Tuesday, April 24, 2018

How many benefit fraud accusations are false?

MSD in the gun again, this time for cutting a benefit after an apparently false dob-in was made. MSD spokeswoman (yes, RNZ actually used the gender-specific term) ....

Ms Read said the ministry gets up to 15,000 claims of benefit fraud a year through its dedicated tip-off line, and each one has to be investigated.
The ministry was not able to immediately provide figures about how many claims turn out to be false.

RNZ could have made an attempt to get a ball park number itself.

Thousands it would seem.

According to the 2016/17 Annual Report just under 6,000 cases of suspected fraud were investigated.

"Cases are investigated only when allegations have been made and there is sound information indicating that fraud may be present."

$48,054,000 was spent investigating fraud and over-payments. $48 million.

It's hardly surprising that a majority of accusations are false. There is a sizable group in society who manipulate the benefit and justice systems to their own ends. Sometimes successfully when it comes down to 'he said, she said' scenarios.

The wonderful beneficence of social security turned malignant.

My best advice to anyone concerned about becoming an 'victim' of the benefit or justice system is to avoid them at all costs.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Replacement for commonsense

The government has developed what it calls a Child Impact Assessment Tool. Essentially it's a template for testing any policy for its effect on children and seems to have been developed at the behest of the United Nations.

Having waded through it, including the separate section on possible 'differential' impacts on Maori children, I'm left with the one overwhelming response - it's a replacement for commonsense.

Sorry, no, I have another.

It is no wonder governments become so sprawling when you consider the hours and man power it took to devise this, and the hours and man power it will take to administer it.

Monday, April 16, 2018

MSD throws in the towel

An announcement appeared at the MSD website that a Declaration of Seasonal Tasman Labour Shortage was being made on April 5.

A declaration of a labour shortage from the very agency charged with getting the unemployed into jobs? That must mean the local unemployment rate is close to zero.

Actually it's 3.5%

But there are no beneficiaries left in the region?

Actually there were 924 "work-ready jobseekers" in February. Not to mention a few hundred more in nearby Blenheim, Westport and Greymouth.

The natural question question to ask is, why, then, is there a shortage? But the answer to that lies in the incapacity of beneficiaries to provide the required quality and consistency of work required.

The real question is why the announcement?

The answer appears at the very end of the statement, by which time most will have ceased reading.

"By declaring a labour shortage in Tasman, people from overseas with visitor visas can apply for a Variation of Conditions, which allows them to work through the declaration period."
MSD giving up and admitting that local growers want overseas pickers in preference to beneficiaries.


Friday, March 30, 2018

Updating artist blog

Still playing catch up after the year spent renovating full-time.

Have just updated my artist blog with a few newer works.

Here's one, a still-life in oil with palette knife:


And this gorgeous Rottie pup:


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Turning the tide on compulsory over-parenting

More in from yesterday's contributor, to whom I am most grateful.

Source

Utah governor signs law legalizing ‘free-range parenting’
Lindsay Whitehurst

SALT LAKE CITY — So-called free-range parenting will soon be the law of the land in Utah after the governor signed what appears to be the country’s first measure to formally legalize allowing kids to do things on their own to foster self-sufficiency.

The bill, which Gov. Gary Herbert announced Friday that he’d signed, specifies that it isn’t neglectful to let kids do things alone like travel to school, explore a playground or stay in the car. The law takes effect May 8.

Utah’s law is the first in the country, said Lenore Skenazy, who coined the term free-range parent. A records search by the National Conference of State Legislatures didn’t turn up any similar legislation in other states.

Utah lawmakers said they were prompted to pass the law after seeing other states where parents had been investigated and in some cases had their children temporarily removed when people reported seeing kids playing basketball in their yards or walking to school alone.

Headline-grabbing cases have included a Maryland couple investigated after allowing their 10- and-6-year-old children to walk home alone from a park in 2015.

Republican Sen. Lincoln Fillmore of South Jordan has said allowing kids to try things alone helps prepare them for the future, though some have raised concerns the law could be used as defenses in child-abuse cases if not carefully deployed.

The law states the child must be mature enough to handle those things but leaves the age purposely open-ended so police and prosecutors can work on a case-by-case basis, Fillmore has said.

Skenazy, who wrote the book “Free Range Kids” after writing about letting her 9-year-old ride the New York City subway alone, has said the law is a good way to reassure parents who might be nervous about their parenting decisions.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Graph of the Day

A reader sent me the following graph:


As he comments, "No surprise".

Yet the media witter on and on about the gender earnings gap.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Why more prisons are needed





Two things are happening:

1/ Some inmates released on parole commit serious, even fatal, crimes
2/ Some inmates who have the potential to rehabilitate are kept in prison longer than necessary

But if Labour doesn't want to build more prisons they will have to address the legislation that's driving up numbers. After all, it was passed under a Labour government.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Rainbow Tick

Ever heard of The Rainbow Tick? I came across it at the Human Rights Commission website:

The Rainbow Tick programme allows businesses and organisations to understand what they are doing well in regard to their Rainbow personnel, what they need to improve, and how to do this. Through the help of the Rainbow Tick a manager can derive the best from an employee by being a good employer.
Getting the Rainbow Tick also allows us to show our employees and all New Zealand that we are a progressive, inclusive and dynamic organisation that reflects the community that we serve.
We are really proud and excited to be recognised for our efforts as a welcoming and inclusive work place and urge other organisations to consider doing the same. 
Nothing of particular interest here then. Just PC back-patting. But wait:

 Other organisations and businesses who have already achieved the Tick include: Westpac, ASB, Fletcher Building, Coco-Cola Amatil, KPMG, Microsoft, PWC, Simpson Grierson, AUT, Sovereign, Publicis Loyalty, Sky City, Repromed and Russel McVeagh.

That last one rings a bell. They certainly have been inclusive.

On a serious note, is it any wonder that the Human Rights Commission cannot hear cases and complaints because they simply don't have the resources? Apparently they are only investigating 'urgent' complaints currently. Perhaps some prioritization is in order.