Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Barbara Sumner Burstyn on welfare reforms....

...wonders what character Paula Bennett would be in a modern version of Oliver Twist:

Paula Bennett and her second stage welfare reforms may not yet have gone so far as the workhouse. But despite the mounting evidence of human misery right here and now in our land of plenty, clearly, there is serious Malthus channeling occurring inside the National Party. Charles Dickens wrote the character of Oliver Twist to protest the New Poor Laws. An author today could easily write a modern version. I wonder what role Paula Bennett would play?

The reaction to the latest reforms has been so over the top. But this particular writer is an extremist. After her expressions about the  female soldier killed in Afghanistan it's a bit rich to evoke her own victimhood at the hands of Work and Income.


S.Beast said...

I think she's had too much press already. Why not comment on this:

Shocker! IRD shares information with Work and Income (as they have done for what...over a decade at least?). Yet again another intervention they should already be applying, but they decide to send quote, "write to all beneficiaries whose information is being exchanged to notify them of the new information sharing" Why? Because we need to give people a heads up on when they already know their obligations?

More likely that just as MSD can't afford to enforce the ECE policy, it also can't afford to prosecute and/or chase up all the fraudsters so it is hoping they will deal with it themselves.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Perhaps the notification to beneficiaries is a requirement from the Privacy Commissioner? I expect (but could be wrong - it'll be in recent relevant legislation) a lot of what IRD shares will be retrospective so a notification serving as a "heads up" is questionable. But you may be right that low level 'abuse' might be reduced by dissemination of this development. I agree that the resources to investigate and prosecute are limited.