Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: On benefit fraud

103 Responses

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  • Rob Stowell, in reply to weka,

    Some UBI models balance this out by having a higher tax rate for people on higher incomes i.e. they don’t literally get the extra $ in their bank account.

    To finance anything like a functional livable ubi, a lot of people would need to pay a heap more tax. Some would get it all back, and more; some would get some back, but the wealthier folks would have to take a hit. If it's not a wealth re-distribution system, it's not working (or workable.)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2083 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Yeah. Places of casual humiliation and institutionalised cruelty. A long time since I’ve been personally on a benefit, but I’ve been close enough to get the vibe. Still possible to meet someone decent working there. But social welfare is the last thing they seem designed to foster.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2083 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I want to live as part of a society that does its best to care for everyone. And I'll vote to achieve that if I can.

    We don't currently live in such a society. We as a nation have a government that is comfortable having citizens suffer. And suffer simply because of lack of money. I don't want to be part of that.

    Ms Turei made a choice to deceive an inhumane government out of need. And for those demanding she pay it back I'd argue she already has. She's paid tax at well above the average rate. She's actually given her time to her communities in a direct way.

    But even if she hadn't I would give a damn because what she received was what we should have been willing to give - if we were humane.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4431 posts Report Reply

  • Alec Morgan,

    well conveyed Russell, the “Burn Shipley Burn!” 90s were not golden years for many,

    as the initial 80s wrecking ball Roger Douglas swung through the provinces in particular, morphed into the Richardson MOAB, and union busting Employment Contracts Act, this country’s once fairly benevolent Social Security system became more a sadistic punishment maze, and productivity and wages diverged as workers power lessened

    I like the US saying “if you make it to the top floor, don’t forget to send the elevator back down…” and hope it applies this election to 90s alumni voters that are doing better now

    Tokerau Beach • Since Nov 2006 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Alec Morgan,

    “if you make it to the top floor, don’t forget to send the elevator back down…” and hope it applies this election to 90s alumni voters that are doing better now

    Isn't the famous former solo mother who got a degree while on the benefit and eventually made it into parliament still there? Since she's (in)famous for not just pulling up the ladder of opportunity but smashing and burning it, I can only think that a change would require a Green majority in parliament, not just a few tweaks to the composition.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1120 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Ms Turei made a choice to deceive an inhumane government out of need.

    That would have been the Boldger led Government (first term) to be precise. I don’t remember exactly when the Richardson benifit cuts happened, But I did do a three mounth full time welding course around about then. It was fully funded becouse I was unemployed, and my dole payments continued. I was living on Picton street in leafy ponsonby at the time, in a grand house which housing corp I think it was, managed. So my share of the rent was minimal. What a lucky bastard! And becouse I was over twenty, I received the higher dole pay rate, which was the price of one crate of big bottles more than the youth rate.

    So thankyou New Zealand people, You’all helped me out back then.

    Yours gratefully,
    Steven Crawford, fabrication engineer and art technician.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4035 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    To finance anything like a functional livable ubi, a lot of companies would need to pay a heap more tax.

    FTFY

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2909 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    If it’s not a wealth redistribution system, it’s not working

    The main reason to redistribute is, that due to ideologies that gave birth to policies that profited a small section of the population (the already wealthy), and corporations that could work all the angles on tax avoidance, has so distorted our previously social democratic state, it is the best and quickest way to restore something resembling wealth balance in society.
    And the dishonourable S Joyce & co can go suck eggs.


    Thanks for that info about Pilger Rob.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1715 posts Report Reply

  • John McCormick,

    Presumably all the people demanding that Metiria Turei pay back the govt have never broken the speed limit. Because if they had, they would now be rushing to the Ministry of Transport to pay the required fines. They broke the law and didn't get caught, same as Metiria. Why shouldn't the same principle apply? I would make a wild guess that a lot of those people have expensive cars and a sense of entitlement. If they paid for every time the total would probably be quite large.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to John McCormick,

    Presumably all the people demanding that Metiria Turei pay back the govt have never broken the speed limit. Because if they had, they would now be rushing to the Ministry of Transport to pay the required fines. They broke the law and didn’t get caught, same as Metiria. Why shouldn’t the same principle apply?

    All the people demanding Metiria Turei pay back what ever money she wasn't entitled to, are behaving like Swiss machinery. The big difference regarding them and her is that they didn't incriminate themselves selfs while being the leader of a political party at the start of an election campaign.

    I still think it was an odd thing she did and I'm puzzled. But if it helps the Greens get into power, then benefits could rise by up to forty dollars per week for the single adult - less than the price of a crate of big bottles.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4035 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to andin,

    policies that profited a small section of the population (the already wealthy), and corporations that could work all the angles on tax avoidance, has so distorted our previously social democratic state

    Exactly. Lawful tax avoidance - it's neoliberalism all grown up and on steroids - globalisation, the ideological sham of the 21st century.

    How we reverse it is anyone's guess, but I can't get past the feeling that the utter chaos and turmoil we are experiencing globally right now is its progeny.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody,

    Anyone else find this statement from Paula Bennett interesting;

    Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett, someone with firsthand experience of the welfare system, said she was never deliberately in a position to lie to WINZ.

    I take that to mean, she never deliberately lied, but did by accident. Another master of spin.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/94789628/new-zealands-welfare-system-is-no-longer-a-functioning-system

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    never deliberately in a position to lie to WINZ

    I take it to mean, she’s assuming some other position that I don’t want to visualise.
    Seriously, that’s … not just odd, not just spinning, but a deviantly legalistic turn of phrase, too hedged by far to have any real-world application.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1820 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to linger,

    Glad you thought so too.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Now that we are onto the turning of phrase, I’ve been noticing politicians not answering questions by saying : “sorry, that’s above my pay grade”. Grant Robinson did it this morning.

    I would counsel politicians against expressing that world view, during election season. But I'm probably not paid enough to be taken to seriously.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4035 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to steven crawford,

    Now that we are onto the turning of phrase, I’ve been noticing politicians not answering questions by saying : “sorry, that’s above my pay grade”.

    Is that right? Not that I'd know, but it's the kind of talk that I'd have assumed happened with strippers and football teams.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4586 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    she was never deliberately in a position to lie to WINZ.

    In other words, when she was in a position to lie to WINZ she got there by accident.

    She is very carefully not denying that she lied to WINZ.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1120 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Is that right?

    It must be the new cliche cycling the public service corridors. I’ve heard it several times over the radio resently. It’s getting above my station to say, but that’s what happens whth letter to the editer.

    Regards
    Stippler Steve
    from Waiheki island.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4035 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Now, seen as how this is the Winz confessional blog – I feel I must confess that have during my early life I said I was living in a fixed abode, when I was in fact living in a car. But I didn’t receive an accommodation supplement at that time becouse it hadn’t been invented. There was a process for getting an unemployment benefit in Auckland that meant first going the the department of Labour at the bottom of Queen street, then going to the department of Social Welfare at the top. I remember they didn’t have desks with “Client Managers” they had booths with Authorities. But as nostalgic as all that is, it was easier to participate in society. It didn’t cost a lot of money to comply with drivers licensing and so on.

    Oh, and Sue Bradford was leading beneficiaries rights protest actions, a little later. I think that was around the time the co leader of the Green Party was struggling on the benefit. Small World.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4035 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to steven crawford,

    Now, seen as how this is the Winz confessional blog

    It is?

    Forgive me Russell for I have sinned, I took money from the guvmint what I was not s'posed to... Although I don't actually recall doing that, but I'm sure I did. I was more inclined to trespass against corporations that trespassed against me than go through the bureacrazy to get money that I didn't actually need (lucky to be me, I know). I was on the dole for a bit, but my supervisory official was a woman I went to university with and she just looked at me and said "we don't have the sort of job you should be looking for, so I'm not imposing a job search requirement. Now take your dole and go away". As you might guess, that was about 1990.

    I fear Pullya Benefit would demand "three paean to RogerDouglas and kick a homeless person" for absolution, where Russell might be more inclined to "donate that sum to charity".

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1120 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    she never deliberately lied

    Bennett's wording in the RNZ interview included "I never lied to them as such". Now, what could that mean .. ?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19554 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell, in reply to Sacha,

    She probably used a terminological inexactitude, instead.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 470 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Bennett said that Barclay “went thru an absolute week” during that interview. I think she might be abandoning the John Key impersonation infavour of Donald Trump.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4035 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Sacha,

    "I never lied to them as such"

    Charitably that could mean that she lied about being available for full-time work while on the unemployment benefit and studying (or some similar stupid requirement).

    I am guessing she's trying to exclude lying by omission, suggesting she failed to report income or a relationship and considers that lying by omission despite the requirement that claimants affirmatively state the lack of income on a regular basis.

    But the cynical part of me takes it to mean that every statement she made included truthful elements, like "I, Paula Bennett {this bit is true} have no income to declare {this is the "as such" part}".

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1120 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I told a lie to claim benefits. Now I am an MP
    and I want to tell you why

    - Metiria Turei

    https://www.theguardian.com/global/commentisfree/2017/jul/20/lie-claim-benefits-mp-tell-you-why-new-zealand?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7743 posts Report Reply

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