened by the toxic staff and toxic culture of WINZ, a toxic culture that the Minister herself accepted exists but is now embarrassed to acknowledge now she is Minister.

One is left to conclude by the Minister’s failure to change the damaged toxic culture of WINZ that her own personal history of her mothers benefit fraud has painted her into a corner where she must over compensate by siding with MSD rather than challenge them.

Jacinda has also been shamefully pitiful on this issue.

I’m sure most beneficiaries would be more than happy to swim through shark infested pools and walk over broken glass to just see a WINZ staff member who wasn’t looking to catch them out to denigrate and shame their vulnerability. Look at the latest survey…

Survey shows four out of five people had negative experiences at WINZ
A new survey has shown that four out of five people have had negative experiences at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ).

The survey, conducted by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and ActionStation, questioned 267 people on their perspectives, insights and experiences of the welfare system.

The findings included an overwhelming trend of people having negative experiences with WINZ and a desperate lack of income to afford basic needs.

One of the key findings was that 84 per cent of people said they did not currently receive enough income to live with dignity and participate fully in the community.

…punishing poor people for being poor seems like the sort of social policy Mordor implements.

The simple naked truth is that beneficiaries don’t have enough to live on and if punishing them for that is ‘the politics of kindness’, I think the Prime Minister requires a dictionary.

Why does Labour think these beneficiaries who flocked to vote for Jacinda in 2017 will do it again in 2020 when their lives have stagnated and not progressed?

18 COMMENTS

  1. If you’ve got any type of safety net it means that someone cares if people die.

    In New Zealand you have to prove that you need food and WINZ can just legally take it away.

  2. Before the election – cannabis for terminally ill AND chronic pain, After the election, just terminal
    Beneficiary system that hasn’t changed, maybe a bit of paint on some walls in some places, but that’s it.
    Lots of reviews, bugger all action.
    Big talk about a CGT that mainly affects poor people living in rentals, after election, oh sorry its not politically palatable to proceed with, probably because more than half of politicians are in on the game themselves
    We all thought National was the do nothing govt, seems Labour is just another right wing party now
    Lets be honest here, Labour dont give a shit about poor people, fact.

    • Mark: “Big talk about a CGT that mainly affects poor people living in rentals, after election, oh sorry its not politically palatable to proceed with, probably because more than half of politicians are in on the game themselves”

      I thought that too, until I read this piece:

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/114628351/an-inconvenient-truth-about-tax-in-new-zealand

      Then I realised that the issue wasn’t nearly as cut and dried as I’d imagined:

      ” For some it’s more about symbolism than gathering revenue. Concepts of affordability are raised but it’s often heavily predicated on “NIMBY” and “tall poppy” considerations.

      For those in that group already paying material personal tax while deriving relatively modest untaxed capital gains, they are already the highest taxed on their economic income. For those whose untaxed capital gains are material, then it’s accepted that some of their economic income remains untaxed. But capital gains tax has been fought and lost many times in New Zealand, and taxing their (and everyone else’s) personal income more as a substitute is so untargeted as to be no more than a soundbite…………NZ already has a very progressive tax system. A small group pay the vast majority of all income tax. A large group pay very little and in fact are paid through transfers. Globally, capital and labour (often correlated with that small group) have become increasingly mobile with governments competing to attract them given they are net contributors.”

      So: I’m obliged to accept that the case for CGT hasn’t been made, and the government has done the right thing in not proceeding with it.

      As to the rest of your comment, I agree with everything you say.

  3. If only they were the only people that the treasonous puppet government has failed… it’s going to get very interesting, indeed…

  4. This government is Neo liberal ( lite ) so it is a re run of the previous Natsy Natz except the farmers are feeling sad.
    None of these problems will be solved by giving the patient more of the SAME medicine.

  5. Anybody thart thought Winston would help any beneficiaries except those over 65 had not looked at his track record.

  6. This is everything — our soul. And these pricks choose focus groups. But we are a depoliticised mass for the advantage of the powerful. I continue to despise Labour as I first knew in 84. PERSUADE is the oldest centrality about Labour. Continue to despise you Grant. Who are you?

  7. Not sure beneficiaries flocked to vote for her. Entirely depoliticised are the poor after 35 years of’ Labour’.

  8. It failed on the CP-TPP, housing and as for beneficiaries,the homeless, well that’s no surprise either. And that’s why I wont be voting for this mob next election or anyone else who fails to put the people of this country first.

  9. “This Government has utterly failed beneficiaries.”

    Yup.

    “The simple naked truth is that beneficiaries don’t have enough to live on and if punishing them for that is ‘the politics of kindness’, I think the Prime Minister requires a dictionary.”

    They don’t and she does. The one thing that this government could’ve done was to raise benefit levels by around 50%, as recommended by the expert advisory group. And it should have happened last year. But they’ve failed to do it.

    “The arcane relationship laws are set up to punish women and men who are struggling and used by WINZ to implement mass surveillance powers to infringe upon the privacy of beneficiaries in a way that no one else would ever accept…”

    There’s a history of this in WINZ and its predecessors, going back over 30 years that I know of. But it’s got immeasurably worse since the mid-1990s. It’s pointless and degrading: well past time for a different approach. This is another thing on which I expected the Ardern government to move speedily.

    “…to date Labour have done sweet bugger all to reform the toxic culture within WINZ and MSD towards beneficiaries…”

    Indeed. Yet another deficit from this government. It’s indicative of no courage. Or – worse – the government sees no need to implement change in this area.

    I’ve voted Labour all of my life – except during the dark night of Rogernomics – but no more. I’m done with them. They’re just as bad as the other lot.

    • I’ve never voted for them since Roger Douglas. Actually Muldoon calling an early election prevented me from ever voting for these people for the rich. Reading Marilyn Warings’s ‘The Political Years’ Muldoon , for whatever reason, was determined the least shouldn’t suffer. And ’84 reform apparently requires them to suffer for ever, like Hell, through Labour and National. I prefer Muldoon.

      So angry, growing, almost to 18, under the Welfare State.

      • sumsuch: “…..Muldoon , for whatever reason, was determined the least shouldn’t suffer.”

        Indeed. I was an adult during the Muldoon years. He was vilified by many, but – as I’ve recently had occasion to point out to a group of young people – he was far to the left of where the National party is nowadays. Further left even than any contemporary so-called “left-wing” politicians.

        For someone of my age, it’s very obvious how far to the right the political centre has moved since the Muldoon years.

        He was another of those politicians-made-good from – as the saying goes – humble beginnings. He never forgot his origins; as his bio notes:

        “When Muldoon was aged eight, his father was admitted to Auckland Mental Hospital at Point Chevalier,[6] where he died nearly 20 years later in 1946.[7][8] This left Muldoon’s mother to raise him on her own. During this time Muldoon came under the strong formative influence of his fiercely intelligent, iron-willed maternal grandmother Jerusha, a committed socialist. Though Muldoon never accepted her creed, he did develop under her influence a potent ambition, a consuming interest in politics, and an abiding respect for New Zealand’s welfare state.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Muldoon#Early_life_and_family

        “I prefer Muldoon.”

        We reviled him because he wasn’t a lefty; and we rejoiced when the Lange government came to power. Though not for long: Rogernomics made our lives hell. Nowadays, I look back with nostalgia to the time of Muldoon: I’ve come round to your way of thinking.

  10. With all the bitching on this site you might think there was some kind of alternative. Really this govt is the best beneficiaries will ever get.

    Vote in National (or waste your vote on minor parties and hand National a win) and it will be all out war on beneficiaries once again. Payment cards brought in to take away freedom and humiliate people, more sanctions, indiscriminate abuse of beneficiaries…really you people are naive if you think there is a better option.

    • Z: “Really this govt is the best beneficiaries will ever get.”

      If this is the best that this government can do, we’re all screwed. They came to power promising so much. And have delivered so little.

  11. Did you hear Robertson lapping up the IMF’s love, over the democratist (!) Reserve Bank’? He’s aware of the criticism. Leave the hungry hungry, Grant. Please the STRONG. That’ll prove you’re a Labour man.

    Y’know how much my unevolved Labour man Great Grandfather would pound you. Not with words.

  12. Had I been PM Ardern coming into power, I would have looked at making a big bold generous gesture – well, more than a gesture in fact – and restored the Training Incentive Allowance, scrapped by Bennett or WINZ or whoever it was who decided to kneecap people’s futures.

    It would have been simple to implement – much easier than restoring the massive number of traditional apprenticeships – Post Office, Railways, etc – which trained people up in specialised occupations and guaranteed them life long employment – and it would have shown good will. It could have upskilled a significant section of the community – enabled them buy shoes for kids, and maybe afford to warm their abodes – heating garages can be a challenge, but if it’s packed full with people, I suppose they generate their own heat.

    Taken me a while to realise why the coalition govt didn’t just whip those TIA’s back.

    It’s so self-evident that self-improving is a better way to go, than struggling on govt handouts. But the fact is, the NZ govt doesn’t have to bother too much about people on benefits when it can exploit temporary immigrants whipped in for specific jobs, and then dumped. Even if I were sufficiently amoral to agree with the govt’s exploitation of foreign workers, it’s not clear if they even have plans for a sustainable future, or whether they make decisions on an ad-hoc basis, or whether they’re merely continuing the neo-lib policies dished out to them by brain-washed public servants – and sometimes each other.

    I am not PM Ardern, so reversing Bennett’s future-bashing did not happen, and it is becoming oh so easy to blame immigrants day by day now.

    • Pip: “Had I been PM Ardern coming into power, I would have looked at making a big bold generous gesture…”

      Me too. And my choice would’ve been to raise benefit levels by around 50%, as recommended by the expert group. Not cheap, that’s for sure; but urgently needed, that’s also for sure. And it’d show that the government really meant it when it claimed to be progressive.

      “It’s so self-evident that self-improving is a better way to go, than struggling on govt handouts.”

      And I guess that this explains why benefit levels haven’t been raised. Neoliberal notions of self-improvement trump substantive assistance for the most vulnerable.

      “…whether they’re merely continuing the neo-lib policies dished out to them by brain-washed public servants – and sometimes each other.”

      Sadly, this is what it looks like.

  13. Expecting instant fixes for a Social Welfare system that has suffered 9 years of neglect and mismanagement from a National government is pointless. National also ran the economy down, increasing government debt from $17b to $85b, so Labour needs to sort that out as well. Labour have started fixing the problems but don’t expect them to be fixed overnight.

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