The main reason Labour have not been able to be transformative is not just because NZ First have been a hand break to real progressive change, but because Labour didn’t think they had won the 2017 election and had no plan to reform the neoliberal welfare public service.
Because we had no plan to reform the neoliberal public service, the toxic cultures inside these Ministries that see the vulnerable and weak as a blight on the free market are the ones who still call the shots. The Wellington Bureaucratic Elite are the ones who actually run social welfare policy, not the Governments we the people elected.
That’s why our system is really a masquerade of democracy.
Look at the toxic cruelty that drives this kind of draconian culture…
New figures released to RNZ show 437 sanctions were applied against people with children in 2018, with over 80 per cent of those sanctions applied against Māori.
The sanction reduces the income of a beneficiary with children by half if they don’t get the warrant cleared within 10 days of being told by the Ministry of Social Development, which is after the warrant has remained outstanding for 28 days.
“Cutting the income of whānau with children by 50 per cent for reasons unrelated to those children and tamariki is absolutely morally outrageous,” Auckland University of Technology associate professor of law Khylee Quince said.
She said the figures also showed that Māori were being disproportionately penalised.
“The enforcement of benefit sanctions against people with outstanding warrants demonstrates a 10-fold difference between execution of those sanctions between Māori and non-Māori… that’s of huge concern.”
The sanctions were also “at odds” with the government’s ambitions to reduce child poverty.
“The execution of this policy directly impacts and causes child poverty in New Zealand,” Quince said.
The government’s welfare expert advisory group recommended the sanction be removed last year.
… because the de-unionised working classes have had pittance instead of real wage growth, they look at the welfare payment with envy and this envy is manipulated by the Right into voting resentment.
Labour are too frightened of triggering that resentment with a benefit increase and they don’t have enough control over the Ministry to try and force a change of culture.
The reason why the vulnerable are once again timidly coming forward and why benefit grants are going up is because they think Jacinda Ardern’s ‘politics of kindness’ actually means something.
The truth of course is that they shouldn’t believe in Jacinda’s ‘politics of kindness’ because the sanctions are still going up and the toxic culture of WINZ has no intention of changing so the poor are the ones left to suffer waiting outside WINZ offices at 2am in the morning.
National’s solution is more penalties and more sanctions so that it goes back to the way Welfare was run under them, by being so punitive and terrifying that the poor don’t dare enter WINZ in the first place.
It is a malicious nation built upon stolen land who would gleefully elect political parties whose appeal is to use desperation and hunger as a means of control over the poor.
We are that nation.