Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > WINZ, waste, and wonky numbers

WINZ, waste, and wonky numbers

From previous blogpost,  Bill English: When numbers don’t fit, or just jump around

… Paula Bennett has directed WINZ to make life more difficult for the unemployed, when registering with WINZ. As if losing one’s job wasn’t stressful enough, Bennet has forced the implementation of some draconian rules and requirements for beneficiaries. (The implication being that it’s the fault of  the unemployed for being unemployed?!)

One of the bureacratic bundles of red tape are the number of forms issued to WINZ applicants.

For those readers who have never had the “delight” of dealing with WINZ – these are the forms that are required to be filled out. Note: every single applicant is given these forms (in a little plastic carry-bag).

And if you have to reapply to WINZ for a benefit (if, say, you’ve lost your job again) you are required to fill out these forms all over again.

This is where taxpayer’s money is really going to waste in welfare.

All up, seventythree  pages of information and forms to  read, understand,  fill out, to collect information,

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73 pages of WINZ forms (1)

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73 pages of WINZ forms (2)

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(Blogger’s Note: for a comprehensive view of each page, please go to previous blogpost:  Bill English: When numbers don’t fit, or just jump around)

This system becomes even more laughable when one considers that if an an applicant has been a WINZ “client” (ie, beneficiary) before, they remain on MSD’s computer files. Much of the information sought is already  on-file.

The cost of this must be horrendous, and it is ironic that at a time when National is cutting “back room” support staff to save money, that they are permitting taxpayer funding for this ‘Monty Pythonesque ‘ exercise in out-of-control form-filling. (More on that below.)

No wonder that this was reported in Fairfax media,

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett this morning said latest figures showed 328,043 people were now on benefits, with 57,058 of those on an unemployment benefit.

Reforms passed by Parliament require people on an unemployment benefit to reapply for it after one year. Bennett said this change had led to 5000 people cancelling their benefit.

More than 1400 of those said they had found work, more than 2600 didn’t complete a reapplication and more than 1000 were no longer eligible. ”

See: 5000 beneficiaries quit dole rather than reapply

How many people with minimal education or poor command of the English language could hope to fill out so many forms of such complexity?

By contrast, applying for a bank mortage is vastly simpler – an irony considering the vastly greater sums of money involved.

In fact, an application for an ANZ Mortgage comprises of eight pages (four, double-sided),

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

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Eight pages for a mortgage to borrow anywhere from $250,000 to $1 million and upward.

And 72 pages for an unemployment benefit of  $204.96 per week, net, for a single person over 25. (See:  Unemployment Benefit – current)

So how much does all this cost us?

Last year, this blogger emailed the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) with an Official Information Act (OIA) request, asking what the cost of all these pamphlets cost,

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Date: Tue, Wednesday, 14 November 2012 1:38 PM
From: Frank Macskasy
Subject: Information Request
To: Paula Bennett “Paula.bennett@parliament.govt.nz”

Kia Ora Ms Bennett,

I would like to make an official Freedom of Information Request.

Please provide information as to the costings of the following forms and information leaflets produced by MSD/WINZ;

“Work and Income Employment-Earnings Verification” (VO6-mar 2011)

“Work and Income Find a job build a future Tools to help you find work” (JOBSW0007-nov 2010)

“Jobz4u Manual Jobseeker Enrolment” (-)

“Work and Income Unemployment Benefit Application” (M18-JUL 2011)

“Work and Income Unemployment Benefit Application – What to bring” (M18-JUL 2011)

“Work and Income How can we help you” (CM0001 – OCT 2010)

“Work and Income Online Services”  (-)

“Work and Income” plastic carrybag for above items.

Please provide total costings for EACH item printed, on an annual basis for the last four years, and a break-down of costings for usage per year and per WINZ client.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Regards,
-Frank Macskasy
Blogger

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After seeking an extension, on 4 February this year,  the MSD replied with these costings,

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MSD 1 Feb 2013 OIA response (1)

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MSD 1 Feb 2013 OIA response (2)

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Firstly, it’s disappointing to note that of the eight items that I requested costings for, MSD could provide figures for only five. They admitted not have costings for two documents (“Jobz4u Manual Jobseeker Enrolment” and “Work and Income Online Services” ) and made no mention of another (“Work and Income Unemployment Benefit Application – What to bring” ).

However, based on figures provided for other documents, we can certainly make some rough guesses. If MSD’s  figures are correct,  over four years, the cost of printing these 72 pages is around $1 million. Not a hell of a lot, when considering that WINZ benefit’s will be approximate $4.9 billion for just this financial year alone (see:  Budget 2012 – Vote Social Development).

But if a Bank can offer mortgages from $1 to millions of dollars, using an eight page application form – then why would a government department be wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars – millions over decades – for a measely $204.96 (per week, net, for a single person over 25)?

The reason is fairly obvious.

A Bank welcomes a new client in the hope of offering a financial service – eg, a mortgage. Banks view clients as assets.

Under the current government, WINZ is actively discouraging people from signing up for welfare assistance,

Reforms passed by Parliament require people on an unemployment benefit to reapply for it after one year. Bennett said this change had led to 5000 people cancelling their benefit.

More than 1400 of those said they had found work, more than 2600 didn’t complete a reapplication and more than 1000 were no longer eligible. ”

See: 5000 beneficiaries quit dole rather than reapply

Yet, at a time when we have a critical shortage of skilled workers in this country – especially tradespeople for the Christchurch re-build – National views those seeking welfare assistance as a liability.

This is about as short-sighted as a conservative, market-oriented government can get. It shows a lot about the narrow-sightedness of National’s ministers when, like a bank, they don’t see that 170,000 unemployed is an asset waiting to be upskilled; trained and supported into new careers.

Just imagine; 170,000 new builders, computer technicians, doctors, electricians, nurses, quantity-surveyors,  scientists, teachers, vets, etc. Imagine the economic growth this country would have if National viewed an army of 170,000 unemployed as an asset waiting to be tapped – rather than discouraged.

I can imagine it.

National evidently can’t. Not when they prefer to spend millions on 72 pages of bureacratic rubbish, which would put of a lot of people.

I wonder how much business a bank would get if they demanded that new clients fill out 72 pages of forms?

Not much,  I’d wager.

So why does the government do it?

Addendum

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Unemployment rate falls as more give up job hunt

Source

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This is the predictable consequence when a hands-off government does nothing to grow the economy and generate new jobs.

This is the predictable consequence when a government treats unemployed workers as a liability to be discouraged and labelled as ‘bludgers’ – rather than recognising the asset that they really are.

This is the predictable consequence of a National government.

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= fs =

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  1. 8 February 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Hi there Frank – thank you so much for posting this. After many years as a business manger business executive and lastly a part time administrator I had to confront these very things – the company I worked for last went bust in November 2012. I found it unbelievable the amount of information required in order to possibly gain assistance. Then I was welcomed by suggestions I might need to go on a seven week course on how to create a CV (a private contractor is engaged by WINZ to take these ourses) yes I said it correctly SEVEN WEEKS…..The person I was assigned to was very polite – but gave me the impression (which I’ve heard others relate) I was taking their pay out of their own bank account – not really the “we’re here to help you regain employment” I had believed until then. I have had no further contact from WINZ since, am receiving money with no documentation as to what the money I receive money actually covers – so I have no way of knowing if it is correct, covers everything I’m entitled to, or indeed is completely in error. I’ve applied so far for fifteen jobs via Seek and Trade-me as well as direct to companies with only one single acknowledgement of receipt of application, and no interviews, as yet. It is not a good place to be I can assure you.

    • 8 February 2013 at 1:51 pm

      Hi Neil,

      From experience in assisting others, I can vouch for every word you’vre written. I think there are an awful lot of fellow New Zealanders in your boat who’ve just come to realise the ‘Monty Pythonesque’ nature of the WINZ system…

      I wish you lots of luck – especially in the current environment. And as I tell other folk – don’t let the bastards grind you down. You have 170,000 others for company. :-)

    • 8 February 2013 at 10:38 pm

      Neil – hit the nail on the head.

      I am in a similar position: ex-IT Manager, unemployed since 2008.

      Currently looking to re-start my own business again, as this seems the only way out of an increasingly large hole.

      Unless people have actually been through the process, they simply don’t believe that this is what we are facing. More and more unemployed are highly skilled.

      I could tell you some rank stories about my experience with them: in a phrase, I am basically a leper as far as I can tell. Trouble is, I know the legislation better than them these days, so I have weekly stoushes about what they can and can’t do, and where they fall short.

      They advised me, among other pearls of wisdom, to drop qualifications off my CV – apparently it “scares some employers”.

      And there I was thinking my education and work experience will be of benefit to this country. Apparently not. Couldn’t even get my own job back. Question on the application for my old position: “How well do you know our system”. Answer: I spec’d it, installed it, and ran it for 2 years. “Have you worked for us before and if so, in what capacity?” Answer: I was your IT Manager for 3 years.

      Didn’t even make the shortlist. “Thanks for your interest. Due to the high number of applicants we have decided to go with a number of candidates who are more suited to the role.”

      That is, a role I basically wrote the JD for. I know this, because when I got the position, my own words stared back at me. I’ve still got the drafts from the last time I had discussed the parameters of the job with the then-HR manager. They hadn’t even changed it … I got laid off when the boss decided a mate of hers would be better suited, and outsourcing the other half of the technical work to … Croatia.

      So I hope you find something soon. 1800+ applications later … well, you can see why I’m looking to restart something off my own bat now. It seems like it will be the only way.

      I seriously wish you the best of luck.

      • 9 February 2013 at 12:58 am

        I have been repeatedly told that I should ‘dumb down’ my CV as my qualifications are “off-putting.” But as I am over 50 these days perhaps it is not so important anymore.

  2. 8 February 2013 at 1:31 pm

    This is, of course, simply bumph for the sake of bumph, in the hope that those who are staggered by the sheer amount of information that must be provided and re-provided (even though it is, in fact, all there already on the Ministry’s computers if you have had a benefit before) will simply go away and quietly starve to death.

    • 8 February 2013 at 1:55 pm

      Indeed, Kiwimac. I have a suspicion that is precisely why so many gave up on re-applying. Anyone facing 72 pages of forms, plus the experience mentioned by Neil above, would be daunted…

      Meanwhile, a reader passed on to me a copy of Kiwibank’s Mortgage Application: four pages (two double-sided).

      Could the moral of this story be to apply for a $1 million bank-mortgage, as the paperwork is easier?! (Apologies if this sounds flippant to anyone on such a serious topic.)

  3. Tao
    8 February 2013 at 1:46 pm

    the very essence of welfare; a tool for applying pressure on existing jobs by falsely creating the impression that there are numerous able applicants available for a position. That pressure of course is applied using real people living on the margins of society in poverty. People growing more and more desperate and becoming increasingly prepared to accept lower and lower standards of living. This is the accepted way to manage the economy and control inflation. As Suzanne Snively of the Reserve Bank Board of Directors from 1985-92 has said: “…it was a manageable thing for the reserve bank to use employment and unemployment as a means to get wages down, it was far easier than any other means to get inflation down, so they used it” (Barry).http://www.pippinbarr.com/games/artgame/ArtGame.html

    • K
      8 February 2013 at 11:00 pm

      Excellent point Tao

  4. 8 February 2013 at 1:47 pm

    At least Paula is keeping the government printer in a job….

  5. kris
    8 February 2013 at 1:49 pm

    thnx Frank as woindering wot the vile bitch was up to.when she is quiet i worry

  6. 8 February 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I think the Government Printing Office was privatised in the 1980s, Laura?

    But it would certainly be keeping other printing companies in business… A secret make-work programme by National?

    • 9 February 2013 at 12:10 pm

      Yes, it was and, of course, it was the one government agency of the time making a profit.

  7. Tao
    8 February 2013 at 2:04 pm

    %5 forced unemployment, fakes job competition, stops wages rising, Gov, uses forced poverty to controls inflation. http://www.socialwelfareactivist.blogspot.co.nz/

  8. 8 February 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Until fairly recently it was nearly impossible to get information out of WINZ. Now they go the other extreme of info-dumping by providing so much information that most beneficiaries get over-whelmed by it all. It also means that beneficiaries can’t claim that they didn’t know what they were entitled to.

    Most of the information collected on beneficiaries is used to calculate benefit rates. Unlike mortgages where the only information required is needed to determine whether or not a person can service a mortgage the forms for applying for a benefit need to be more complex because the information needed is much greater.

    Having worked as a case manager for WINZ I can tell you there a few simple steps that could be undertaken to drastically reduce fraud/overpayments.

    The first is to over haul their computer system because it is cumbersome to use, many of the programmes are over twenty years old and updating information is a time consuming annoyance because of all the codes that are used. The system is simply not designed to cope for people who do part time work where the hours vary considerably and it’s mistakes resulting from using such an obsolete system that is a major cause of overpayments. (And, note, overpayments are classified as fraud.)

    The second is to scrap the abatement system and replace it with a top up system whereby WINZ covers the difference between a part time wage and the minimum wage calculated over 30 hours (what WINZ defines as full time work). if you earn the equivilant of the minimum wage of 30 hours or more you just don’t get a benefit. It would simplify benefit calculations and provide a real incentive for people to do part time work.

    The third would be to require the taking of a photo of every WINZ client when they apply for a benefit or, if they have a benefit, if they already have one the next time they apply for assistance. That would eliminate duplicate benefit applications.

    • K
      8 February 2013 at 11:07 pm

      I agree with you MMR,

      Photos are invasive, but really they are probably the best way of stopping duplicate benefits. I refer in particular to Samoan’s right to get passports in their mothers maiden name when I say this. I apologise for sounding like a racists but this loophole has existed for as long as I can remember and I am aware that sometimes it is used to get extra benefits.

      • K
        8 February 2013 at 11:08 pm

        I’m sure there are other methods used I am not aware of too.

  9. PS
    8 February 2013 at 2:50 pm

    All that micro-management is a sign of the end…chasing paper has become their core business.

  10. Sam
    8 February 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Call this a joke, i was told off when i didn’t have a copy of my IRD number on a IRD letter-headed letter as i got told that my IRD number could have changed, when i explain to the case-manager that my IRD is like a WINZ client number, its assigned to you for life, and that it doesn’t change, she wanted to know if i went bankrupt and told me thats when it can change and am i sure that i haven’t, this is the same case-manager who cause me to have a underpayment for her gross-incompetence. Now if a over payment is classed as fraud by the client, is a underpayment cause by the Case-manager mean the case-manager is committing fraud and will she or he be charged with fraud and criminally convicted as a client would be

  11. Cheri Gillett-Jackson
    8 February 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Head … brick wall …. bang … bang …. bang …. bang …

  12. Cheri Gillett-Jackson
    8 February 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Add this to their constant re-branding (Social Welfare a.k.a. WINZ a.k.a. Community Link , etc)

  13. KarenHolmes
    9 February 2013 at 9:15 am

    I have dealt with Winz both under the current national government and the previous Labour government and there is a vast difference. The first thing I noticed is that the Winz offices I have dealt with are housing what seems like a third of the staff that they once had. When I went in the other day the wait times for people with appointments were about 1 1/2 hours. There are no public toilets. I saw people needing the toilet needing to ask at reception. The security guard was then given the task of escorting the client to the back waiting outside until client emerged then leading him back to the designated waiting area. With increased waiting times I see parents with preschool children struggling because it is so challenging for young children to wait for these long periods. There are no toys or play equipment to accommodate the reality that many clients have small children with them. I could see people who were waiting so long when they had expected to be seen at the time appointed getting upset , frustrated and uncomfortable. There is something inherently devaluing and demeaning in what I saw happening for people. For me now I feel a kind of blanket of shame overwhelming me going into this toxic environment. There are actively many shaming processes that clients of WINZ are now subjected to. For example, When asking for extra help like an advance for a basic human need that on a benefit cannot be meet or a food grant after a predetermined number a budget must be filled out. Now I am am a capable intelligent professional women and I know that I do not receive enough money to cover the basic needs of my family. Yet the implication with the need for a budget is that the need is created because I am not managing money effectively. It is a shame and blame requirement. The next requirement is to see a budget adviser. I went in to apply for a food grant. The process once I was seen seems to be prolonged with lots needed to be entered in to the computer.This process seemed protracted when compared to other experiences of the same process. After this I was told that the payment card would be loaded in a few minutes and I was to wait in the waiting area till it was bought to me. When a further half hour went by I was starting to feel like I was actively being played with. For a second time during this visit I approached the reception asking what the delay was? The receptionist then approached the worker concerned and within five minutes he came with the card explaining that they had a problem with their computer system. My appointment was scheduled for 11 am I was seen approximately at 12 30 pm I was on my way approximately 2 pm. If I dare have a need in the future I wonder whether the computer system will have a breakdown again. I suspect so.If on the other hand i go in to apply for help with a job interview i imagine miraculously I will have no such problem. And this is not my most demeaning traumatic experience with WINZ either I had a much worse one last year.

    • 9 February 2013 at 12:08 pm

      Some years ago, when I had first been medically retired, I was to attend a meeting at WINZ. I arrived, introduced myself to the receptionist and told her why I was there & who I was to see. My appointment time arrived and no staff member, half an hour passed, I went up to the receptionist, to be told that the staff member had gone home. When I asked why I had not been told I was told that “I had nothing else to do with my time and so it was not of importance that I be told.” Let us just say I was not happy and let the manager know in no uncertain terms that my time was as valuable as anyone elses’.

      • 9 February 2013 at 1:47 pm

        That was unacceptable behaviour on their part, Kiwimac. Aside from the fact that you could’ve had an appointment for a job interview, it’s simple common courtesy to treat you in the same way that those WINZ staffers would like to be treated.

        Could on you for letting the Manager know your feelings. *thumbs-up*

  14. David Duff
    9 February 2013 at 10:56 am

    Benificary bashing is the new racism in this country the government is instigating it that’s the proof right there telling the unemployed that its their fault I was made redundant from my last job it certainly wasn’t my fault the company who I was working for (retail company ) made me redundant only to save money for themselves but according to WINZ that’s my fault? What a joke the next government that gets elected a suggestion a massive overhaul of the whole system instead

    • 22 February 2013 at 10:38 am

      And the tragedy is, David, that this kind of victimisation plays on deep prejudices within the kiwi psyche…

  15. Rural Wife
    9 February 2013 at 11:41 am

    One of my nephews was laid of last year and couldn’t find a new job. (Still unemployed.) WINZ gave him one of those little plastic carry bags filled with forms to fill out. We couldn’t believe it. So that’s what out taxes are going to?

    We had to help Paul fill out the forms and even we struggled.

    Shame on WINZ for putting people through this kind of stress and shame on the government for letting it happen.

    • 9 February 2013 at 1:51 pm

      Unfortunately, Rural Wife, I’m getting more and more stories like yours and others here in my email Inbox.

      This is a culture of waste and treating WINZ “clients” as second-class citizens that, I believe, emanates from the top. It is a form of re-victimising the victims of the recession. Similar to how rape victims were treated in Courts (and still are in some circumstances), when their own character was questioned.

      Being treated like a second-class citizen or dseen as a “bludger”, when you’ve just come from your workplace that has just been placed into liquidation, is re-victimisation.

  16. 9 February 2013 at 11:48 am

    I wonder how many of the present government ministers and National supporters have realatives that are on or have been on benefits. The outright hypocrisy of this present regime is a disgusting indictment against human decency. War on the poor is worse than racism. Blaming the economic woes of a country on the unemployed, sick, elderly, and the infirm is callous and should be stopped before it gets out of hand.

  17. Denny Weisz
    5 March 2013 at 5:02 pm

    …And here’s the rubb………..if you have one hours work or more you are no longer unemployed even though you will be still entitled to claim a “Non Beneficiary Assistance”. What that means is the unemployment benefit and accommodation costs ect …. if what you are earning is shit casual employment. That’s why Pullahs claiming that the unemployment numbers are down to 329,0000. The magic number of people on Non Bene Assistance? About 30,000 to 35,0000

  18. guy
    18 April 2013 at 11:39 am

    I think some of what winz is asking beneficaries to do is illegal, they are asking you to go to places that dont have any jobs advertised and ask for a job, recording the phone number name of individual you talk to and business, then after 3 days you have to call them back, then after 3 days you have to call them back, then you have to give this information to winz, apart from the fact you are creating a database for winz if they choose to use the data like this, your sharing the persons name place of work and business telephone number to prove youre looking for unadvertised jobs with winz would be illegal if you haven’t expressly asked permission to use the information you have acquired in such a way which winz does not explain or require you to do. would someone please test this.

    • 18 April 2013 at 12:36 pm

      Aside from which, Guy, I think most employers might get a bit hacked off if they had several hundred unemployed knocking on their door every day, seekingf a job, and then having to provide their details to WINZ.

      If I was a business owner (which I have been in the past) I know I’d be on the phone quick-smart to WINZ demanding to know who is going to pay for my time, if I was having to do all this work for them.

      I think you’ve raised a valid point, and one I’ll put to the Labour Party and Greens spokespeople on employment..

  19. kerri
    5 July 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Just have to say as a family of four 2 adults 2 kids. My partner had a well paying job that allowed me to be the SAHM for the last 5 years. Which have been great! Now this 2 months being unemployed and with his epilepsy and not having a drivers licence its making it real hard for him to get a job. Oh and don’t get me wrong I have applied for nearly 10jobs during this time. No interviews as yet just rejection letter after rejection letter. Which I can personally say that it is starting to get us down a bit. Oh and not looking fwd to when the redundancy money runs out as it will be a struggle to buy food and petrol and nappies on $20.00 a week (after all bills and insurance is paid) the sucky thing is that we couldn’t get income protection insurance for our mortgage, due his epilepsy :( that would have helped..

  20. 28 January 2014 at 5:39 pm

    There is a subtle difference between a bank application and a WINZ benefit application that may not be immediately clear to the uninitiated.
    A bank gets money from you while WINZ has to pay you.
    In addition, the bank ask for your home as a security, while WINZ asks, well … just to fill in a few forms really.
    Furthermore it does not seem entirely fair to me to compare forms + additional information from WINZ with only the forms from a bank. If you take the effort to actually read the legal fine print form the bank you will notice that the information supplied by WINZ is not that much either.
    The money that you receive from WINZ is actually the money from your neighbour who is working for you and a few others as well. Your neighbour will most likely appreciate that WINZ ensures you are entitled to the money WINZ gives you on your neighbour’s behalf.
    At the same time your neighbour does not really care how much money you pay to the bank as this is your money after all. The bank however does care if you pay them and will sell your house if you don’t pay them in time. WINZ on the other hand will not sell your house or any other possession for that matter, not even if the only thing you actually do is watching grass grow.

    It’s these subtle differences which make a world of difference.
    If you are still not convinced I recommend you to read “Down and Out in Paris and London” by George Orwell. It is an interesting story about how people without work were faring in England and France not to long ago.
    After reading this book you probably will never complain about WINZ again.

  21. 28 January 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks for that comment , John, but I take exception to a few of your points;

    “A bank gets money from you while WINZ has to pay you.”

    The bank also extends credit to you which they can risk losing. Hence the bursting of the housing bubble in the US , leading to the GFC (people were unable to service their loans). So yes, the Bank IS giving you money, albeit not in the same manner as WINZ.

    “Furthermore it does not seem entirely fair to me to compare forms + additional information from WINZ with only the forms from a bank.”

    I think it’s entirely fair. Especially as you and I have to pay for those 73 pages of questionnaires, pamphlets, etc. It’s entirely fair to see where our taxes are going to (to pay for a mountain of forms), which banks do not require.

    “The money that you receive from WINZ is actually the money from your neighbour who is working for you and a few others as well.”

    We all pay for the money we might get from WINZ. 95,000+ New Zalanders were working prior to the GFC and paying tax. Some of that went to the WINZ budget.

    Post 2008, those same 95,000 found themselves made redundant and many went on to receive WINZ support.

    “At the same time your neighbour does not really care how much money you pay to the bank as this is your money after all.”

    Actually, your neighbour should care. The more money we pay for housing prices because of speculative activity, thde more money we borrow from off-shore.

    It may surprise you, but at 31 June 2012, private-sector gross foreign debt was NZ$256.4 billion, or 125.3% of GDP.

    As the RBNZ governor stated in 2012,

    Experience suggests that the aftermath of a debt
    and asset price boom need not materially hold back a
    country’s economic performance for long. But this time it
    looks as if the accumulated debt is, in fact, acting as quite
    a sustained drag, in New Zealand and other advanced
    economie
    s” – http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/research_and_publications/reserve_bank_bulletin/2012/2012sep75_3bollardreddell.pdf

    Which puts us in a Greece-like class for debt.

    “If you are still not convinced I recommend you to read “Down and Out in Paris and London” by George Orwell. It is an interesting story about how people without work were faring in England and France not to long ago.
    After reading this book you probably will never complain about WINZ again.”

    I gather you’ve never experienced WINZ first hand, John? I can tell quite easily because of the cursory dismissiveness of your comments.

    I can tell you; it’s quite an experience. One, I think, that – like an OE – every New Zealander should experience just to understand what our bureacracy is up to.

    • 28 January 2014 at 9:50 pm

      My intention is not to convince you. My intention is to put your comments in a different perspective.

      “The bank also extends credit to you which they can risk losing. Hence the bursting of the housing bubble in the US , leading to the GFC. So yes, the Bank IS giving you money, albeit not in the same manner as WINZ.”

      I have worked for 7 years for one of the major banks worldwide. A bank will try to minimize risk. The bursting of the housing bubble in the USA was caused by poisonous mortgages that were repackaged into derivatives and next sold on to other trusting banks. This caused a banking system crisis and the GFC as banks did not trust each other anymore.
      When someone takes out a mortgage, the bank will deposit the money into a holding account of your lawyer. Your lawyer pays the vendor after you sign the mortgage papers.
      So no, the bank does not give you the mortgagee any money, but the vendor.

      “I think it’s entirely fair. Especially as you and I have to pay for those 73 pages of questionnaires, pamphlets, etc. It’s entirely fair to see where our taxes are going to (to pay for a mountain of forms), which banks do not require.”

      Your reply does not address my statement about a false comparison.

      “We all pay for the money we might get from WINZ. 95,000+ New Zalanders were working prior to the GFC and paying tax. Some of that went to the WINZ budget.”

      NZ has fourth generation beneficiaries, so your statement is not right.

      “Actually, your neighbour should care. The more money we pay for housing prices because of speculative activity, thde more money we borrow from off-shore.”

      The issue of house speculation is completely beside the point.

      “Which puts us in a Greece-like class for debt.”

      Greece has been downgraded by the USA rating agencies like Standards & Poor.
      New Zealand has not been downgraded, so USA agencies do not agree with your statement.

      “I gather you’ve never experienced WINZ first hand, John? I can tell quite easily because of the cursory dismissiveness of your comments.”

      It may come as a surprise to you, but I actually have gone through an unemployment benefit process at WINZ.
      They were very helpful and proactive in pointing out that some expenses affected the high of my benefit.
      The whole process took about an hour and I did not have to fill in numerous forms.

      Last, but not least, I feel you treat unfairly our minister Paula Bennett.
      She knows first hand what it means to be a beneficiary.
      I have the highest regard for her and appreciate all the good work she does for New Zealanders.

  22. 28 January 2014 at 10:06 pm

    “The bursting of the housing bubble in the USA was caused by poisonous mortgages … etc, etc”

    As I said; The bank also extends credit to you which they can risk losing. Hence the bursting of the housing bubble in the US , leading to the GFC (people were unable to service their loans). So yes, the Bank IS giving you money, albeit not in the same manner as WINZ.

    I fully understand the process of conveyancing, thank you.

    “NZ has fourth generation beneficiaries, so your statement is not right.”

    Oh really? How many?

    Can you quote some statistics for me?

    “They were very helpful and proactive in pointing out that some expenses affected the high of my benefit.”

    What does that mean?

    “The whole process took about an hour and I did not have to fill in numerous forms.”

    Half an hour?! I seriously doubt that. How did you arrange your appointment?

    “New Zealand has not been downgraded, so USA agencies do not agree with your statement.”

    Really?!

    You are badly mistaken. New Zealand was downgraded by both Fitch and Standard & Poors in September 2011.

    “Last, but not least, I feel you treat unfairly our minister Paula Bennett.
    She knows first hand what it means to be a beneficiary.
    I have the highest regard for her and appreciate all the good work she does for New Zealanders.”

    Paula Bennett’s action have been a travesty.

    Canning the Training Incentive Allowance – which she used as a beneficiary to further her own education at taxpayer’s expense – now denies other solo-parents the very same opportunities.

    I refer you to these issues I raised (all documented);

    http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/paula-bennett-shows-nz-how-to-take-responsibility/

    http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/hypocrisy-thy-name-be-national/

    http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/hon-paula-bennett-minister-of-hypocrisy/

    Her demonisation of welfare recipients is nothing but a dog-whistle for rednecks who don’t understand that the state of the economy determines the number of unemployed.

    For example, unemployment in 2006/07, pre-GFC was at 3.4%. By 2012 it had reaching 7.2%.

    Bennett’s innuendo that unemployed are lazy, drug addicted, work-shirkers is simply a cover for National’s lack of job creation policies.

    As a past beneficiary herself, the term hypocrisy doesn’t begin to describe her behaviour.

  1. 15 December 2013 at 7:32 am
  2. 22 December 2013 at 8:02 am
  3. 14 March 2014 at 5:16 pm
  4. 14 March 2014 at 11:42 pm

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