Our welfare system hates & punishes poor people – thanks Labour

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When Labour won the election in 2017, they inherited a neoliberal welfare system primed to punish, malign and damage.

MSD specialised in mass surveillance and purposely obtuse language with rules designed to hide a persons full entitlement while entrapping those in relationships.

Oranga Tamariki was stealing babies.

Housing NZ was throwing tenants onto the streets for fake meth contamination.

Labour were too gutless and cowardly to force real reforms through our cruel welfare system and no where can that failure to act be seen best than in the immense malice in separated parenting rules…

The mothers struggling to feed their babies while the state keeps all their child support

Child support collection does nothing to help the country’s poorest families, as the state keeps more than $150m each year to balance its books instead of passing it on to mothers and children.

A Stuff investigation has found more than a third of child support paid by parents to Inland Revenue, totalling more than $900m in the past five years, has been intercepted before it gets to kids.

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That’s because of a law that says if a primary caregiver is on a benefit, the Government is entitled to take the child’s support money to recoup the cost of welfare.

…we have this punishment policy to make solo fathers and mothers suffer, it’s a punishment meted out when one of the parents requires welfare.

The State taxes the father through child support clawbacks as a means to punish him for leaving, that money doesn’t go to his child, it goes to the State as a penalty for the Mother going on welfare.

Jenny Shipley brought it in and it has stayed on the books as a way to whip ‘dead beat dads’.

The damage this causes is immense in terms of the financial well being of the child and the animosity it causes between the parents.

It is like all our neoliberal welfare system, punitive.

This rule is for the benefit of the State, not the well being of the individuals.

 

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53 COMMENTS

  1. Interest rates just have to go to 10%, scumlords and ghost homes will rush to the exit, house prices will drop 50% long term, FHB’s only locked out due to not having the deposit will be able to snap up a decent home for their family, renters will then have more options from NZ housing. All round perfection. All that rental top up tax payers money not needed. All the greed stopped. Happiness and fairness will return to NZ. The likes of this grub won’t be happy because he will have less millions and less power. Wonderful! https://www.oneroof.co.nz/news/ashley-church-how-to-solve-the-housing-crisis-without-screwing-house-prices-40252

    • You do realise why immigration is so popular don’t you? Prices will never go down as long as immigration is high, they will increase, and it also keeps inflation down with low wages. Win, win for status quo.

      Now it’s insane in NZ because so many wages and jobs are cash/underpaid or ghost or illegal jobs in industries that are ballooning like construction, retail, factories, food, gangs in NZ but not producing any real wealth for the country, and many are destructive to people’s health.

      Meanwhile for whatever reason, many of these so called shortages of jobs seem to not be employing more people in NZ, such as todays article saying that migrant doctors (in NZ) who apply for jobs with DHB’s are being told there are no jobs. NZ is so full of “busy work” managers ballooning everywhere and taking slices off ponzis, it is no wonder that nobody can be employed in a primary role anymore with real skills. All the budget is taken!

  2. As with all today’s posts on TDB – roll on ’23.
    Labour, and this “team of 5 mullyin” will get what we deserve in this space, going forward.

  3. “Labour were too gutless to….. ‘ pretty well sums up this Labour Party. THEY ARE TOO GUTLESS. Such a shame and a total waste of opportunity.

  4. Martyn
    Let’s get straight to some of he nitty gritty. How would fix ‘before it gets to the kids’? In many cases that ‘kids’ money is not spent on what kid needs.

    • I was one of those fathers. I did all I could to assist my ex partner off the benefit. The state were like a pack of nazis. No help understanding nor empathy. They just wanted my payments.

        • The Kraut Everybody can’t do the right thing all the time like you The Kraut. Some need support while trying to cope with contradicting demands driving in different directions, and always with negative people demeaning.

          • No problem with support for people trying to cope, In fact for thekids, I am happy for more support. Would be good to know for sure that it actually really mostly goes to the kids needs, wouldn’t it?

  5. 5 years of neglect and counting……But hey let’s give the vote to 16yr olds because we want to gerrymander the election process. Only in New Zimbabwe with Jacinda Mugabe in power.

    • Bahahahahaha!

      Like all the boundary changes National made and they still couldn’t buy an election.
      At least the North Shore is a National party South African stronghold and we know the history of that country Frwankie.

      • Morning Bertie. As of this morning in Sobibor we can have a picnic and get pissed with 9 of our mates. Aren’t you excited – work will set you free…….

        • What’s this Zimbabwe political talk. This is our problem with immigrants, they bring their own warped approaches to mix in with our confusion which makes it harder to fight our way through to our true Destiny. Oh hell the Bish has got that name already I think. Just being a NZr – how to do that and find our way back to the place we were before? Let’s cut down on immigration from everywhere to what would be a manageable proportion. That would also reduce our complement of foreign bureaucrats – send them back to where they came from. The other countries in the world need their ‘healing’ hands more than we do.

            • Kiwis don’t have a problem with immigrants they are schoolmates, friends, neighbours, customers, members of our families. I believe NZ was a somewhat fairer place though less sophisticated and less cosmopolitan when it had a smaller population. Not being an overly crowded country is one of the best aspects of NZ. Cap the population at 5million and watch the nation become more wealthy per capita by the day. Financially, environmentally and socially.

            • What are you wanting to know exactly Michal? Are you one of those slippery people who turn a comment inside out looking for holes to pick at?
              If you are going to say that we have all been immigrants some time and so no-one can refer to large numbers being a problem then you need to sharpen your ideas.

      • Correction Bert, it used to a South African stronghold, I think you will find other nationalities have moved into the shore.

  6. MSD and Oranga Tamariki are like two peas in a pod. They are the systems you end up with, after countless reviews by bean counters and career bureaucrats, and are now just a shadow of the aspirations of those who originally set them up. Perverse outcomes are now the usual.

    Helping children by harming children? Helping those on low income by reducing their income? Breaching them 50% for the merest transgression, with little comeback, and the breach meaning that any further transgression has a 100% penalty. The sharp end of neoliberalism, that has not been blunted by Jacinda after one and a bit terms in govt. Imagine if the next mistake Jacinda made, and its only human to make mistakes, cuts her income by 50%. Of course 50% of a large amount is still quite a large amount. But cutting 50% from someone who’s only just scraping by, is a completely different story, and a completely different world, where a persons whole thinking is changed, in ways that can reinforce the welfare rut. MSD making it so difficult to qualify for payments, giving the perverse outcome that unless an employment opportunity is absolutely sound, why risk going off welfare knowing how difficult it is to get back on. You feel like it would be more transparent to be dealing with the mafia. Will MSD only be happy after it has forced jobseekers into becoming working girls or accepting peace rates below minimum wage? Does damaging people really help anyone?

    What would happen if MSD decided to do the complete opposite, and make it as easy and smooth as possible for those applying. Would the sky suddenly fall down, or would it be a case of, why didn’t they think of doing this years ago. But no they won’t, for tightening criteria, is what justifies the existence of many of those currently at MSD. Self interest wins out over doing what’s right.

    I genuinely hope Jacinda never experiences it, but that she does try to understand it, and maybe use an ounce of that kindness of hers constructively. MSD is still keen on rolling out increasing levels of surveillance. For example their job bank website is now blocking vpn’s, which can only mean that MSD is tracking the IP addresses of those who access it. They are as addicted to surveillance, as a junkie is to their next hit.

    • Prime Minister’s should have to live in one of the poorest suburbs in the country, probably in South Auckland. Having to face that every day really might get some action. She could also see how bloody useless the MPs are in Mangere, Manukau and Manurewa, all these years of holding those seats and they have done squat. When Robertson held one of those seats for Labour his big claim to fame was that he was the patron of every sports club……………. says it all really. Google his name and put poverty beside it – you won’t get any result, or his name and poor, or his name and homeless… zilch.

      • I lived in the Manukau East electorate for 21 years.
        If you had a ham sandwich stand for the seat under the Labour banner it would win in a landslide.
        Truth be known it would probably be more effective than the MP who represented the electorate for 19 of the years I was there.

    • Who’d be desperate enough to work for Oranga Tamariki?

      > If you don’t uplift kids in danger and they get bashed to death – it’s your fault.
      > If you DO uplift kids in danger – then you’re a wacist!

      • Kiwis don’t have a problem with immigrants they are schoolmates, friends, neighbours, customers, members of our families. I believe NZ was a somewhat fairer place though less sophisticated and less cosmopolitan when it had a smaller population. Not being an overly crowded country is one of the best aspects of NZ. Cap the population at 5million and watch the nation become more wealthy per capita by the day. Financially, environmentally and socially.

      • My daughter worked there when it was called Cyfs. Five years of social work training, paid a pittance but often appearing in court for the child and being more knowledgeable about a case than the well-paid lawyers and judges who have no training in child psychology and welfare. Colleagues with little or no training or incompetent or not smart enough to do a good job. Continually observing cases being mishandled. Staff over-burdened with too big caseloads. She really helped ‘her’ kids and their families but after a depressive episode wasn’t desperate enough to stay for her planned career.

  7. Yeah, yeah, yeah jonesy, FtheT, TK et al….
    The Natz constantly blamed the GFC, Chch earthquake etc for their perceived and/or real inaction on anything they could have progressed.
    Labour has Covid – a real and much bigger distraction from day-to-day governing (not forgetting terrorist attacks and natural disasters), than anything the Key-led Natz had to deal with.
    That said, Jacinda cannot do it all herself. I marvel at what she actually does get through.
    In her first term she had NZ First holding her back from real reform; now Covid.
    And yes, she has only 3 or 4 ministers worth the title. She can only work with what she’s given (which, for all their non-performance, is vastly better than what the Opposition can offer!).
    From observing their parliamentary performance there maybe a few Labour back-benchers who could do a lot better than some incumbent ministers.
    But to turn around the disaster of 32 years of neo-liberalism and all it brings with it, will take more than a one-term majority government, when also dealing with Covid. And as even HDPA says, Labour might be doing it OK right now, but with the utter shambles that is the Opposition, they would be much, much worse (or words to that effect) – and she’s a dyed-in-the-wool right-wing commentator.

    PS Jonesy, I can say “yes’ to 4/10 of your questions but give Labour another term or two and it will be at 9/10 – a pretty good pass mark, I would have thought.

    • If Labour had another 2 terms the arrogance would creep in and they would lose touch with the minions just like Helen did and National did. For both parties it is a small country and their false promises start to catch up and after 8 years in power the blame the other party loses it effect.
      With the combined effect of covid and climate change it is a pity an entity similar to the W2 cabinet could not be set up .
      Between the 4 main parties there has to be enough brains to get us up and running and the Maori Party could make sure it fitted in with the Treaty requirements..

  8. Sad that now kids and payments around them, have become very prominent in NZ.

    DPB was set up to help woman escape abusive relationships which was great, but now it is better to be on the DPB and have children as you don’t have to worry about money now our wages are so low.

    I’m not against the DPB, but there needs to be more concern that you are better off on the DPB than keeping a relationship going or being a member of the working poor on minimum and gig wages.

    Know a number of people with fights with their partners with false claims to safeguard the regular payments. Obviously for every one of those, there are partners who are abusing their family and shoudn’t be involved. The point is, too many people seem to be having kids and then seem to loathe and fight their previous partner.

    Tip, if you are better off in your low wage job, if you split up and one goes on the DPB (you can still stay overnight with your partner 2 x per week and it not be a relationship, I’ve been told).

    Sad for the kids to be born into this dysfunctional situation.

    The excess money collected from Dads should also go to the kids after the DPB is taken out.

    There should be more thought into ways to stop people having children outside of long term relationships if they then fall back onto the state for their long term support and if that category is growing.

    For every bad story in this, there are benefits too, in which people are supported when relationships break up.

    The problem is, that I fear that other factors like low wages and residency applications are now starting to skew this system and balloon it into becoming the new normal, rather than the original intentions.

    • please get on with the times
      the DPB is now the sole parent benefit.
      non of these benefit is enough to live on your own,
      but sometimes ‘staying in a relationship’ can end up producing dead bodies.
      The point is that alimony should be going towards the upkeep of the children. Clothes, food, doctors, uniforms for schools, school trips, a birthday cake and a pressy for that birthday and christmas.
      Instead, the mother or father who is looking after the kids don’t get to see pennies, and our PM waxes lyrically about how we are generous enough to provide some sandwiches and some sanitary pads and tampons to our poor and needy kids in school.
      For shame NZ.

  9. ” It is like all our neoliberal welfare system, punitive.

    This rule is for the benefit of the State, not the well being of the individuals.

    Yeah the team of five million is is asked to sacrifice in a pandemic when it suits the neo liberal machine but will never address the evil and cruelty of market policies against the impoverished poor and our elderly included who suffer under this repressive economic capitalist system with no hope of escape.

  10. ” It is like all our neoliberal welfare system, punitive.

    This rule is for the benefit of the State, not the well being of the individuals.

    Yeah the team of five million is is asked to sacrifice in a pandemic when it suits the neo liberal machine but will never address the evil and cruelty of market policies against the impoverished poor and our elderly included who suffer under this repressive economic capitalist system with no hope of escape.

    • Spot on @ Mosa.
      What’s chilling is that your views are a rare thing here.
      Does that indicate a general thinking and awareness then? I see plenty of snipe and bitter banter but fuck all about action, unity and change. I see fuck all of any kind of value actually.
      There’s an unfortunate saying which springs to mind.
      “One can lead a whore to culture but can you make her think?”
      The saying implies that working women are stupid. Which, of course they’re not. They’re merely desperate.
      What is it about our society, OUR society, that drives women, with kids specifically, to fucking strangers in order to pay the power bill?
      We have deep and terrifying problems in our rich AO/NZ and we’ve barely begun a journey along a curative vector.
      Why is that??

  11. Come to the conclusion there is no point in voting anymore if you’re poor.
    None of them really want to help you, just endless lip service of what they might do in the future but anybody with that experience know its just words and do nothing.
    Labour did a bunch of reviews and then sat on all of it, reviews is all we can expect, not action after.
    Look at medicinal cannabis, 3 years of running around and now we have products just as expensive as the ones we complained and made an election issue out of.
    A referendum where they let right wing religious nutters spread whatever nonsense they wanted and non binding just in case we won.
    Reviews on poverty and disability and done nothing.

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