Slight digression, I'm boggling at Bill English:
He said it was understandable Kiwis did not save as much when they received interest-free student loans and healthcare.
They saw their taxes as an “insurance premium” covering those things. But he said he was not signalling a move to more user-pays.
He ruled out significant tax cuts in the near future, saying it would be “a wee while yet” before there was room for that.
[ Source ]
Taxes are an insurance premium ?? There’s a Thatcher legacy, right there.
I’m not even sure you save pennies. I have the strongest suspicion that if we were to reverse the philosophy of our disability services – from the withdrawal of resources to the provision of resources – we’d waste a lot less money and spend no more than we are spending.
The admin time spent on finely-dissecting applications must be simply unbelievable.
To give the DA as example (only thing I have direct experience of), not only do I have to provide a receipt for every single occurrence of every cost, but at least 2 levels of WINZ staff have to itemise and check them. All for a few dollars more or less which I may or may not have spent.
And when they decide to ditch my DA, as they do every few years, I have to reapply and be reinstated. Or they give me the wrong amount and I have to appeal, and my appeal has to be processed and then my arrears calculated.
All of this admin time is being paid for in relation to me and my disability but serves only to hamper and distress me, not to help me or make me more able .
Public money is essentially being spent harassing disabled people and our families.
The Child and the Adult Disability Allowances are quite different things.
No-one's disputing that, are they? But surely both are subject to arbitrary obstacles, cuts, and hierarchies of "need".
Fascinating post, thank you.
Also: Gabor Toth, thanks for yours.
Some really fascinating material in this thread.
ETA: Thanks to Peter Darlington for this stonking Glenda Jackson speech on Thatcherism .
We need to regard people as worthwhile.
Giovanni, that blog post of yours is remarkable. I'm sorry you had occasion to write it, but glad you put it out there so eloquently and forcefully.
If I can digress slightly into the adult DA, I've had it all my adult life, except for when changes in policy meant I couldn't get it. I think it's seen as an easy target when WINZ is cost-cutting, because no one will starve without it. They'll just suffer more than they were before, and that's largely invisible to society.
A couple of years ago I got a letter saying my DA was being reduced to $12/wk, "because my circumstances had changed". The only circumstance that had changed was a new regional policy at WINZ. So I asked my doc to write to them, And they put it up by $12. I asked him to write again , and it went up by another $12.
At my next annual review the case manager said, "but that's crazy, you should be getting the maximum!" and put it back up, with a flick of the wrist.
I understand that managers are sometimes required to make savings for the department as part of their employment conditions. so they go around cutting individuals' entitlements unless there is active protest or resistance.
And my doctor said he was getting an increasing number of phonecalls from WINZ questioning "just how sick/disabled is this person?". The calls would come from the regional office from a person who'd would never met any of the clients whose quality-of-life they were deciding on.
Sorry, I don't mean this to be a derail. Just how all of this is so ass-backwards.
Imagine if we could start from a person's needs, and how they could be best supported to realise their full potential. Instead of "how little support can we get away with?"
the next one, which is coming up on 28th of April.
Hmmm, not sure I'm free...
Absolutely fascinating roundup of today’s Thatcher front-pages in the UK .
Thatcher became PM in 1979, and retained that position for 11 years. In the 23 years since, the UK has not had another female PM. In the UK as in NZ, women are still woefully under-represented in Parliament.
This is why we have to be careful about gendered insults. They contribute to a hostile environment for women in the political arena. This is not a petty consideration.
Likewise for gendered compliments. When two women contest the same electorate seat, it’s “Battle of the Babes”. Moving on from this mindset is essential to having a truly representative democracy.
I think I prefer discussion that has no name-calling, though
I think it’s an age-and-place thing because usually I agree. Russell explains it well with his comment about the profound alienation and division Thatcher’s government left behind.
I totally agree that her legacy is toxic. I remember the breathtaking scariness of her regime. But I don’t think name-calling helps. Excoriating analysis of her words and actions, fine; personal insults, meh. It’s too easy and too unhelpful. IMO. :-)