Did WINZ scum just screw over the very beneficiaries Jacinda & Grant tried to help?

Karen from WINZ will see you now

My disgust at how the neoliberal toxic culture if WINZ & MSD denigrate and destroy the lives of the vulnerable they are supposed to help is well documented, and I’ve argued why the Government’s spineless response is part of the problem, but anecdotal complaints that WINZ and MSD have conspired to rob beneficiaries of the $25 extra per week Grant and Jacinda gave beneficiaries urgently requires attention from Journalists.

Jacinda & Grant gave beneficiaries a $25 per week top up to help insulate them from the lockdown and pandemic, but reports from many furious beneficiaries are flooding in that what Jacinda & Grant gave the poor, the MSD scum have stolen back as one commentator on TDB pointed out…

“Getting Temporary Additional Support

If you get Temporary Additional Support and your benefit or pension payment goes up, in most cases your Temporary Additional Support will go down.

The total amount you get from us will not be less than what you were getting before 1 April.”

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Read under Main Benefit Increase:
“This is in addition to the already announced 1 April rate changes.

This increase in your benefit payment may affect some of your other payments such as Temporary Additional Support, Accommodation Supplement and Childcare Assistance – but generally people will be better off because of these changes.”

…the toxic punitive culture of neoliberal acolytes who run MSD never want extra money going into the pockets of beneficiaries whom they loathe, instead they play games to remove any increase the Government gives them, and it smells like they are doing that now.

Someone has to hold WINZ and MSD to account because Labour can’t.


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  1. One of the issues is there is just too much complexity which is used to rip people off or confuse the person giving out the money. That is why I think a UBI for NZ citizens and long term residents (aka those that have lived in NZ at least 20+ years) should replace the current system of seemingly hundreds of different scenarios that mean the most vulnerable seem to not have enough money, while those good with fraud and paperwork seem to be living in a million dollar mansion but get welfare in NZ.

    Not just beneficiaries wage theft in on the rise, and surprise, surprise anybody getting ripped off has nobody to turn to!

    How a Mitre 10 franchise defrauded one of its building contractors

    Wage theft has become a business model in the hospitality industry

    Wage theft at Maccas – $1 million a year in lieu days or public holiday pay

    Employers stealing from staff a widespread problem – expert

    In my view most people are now better off on benefits than minimum wages in NZ!

    The taxpayers are funding the huge profits of supermarkets, lifestyle options like hospitality and tourism, farming and horticulture, by propping up their low wages with WFF and accomodation benefits and their temp employees health care and relatives support.

    • Yes every time your main benefit goes up your accomadation allowance and any temporary support payment goes down. So next to no one would have got $25 plus what ever their accom and tas was. .

  2. What many people don’t understand is that that $3.50 a day increase, pittance though it is, can make the actual, very real difference for someone, as to whether they eat anything at all for that day. It equates to having a piece of bread and butter in your stomach, or not. And that translates through the week. So, you tough it out and just don’t eat, half the days. Then people wonder why you’re a bit grumpy. Or tired.

  3. Martyn, just before all this virus stuff hit my wife lost her job so was able to get a benefit, because we were new to the benefit system after long periods going without meant we needed the TAS – Temporary Additional Support grants to help make ends meet. This virus hit and then the govt announced the $25 increase. I have been keeping an eye on my payments and I got the extra 25 and kept all my TAS as well. I saw the comments on here regarding someone claiming reductions but I dont know how true that is or their circumstances.

    • With your professed love of Beijing and Chinese rule, Mark, could it be because your family may be Chinese/pro China that she got preferential treatment and everything that she applied for?

      • I find it odd that Mark and his spouse haven’t headed off to live under the workers’ paradise that the Chinese Communist Party has created in the motherland. Maybe he’s just full of shit?

    • Mark, it may be different because you’re a couple. It may affect singles but not couples. (Just guessing.)

  4. The Coronavirus lockdown is driving an increasing demand for donated food, charities say.
    Christchurch City Missioner Matthew Mark said a significant number of Canterbury residents who had never needed its services before were seeking food parcels.
    “Because of the changing dynamics within our community, by the end of Friday we had a 305 per cent increase in demand for the foodbank from the previous week,” Mark said. “That’s obviously pretty significant and it creates issues for us.”
    Demand for Food Parcels Triples – Stuff 1st April

    From last Monday: “Food Bank Demand Increases by 400% in 7 Days”
    “In a week where we would on average distribute 80 food bags, since lockdown the last 7 days has seen us distribute 329 food bags to people and families, with 80% being delivered by staff straight to people’s doorsteps.

    “Behind these numbers are real people and families who through no fault of their own, are now finding it even harder as a result of Covid-19. Food Demand Up 400% in 7 days

    In South Auckland, Food Bank demand more than doubles: RNZ South Auckland Food Bank

    A South Auckland Marae has started a food bank drive through in response to that demand: Herald 8th April

    • I say if the govt promised the increases they should man up n pay out as it is it’s no fault of hours why we end up with no way to go .that might be why crime shoots up if govt back there words crime might even drop 40pc

      • Pete I totally agree!!

        It is fundamentally dishonest of them to broadcast that they’re “Giving the increase” (a whole $3.50 a day) and then, in extreme meanness, to withhold it.

        To other groups in our layered society it wouldn’t matter – it might not even be noticed, not worth a mention.

        But because it is the crumbs dropped for beggars, it must cause someone up there some satisfaction to see the tears and the fears, the anger and despair, when those at the bottom of the heap realise it was a lying snake oil trick.

  5. You seem surprised Bomber?
    I live by the dictum, “Never be surprised when people do normal”.
    Carmel Sepuloni is definitely a neo-liberal. Recall her response when some months ago she was asked about the core benefits review? Waffle waffle blah blah. It was complex and all took time.
    That argument has been completely destroyed by the swiftness with which wage supplement were paid out.
    If this was a “labour” led government they would have stopped taxing beneficiaries the day after they won the election.
    Just a matter of flicking a switch.

    • The government is well aware that Temporary Additional Support will be reduced by the amount of the main benefit increase. They are not innocent. It’s intentional. It’s built into the legislation. They always do this. You can’t just blame it in the WINZ officials.

  6. Maybe Martyn it’s more the incompetence of your idol when she makes up new policies. I’m sure you will find that winz are just following the rules given to them.

    • Sparrow
      You don’t know your A from your E. I presume you are having a snide poke at PM Jacinda, trying to do a good job for all. That would say a lot about you. If so it shows that you are a malign person, well represented by the image on the post!
      An important point is that laws can be made with a certain intention, but the implementation of them by the civil servants can be done in a way that virtually negates them, which apparently is happening here. Ultimately, politicians don’t have a lot of power to make change if following the normal procedures; they can steer the ship in one direction, but if the mechanical aspects of government are faulty, the effects wished for are far less than modelled and planned for.

      • I think Sparrow wins over Greywarbler. Greyw you should consider the evidence before you rush to put your coat on Jac’s puddle. I’m impressed with Jac’s progress to lockdown etc but I abhor the treatment of beneficiaries who aren’t getting what’s due to them. It needs to be pointed out so it can be fixed. Jac still lags behind eliminating poverty.

        • No it’s just classic for people with an agenda to push back against doing what we should have done years ago to prevent all this chaos. We should have an even, efficient system by now but that doesn’t suit the voter suppression tactics of the opposition government.

        • Yes unfortunately I’ve felt winz found a loop hole to decrease the grant offered, indeed there was no one in office at the dept who showed any concern, I didn’t receive the full increase . what do you do people when msd send a text asking how they did, when your denighed any further assistance and short changed

      • Greywarbler
        What a lot of weak wet shit. the prime minister is responsible for this ship and who sails on it. She can instruct her ministries to follow her intentions. Are you so in love with JA that she is untouchable in your opinion. It is WEAK leadership and a phone call would fix it.

    • Yea The GOVT Give Them The Rules But It Is Up 2 The Individual Site Manager on How The Interpret Them Why Different Offices Treat People Different A Big Problem Is How Can They Over Rule What A Doctor Says ???

    • Nah Janio, Martn was right on here as the Government strongly signalled the $25 was manatory for all exept us as retireees and we should know this as we requested clarity that if the term used to recieve the $25 was “beneficeries” did that include pensioners? and we were told a definate NO.

      Government intended the $25 to be mandatory to all benificeries.

  7. Sorry but MSD is bound by this thing called “legislation”, you might have heard of it?

    Temporary Additional Support was designed to fill the deficiency between income and essential costs. So logically when your income goes up, TAS goes down. TAS is not intended as a long term solution (see: Temporary).

    If you don’t like it, instead of bagging on MSD like a whiney little brat, do something proactive and hit up your MP about changing it.

    • WTF
      Yes government should know that and have announced perhaps a one-off grant that was stated as not affecting their normal benefit entitlements or repayments or deductions whatever. That might have been a way of getting round this.

      And then government should have announced a whole new Department for enabling the retraining of beneficiaries where they would be coddled enough to enable them to get short technical courses, and practical home management ones, and provided transport etc to enable them to attend at a central place where they would meet others like themselves and fire each other up. No on-line rubbish that isolates and separates and ultimately dehumanises and desocialises (if there is such a word.) Give these people some love, some help, and some goals, and some choice of mentoring, personal or by phone, and then some hope, with sponsored part-time work and the taxed wages that they could keep on top of their benefits. Turn their lives around, and help them stand tall, capable and proud instead of having to crawl to some den of dishonour. Sorting out WINZ and MSD would be a massive task which would draw all government’s attention and in the meantime more poor people would be piling up on the pavements.

      Background: When the neoliberal-addicted in government decided to flagellate citizens who were not following the narrow path to success of the middle-class, a program from the USA was adopted here, based on one called Wisconsin Works. This is the basis of the still-heard sly lie that ‘work is the best way out of poverty’, and is based on the idea that mothers and the unemployed generally, when dependent on government payments become idle, degenerate or unemployable through having no work experience.

      This from 1996. Wisconsin Acts to End Welfare Entirely – The New York Times
      http://www.nytimes.com › 1996/04/26 › wisconsin-acts-to-end-welfare-entirely
      Apr 26, 1996 – His new program, called Wisconsin Works, would essentially transform the state’s welfare system into an elaborate employment assistance agency. … The new Wisconsin program would provide extensive child-care benefits, assistance in transportation to and from jobs, and job training.

      2018: Trump likes Wisconsin Works or W-2 as it is snappily called. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/you-ever-think-the-government-just-dont-want-to-help-as-requirements-for-welfare-grow-so-does-one-familys-desperation/2018/04/22/351cb27a-2315-11e8-badd-7c9f29a55815_story.html
      Note that Wisconsin’s Welfare Miracle on google is from The Heritage Foundation a USA right-wing thinktank.

      This is a story from The Guardian headed – Wisconsin – the state where American democracy went to die. The State seems to have poisonous social ideas embedded in their system, and no wonder that we have bad outcomes from following their lead and programs. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/10/wisconsin-voter-restrictions-democracy-coronavirus-primary

      Schools are deliberately underfunded apparently, which would be part of reducing voter turnout amongst the poor – ‘What do they know’? https://www.dailycardinal.com/article/2020/02/lack-of-funds-lack-of-services-wisconsin-schools-look-to-social-work-staff-trainings-in-youth-mental-health-services

  8. When David Clark went for his stupid bike ride all hell broke loose. He was trashed and shamed by the media, demoted by his boss and nearly lost his job. Yes, of course I get the significance of his stupidity (and note that MPs in other countries who have made similar mistakes have also met with grief or lost their jobs). Yet he did not cause immediate harm to anyone.

    Whoever is responsible for the sly clawing back of the very small attempted increase to benefits has caused grief and harm to others, to those who are often in the most vulnerable sector of society. And insofar as the refusal to pass on that small increase ($3.50 a day) will have increased the numbers seeking food bank aid, so they are responsible for increasing social gatherings when we are in lockdown, and so are contributing to community transmission of the coronavirus.

    All those food banks require that people get together for collecting the food for packing, for packing the boxes, for distributing boxes, and so on.

  9. The problem was when they brought in TAS (Temporary Additional Support) it was intended to pay for essential things like HP on cars, washing machines, fridges, or the mortgage payment on a house. It wasn’t designed to pay excessive rent payments, then comes in National in 2008 and no changes were made to the accommodation supplement system until 2017 while over the same period rents have gone up. I know in 2018/19, the majority of TAS payments were associated to rent, not to the principle intention of the act, since rent doesn’t get paid off in time, where as HP on cars and Mortgages do

  10. Your recent article about WINZ taking back $25.00 increase by decreasing Temporary Support is only one way. I have a debt with WINZ and my repayments increased so I to lose $25.00. I am a full time caregiver of Adult Daughter with a disability and can not even pay the basics.

    Why has the GOVT moved on decreasing rents or increasing accommodation allowance without other penalties to other entitlements? Why do the rich benefit from pandemic by a mortgage holiday but renters are made homeless? My landlord informed me he will evict me regardless of changes to Tenancy Act.

    This GOVT is not helping the vulnerable as promised at 2017 election they are the new National party of helping the rich who hate the poor on benefits. SO Labour has proven to hate the poor as well. Labour now has to be held accountable for the harm they continue to do to the most vulnerable.

  11. Yep! Thats how out of touch she and her government are, especially that useless Carmel Suckapollonie the min MIA of the Gestapo Agency!

    The Gestapo(WINZ/MSD) just claim that they cant do anything about it and “I’ll get in trouble if I try to help but”, and wont give you the full benefit of doubt that you are on your knees and that they could reduce the amount that they deduct for debt(s) of some kind that you may owe due to their incompetence!

    With another 300,000, (44,000 have signed up within 2 weeks) due to turn up on the WINZ books, 5-6 electorate seats worth or list seats. Any general election now is looking grim for Labour.
    Remember, in times like these, people vote with their emotions and they will need someone to blame …. The ole National did it epithet wont cut it anymore, not with this pandemic.

    Will they call off the election in September?

    $4.8b for all 315,000 beneficiaries payments for a year from a $26b Welfare Budget. $6.6b in nearly 3 weeks for nearly unemployed,

    Those figures tell you straight away, something is severely fuck’d up here!

    • Denny Like your forthright style! Hope your figures are right so we can trust we are getting the real deal to rely on them. And Minister of Caring and Sharing name – great.

      • Up date: Going into the last week of Lock-Down Level 4:

        $9.9b Spent on Wage Subsidies. 4 Weeks. 1.1m people.
        Whereas over a 12 month period, $4.8b in payments to 315,000 Beneficiaries saddled with more than $1b of imposed debt/sanctions, 240,000 kids still living in poverty! 15,000 people are still homeless ect …

        And we are led to believe the PM cough’d up 20% of her Salary??

        The PM’s real salary …20% is calculated by separating each salary per role whereas Beneficiaries are treated differently and their income is calculated as a gross sum before tax deductions.
        PM’s Salary $471k(1)+$296k(2)+($288,900×3(3,4,5) = $1,637,000.00 x 20% = $326,140.00
        DPMC’s $231.6k short.
        1.Salary as PM.
        2.PMC Cabinet Minister
        3.Minister Security & Intelligence
        4. Minister Art Culture & Heritage
        5. Minister of Keeping Kids in Poverty

        They just dont think through their bullshit they release. Havent they heard of the internet & google??

  12. So glad to hear WINZ are actively trying to withhold money from people!
    Some of the only people that will not be affected by this pandemic are the unemployed so why on earth should they get an extra $25 a week!!
    All those extra $25’s should have been put into the wage subsidies for business’

    • What planet do you live on Dave? Planet Earth has a pandemic which is caused by a virus that can hit anyone, not even the unemployed are exempt. Businesses are collapsing and world-wide many jobs have gone. Even Trump is among many world leaders giving more money to the jobless. So that makes you further down on the scale of nasties, than Trump!

      • Yep, if a person was unemployed before the lockdown, they are effectively now permanently unemployed owing to the popular prejudices of people like “Dave” above.

        When the lockdown is lifted, the people who hate the unemployed and who are newly unemployed will begin screaming they are more worthy, that they have lost more, and in their fear will hate the unemployed even worse. Not even $25 as a compensation for never being allowed to work again? Yes, take it away and give it to the haters who hold to a clearly obsolete economic system. It’s the fault of the unemployed that the Dave’s of the world believed the fantasy of capitalism post WW2.

        This is one of many “unintended” outcomes of the lockdown that confirms my opinion that the government made a mistake in rushing into a lockdown. For people like Dave, NZ could lose 500,000 people and their religious economic system could function perfectly, for about 20 more years. And if we’re just juggling numbers, which is what our current economic perspective does, they’re right. There would of course be the massive “human cost”, but the world has recovered from worse.

        It defies reason how the government thought ruining the existing economy as fast as possible would not result in something close to class/civil war. It would be better to have let people die from covid at a “natural rate”, and let capitalism die out slowly, in real time, slowly, with people changing their world view because reality forced it, than to ask the psychopaths of capitalism to empathise and imagine a new ideology. Even Jacinda’s weird first prediction of 80k or so people dying is nothing to a capitalist society like ours. We discard upward of 200K people a fucking year, leaving to rot in poverty, oppressed by closed minds!

        Then the official prediction dropped to 20k, a number barely noticeable to a person who lives for one thing only: making money. Hell, even if your wife and family died, you could get another. Just block out any residual pain with work. it’s the old recipe all over again. But starting a new business up, without funds or support, surrounded by psychopaths who are now especially aggressive? That’s hard work. That’s what they’re most afraid of.

        As it is now, we’ve screwed more than most realise, to keep a generation who have lived better than any in the history of mankind, not just alive, but in their current illusions. Nowhere have i seen a view that says we can chart a new moderate course immediately. It’s all “Jacinda’s Team… or you’re part of the death cult”. No one’s saying throw the boomers into the street and cough on them. But creating an even more hateful society than we already have? That was a big mistake. People here in NZ are greedy and stupid, and they think the last 60 years is sustainable. Never in human history has a period been so peaceful and comfortable. Now the people who told their victims that life wasn’t fair, see that the world isn’t just unfair, it doesn’t even defer to human values and never has, but they want it all their way forever at any cost.

        Without proper leadership, both the “unemployed” and the Dave’s of this World are about to get more than just an internet argument. It doesn’t matter who is in charge, man or woman, Jacinda or Alternative B. If Jacinda was as good a leader as claimed she could adjust her plans in any direction at any time, without loss of face. Who carries on trying to force their ideology onto a reality that disproves it and never adjusts? Facing reality is what matters.

  13. Yes the whole 1964 style of welfare funding has to go. Also the way people with long term illnesses needs a better way of funding with less gestapo style tactics denying them access to welfare and medicines funding which increases the health systems costs between $3 and $10 per $1 spent on medicines alone let alone denird access to money for food , doctors visits and other necessary costs.

  14. Will her Labour party renounce Neoliberalism. ” – “Never allow a good crisis go to waste. It’s an opportunity to do the things you once thought were impossible.”

  15. For goodness sake, Mr Bradbury, that has nothing whatsoever to do with the behaviour of WINZ staff. And it doesn’t help to call them ‘scum’. There are plenty of problems with welfare administration but referring to the staff as ‘scum’ is both offensive and missing the target. The reductions in other payments like TAS are purely a function of the rules. Government would have been well aware of the knock-on effect (clawback) when they introduced the $25pw increase. It is, after all, in the WEAG report and is well understood by official advisers and by Govt itself. It is indeed a very good, important, point that many beneficiaries will not get anything like the full $25 (as is the fact that $25 is far too little!). But blaming it on WINZ or their staff just shows a lack of knowledge on your part. Michael Fletcher

    • With all due respect Mr Flecther – this must be your first time on TDB as i have a long, long, long, long history of calling the scum who staff WINZ and MSD for the petty sadists that they are.

      You want proof champ? You want proof that they are scum? You want to read the manner in which hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable are treated by those petty saidists? Those scum who take pleasure in the tiny power they have over the lives of the most vulnerable.

      The toxic culture of WINZ staffed by petty hitlers has been an ongoing feature of the neoliberal welfare state for decades now, your faux Southern Belle routine is best placed on a blog with less spine.

      There is on the East Coast a WINZ officer who was a repo man, he gained his job because of his vicious interpersonal skill set, so don’t dare stand for your Wellington public service mates on this blog champ.

    • Michael, Martyn hates everybody who works for the Govt and tries to do a good job, Winz, Social Workers, IRD Police, the people doing the most difficult jobs in society, BUT he Looooves our useless PM.

      However, don’t dare call this a “Hate Blog” he doesn’t like being criticised.

      • Gary you are depriving some village somewhere of an idiot. You probably don’t understand what this means but I don’t have the puppets or the crayons to explain it to you.

        In the meantime could you explain what is so useless about Jacinda Ardern because apart from Hosking and Bridges and obviously you, everyone else thinks she is an outstanding leader and the current COVID-19 crisis has proved it yet again.

  16. The complexities; the confusion; the mixed messages (from government vs MSD/WINZ) illustrates why, more than ever, we need to abolish the welfare system (with a caveat) and replace with a Universal Basic Income.

    A UBI paid to everyone (and recouped at the top end of the income bracket with a slight increase in top marginal tax rate) eliminates the need for bureaucrats and the nightmare labyrinth of regulations. It eliminates ministeries and departments undermining the intent of government.

    In effect, it puts everything out of reach of bureaucrats.

    I hear from msm certain commentators (and this came from one person who I expected better off) who complained, “But why should I be paid a UBI? I don’t need it!”

    The “logic” of that sentiment escapes me. I don’t major cardiac surgery – but I wouldn’t deny others to have that operation if they need it. That’s the “logic” involved.

    If a privileged group of New Zealanders don’t need the UBI, fine. We can raise their marginal tax rate by a fraction to recoup it.

    But let’s not deny everyone else a system that is way past time was implemented.

    We can then eliminate most of the WINZ-arm of MSD, retaining a small “rump” that would cater for additional special needs for folks with disabilities, illness, dependents etc.

  17. Work and Income staff by and very large mean well.

    It is the way they are trained to be suspicious of every single person walking through the door, the way they eye you up and down to look for something to justify the comment on the tip of their tongue, that you should be having a problem with.

    I know from experience. I’ve a broad range of case managers handling mine, and the case manager changed so frequently I thought they had some sort of quota in terms of case manager changes to meet. It was deliberate. It was intended to make it impossible to chase up a staff member if they made a mistake, or you got home and realized there was something you had forgotten to ask.

    I know they can be pedantic. Sending me a letter to say that they had overpaid me by $2.41 or something like that – which happened several times and the time spent doing the letter and posting it probably cost more than it actually getting to me.

    But there were a few helpful types who went out of their way to help. A branch manager at the old Papanui branch in Christchurch after hearing me gripe about a disservice that had been done, took personal responsibility for my case. He sent me to a C.V. specialist who nitpicked it and found a few things to improve; got me set up for interview training.

    They had time wasters. People who required you to come in on a freezing as hell winter morning in the middle of July, when it was -4 at 0900 in the morning, who would sit you around a table and make you write down all of the jobs you applied for since the previous time wasting session. Then they would disapprovingly look over them all, before telling you that “hospo and construction” are the only industries in post-earthquake Christchurch and that the rest of us are wasting W.I.N.Z. time.

    So I wasted more W.I.N.Z. time by applying for a job in the rental car sector – still hold it today.

    And then there were the arseholes I was telling you about. The ones who went out of their way to make your visit feel like a test of your character; who made you feel like you should be ashamed of your efforts to get a job; who talked to you in a raised voice so that others could hear the exchange and were too rude to even say Hi or Bye.

    I think the only way to change this is overhaul the legislation and the entire training regime for it. Anyone in M.S.D. who disagrees should be shown the door.

  18. Its always been that any extra money you get affects your TAS as TAS is only a temporary fix, I lost $10 of my TAS but I still ended up with a increase of $24 so am still better off than I was and In May we get not $20 winter payment, but $40 and TAS or Accommodation are affected by this, I am just grateful that we have a country that has a benefit system and through all the Corona stuff are still able to get a Benefit, just be grateful for whatever you get, its better than nothing

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