Beneficiaries are becoming debt slaves 

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Government putting more beneficiaries into greater debt, with loans totalling almost $2 billion

Figures released to 1 NEWS under the Official Information Act show almost 560,000 people now owe $1.9 billion to the Ministry of Social Development.

It’s 50,000 more people than in 2018, when $1.5 billion worth of interest-free loans were handed out for things like school uniforms, the dentist, electricity, and car repairs.

Each person owes almost $500 more than three years ago, with the average amount being $3420.

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni told 1 NEWS that it’s much better than families going to get high interest loans “to cover some of these basics”.

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This is crippling.

Beneficiaries  barely have enough money to live on as it is, and for the unexpected costs in life, the State lends them money rather than recognise that the benefit simply isn’t enough.

What’s most egregious is that a chunk of this debt is over payment, that’s mistakes by WINZ, not the beneficiary.

This is leading to debt slavery where Beneficiaries will die in debt to the State.

They are punished by an obtuse system within WINZ that does all it can to be toxic, and they are punished by low welfare that force them to borrow from the State.

The State claims that this is preferable to Beneficiaries borrowing the money off loan sharks, and while there is some truth to that, WINZ eyes that loan as an asset so they are gaming the system while bennefitting from it themselves.

This is no way to treat the poorest amongst us.

The debt must be written off.

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36 COMMENTS

  1. Governments treat money owed to them as assets. To ask for debts to be forgiven would shake the money-lender system to its foundations.

    Besides, there are CEOs, ‘captains of industry’, and senior council officers etc. struggling to find money to pay for yacht berths and yearly upgrades of vehicles and furniture etc. And there are perfectly serviceable buildings that need to be demolished and replaced because the comfort level is just not right. Therefore council rates need to be increased substantially.

    Anyway, the dismal situation beneficiaries find themselves in is obviously their own fault. They could have lived in tents or cars on friend’s backyards, made clothing out of rags, and they too could have borrowed money to invest in the casino markets and made fortunes for themselves instead of wasting most of their money on rent and clothing.

    Can’t afford dentistry? Why do they need teeth anyway? They can pulp food in a wooden bowl by bashing it with a rock.

    It’s a debt-slavery, wage-slavery, mortgage-slavery system, unless you happen to be in the right ‘club’ Martyn. You know that.

    • I don’t even want to think about how caramel or Muldon 2.0 intends to restart the economy by making the porest New Zealanders pay for for it. The operational budget has to increase. These debts have to be wiped. Beneficiaries are just eating the recovery.

  2. Being in the right club…now there’s a debating point AFKTT. I refuse to believe that all those 560,000 people are all in the same club. Let’s say half of them are in the ‘Have Genuine Needs and Deserve full support from taxpayer because that is the idea of a benefit system’ club. It would then be interesting to scrutinise the others who say the need the benefit….just see how many of them really need the benefit or have simply turned a taxpayer funded system into a lifestyle choice. I know quite a few and they are not even from poor backgrounds. I know of some who used benefit money for their annual island holiday and bragged about it. And there is the problem with the whole system, you and I can rock up a WINZ tomorrow, sign up and voila…we’re on the benefit. Should we be?

    • ‘I refuse to believe that all those 560,000 people are all in the same club.’

      You can believe whatever you like. Beliefs often (dare I say usually?) do not match reality.

      There are millions of people who believe there is a ‘sky god’, and that if you pray to him your prayers will be answered, despite all the evidence to the contrary -like churches full of believers being burned to the ground with the occupants trapped inside. And some day soon his son is going to return to Earth and save all those who performed the ‘correct’ rituals.

      You can be absolutely CERTAIN none of those 560,000 are in the ‘right club’ -born into wealth and luxury, or acquired wealth and luxury by exploiting other people.

      You really need to STUDY this:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nyvxt1svxso

      ‘George Carlin – It’s A BIG Club & You Ain’t In It!’

      But I guess that would take some effort -like clicking on a link. That is too hard for most people, it seems, Hence only 422,607 views.

        • Ah, but did you get the message?…that it’s a big club (of banks corporations and opportunists) and your are nit in ‘the big club’, the same one they use to tell you what to wear, what to eat, who to vote for, what to believe, e.g that infinite growth on a finite planet is both possible and desirable, and will deliver unprecedented prosperity.

          Another of my favourites from incredibly perceptive George Carlin: [speaking of economists and politicians etc.] “It’s all bullshit, and it’s bad for you.”

        • Jaspinda, George Carlin was one of the greatest American comedians /writers of the later 20th Century. His politics and routines were years ahead of his time and he was sticking it to his fellow Americans for their military /imperial world domination BS long before you ever knew it existed. You have a lot to learn. He educated his audiences about the stuff we discuss on this blog probably while you were learning to walk.

          • It was boring and forced humour and I don’t really want to learn the stand up routines of George Carlin. Sorry Shona. Your matronising comment on the other hand is very hilarious.

            • “And there is the problem with the whole system, you and I can rock up a WINZ tomorrow, sign up and voila…we’re on the benefit. Should we be?”

              You know people who ‘use the benefit’ to pay for their holidays. Do you? Really? And you approve…?

              You think you can ‘rock up to WINZ tomorrow, sign up – and when did you last do that? Did you enjoy it? If you did rock up – probably not. Unless you love being doubted, humiliated, treated as incompetent, etc. Do you?

              If you thought you were into the wild world of KFC and Maccas for every meal how long did it take for reality to strike? If it didn’t – who else were you bludging from?

              For your next attempt – how about ‘all those people ripping off ACC’ to the point where it no longer functions. Those like the people you know, who rip off the system and brag about it to their fuming ‘friends’ have wrecked it for the rest of us.

              And, if you can – get over the ‘deserving poor’ trope. Start looking at the ‘undeserving employed’ who could be dispensed with and create an upturn in customer satisfaction. You probably also know people like that. Bound to, in fact…

  3. I wonder how many of the half million plus are single mums with children to raise? How many absent father’s leave their children and abdicate their fatherhood? Why does our society still condone that behaviour??

    • ‘Why does our society still condone that behaviour??’

      Probably because it has been going on for thousands of years.

    • Sinic I’m a male sole parent. How many absent mother’s leave their children and abdicate their motherhood?
      Answer – Heaps these days, it has been going on for 9 years for me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Why does our society still condone that behaviour ?
      Answer – Because in the rich country of NZ we have plenty to go round. Not that you would know it with all the right wing deceitful moaners spouting there bullshit lies.

  4. Why would you inject debt into people that couldn’t afford it? Our course nothing to do with the government – it’s all the fault of the bureaucracy, the new 9 years of neglect…..

    • But ACTS David Seymour said they should just go out and get jobs, there problem solved!
      And why we should never have him near power again. Imagine if David’s mother never had him, that taxper money could have been better spent on a beneficiarie.

  5. Many beneficiaries have very sad, desperate lives. However this is also true of a large majority of workers, often on low wages, with high costs (rent or mortgage etc). If the beneficiaries get their debts paid off there will be some very unhappy taxpayers, many of whom have no more disposable income week to week than beneficiaries.

    I still believe that developing employment options for all is far better than paying anyone to do nothing. I am an example of someone who has raised 4 kids on a very low income, hell my daughter is begin paid more for her first job than we raised our family on! But I believe it is better to be productive if possible. I could have stopped working and gone on a benefit and probably been better off at the end of the week, but this is the path to societal suicide.

    When did socialism cease to be about the working class and change to be all about the non-working poor?

  6. Beneficiaries compare their plight with the modern mortgage slave in bondage for the next 30 years: Buys a very ordinary house for $800,000 and puts down a deposit of $300,000 .$500 thou left to pay with interest, rates, maintenance etc.
    Interest rate 2.89% 30 years payoff time pay $2078 monthly. Total interest paid $248,250 total cost $748,250 . All that interest siphoned off to Australian banks , to a country that acts with contempt t’wards us.
    That’s not to mention those owing money on student loans!
    We are a poor country with a YAWNING gap between creditors who have the power to issue fiat credit and the debtors who have to earn and pay real cash. Seems feudalistic to me!
    Simple beginning amelioration: tertiary education free, CGT of 85% on housing except the family home! Raise benefits to a decent level. Really end child poverty. WFF to beneficiaries as well.
    But a so called Labour government that refuses to take the traditional labour red pill but is consumed by National Lite’s neolib blue pill is lost in the fantasy matrix of fictitious on paper wealth whereas real wealth the wellbeing of all kiwis is neglected for the worship of the golden calf. Do we have a modern Moses to bust it and lead us to a better future?

    • With a CGT of 80% Lots of mortgage life bondage slaves would suddenly be in massive negative equity. The banks would be forced to cancel their debt down to the level the new market gives. Say $800,000 house goes down to $500,000 the bank would have to write off $300,000 . It’s all just computer entries really.
      NZ is kidding itself it’s wealthy with these absurd crazy house prices. It’s time the Golden Calf was given the boot.

      • I kind of see the futility. Little Muldoon would have 1 month to reconstruct the entire tax system and read every line entry in the budget one by one and approve. There’s simply not enough time to do both.

  7. So of the $33.99bn 2020/2021 Welfare spend.
    $16bn is Super. That aside …
    $1.57bn is Sole parent
    $4.5bn Jobseeker
    $1.8bn Supported living
    Accommodation Subsidies $2.6bn

    So the essential, the real cost is less than a third of the Welfare spend, much of it is debt Hardship & Recoverable Ass. $1.1bn. A grand total of $11.5bn of the $34bn.
    The rest is misattributed to the Welfare budget, such as student loans which should be on the MoE budget, $112m. Massive employer-related subsidies via ‘Straight-to-Work’ programmes for short term employment.
    Maybe the Accommodation Supplement could be recovered from Landlords as a tax refund to the Government?

    The $11.5bn costs are cheap when you consider it is what businesses want, a on-hand pool of temporary workers and a backstop to wage inflation. If there was zero unemployment, the wage growth would be going through the roof!

    Who’d be moaning then I wonder?

    • Yeah well we will have to, soon that is, go from a pre funding model to a post funding loans system where the principle capital accumulation of superannuation continues on and retiries, beneficiaries or what ever borrows against it but eventually that compound interest reverses the payments. Call it what you will, a pyramid scheme. What ever. Let’s hear yours.

  8. During the Covid lockdown I was representing Support Workers. Although their “for profit employers” had the DHB money rolled over on condition that the SWs were paid their average wage this didn’t happen. the DHBs cancelled home cares and many clients were too frightened to have the SWs in their house because they had (initially anyway) no PPE so the number of cares were cut down. Many SWs were on half their average wage for this period. Many of them still had to pay their SW debt of $50.00 per pay for recoverable loans out of their much reduced pay. Many of them were forced to go back on the sole parent benefit as a result. THis is simply outrageous.

  9. Its so easy to get into debt, all you need to do is work a casual job on a weekend, incorrectly predict those hours before the 5pm deadline on Friday before the weekend or Thursday if its a public holiday on Monday or Wednesday if its Easter and WINZ will pay you more than what you were entitled to, they don’t give you a choice in the matter then write you up a debt for the overpayment then use source deductions, before you had a chance to object and take the money from future benefit payments, and most likely let you know after the first debt deduction payments been taken out.

  10. Here’s a fun thing to help any benificiary get a sense of scale on just how rich they’re not.
    Boingboing.net/
    “It’s almost impossible to understand how rich Jeff Bezos is. This mind-blowing visualization not only helped me grok his immense wealth, it also made it clearer than ever that the country is owned by a tiny elite.”

    “Wealth shown to scale”
    https://mkorostoff.github.io/1-pixel-wealth/

  11. Thats if you can receive a benefit.
    Being disabled and married to someone who works means I dont qualify because of some low threshold the govt has set.
    If you split my wifes income between us, both of us are earning below the minimum wage!

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