Monday, October 22, 2012


On the face of it the security risk of the 'BasicsCard' now provided to (some)  teenage beneficiaries looks high - not least because a reporter has now told the world that the pin for the card is actually printed on it. OK, not a lot of money is involved but when it's most of the money you have its safety is paramount. This seems really incompetent.

I'm in favour of cards over cash, of in-kind assistance wherever possible for obvious reasons. But MSD needs to get the system right. Especially as it is highly likely they will expand 'income management' across other groups. As is happening in Australia.

Another mark against MSD and the reforms that needn't have happened.


S.Beast said...

The card is also used for Special Needs Grants or SNG's like food grants for those who are not covered by the youth legislation. I try and think of it like cash in that I have to be careful especially if I am walking out of a WINZ office with one freshly loaded (b/c the chances of someone picking it up and using it because they know what it is are slightly higher in this environment).

Other stuff I found interesting that I wish I could discuss with Frank Abagnale:

- The card can be loaded with money remotely by MSD. This means that you can apply for stuff over the phone although this isn't widely known amongst beneficiaries since Work and Income don't let anyone know. TG we have a benefit rights service in Wellington.

- the cards used for Special Needs Grants are easily identified by their distinctive colour, so you know which card has the PIN as part of the number.

- the cards used for SNG's have a three day expiry on them from the time they are loaded with money.

- The card can only be used to buy approved items from approved suppliers. This of course doesn't stop you trading goods for money. My point is that if you really want to use the money for smokes or alcohol (as an addict would) no amount of government system is going to stop you so this becomes yet another pointless use of government money.

Anonymous said...

another pointless use of government money

The entire benefit system is a pointless use of government money. The only way to stop flushing money down the crapper is to stop all the benefits

Ruth showed how can be done - and Roger showed how to do it fairly - when you stop all the benefits, including WFF, Codger-Dole (aka "super"), "Free" health, state "education" - all at the same time - then it is obvious everyone is being treated the same.

stop the benefits. stop the lot

S.Beast said...

Might be the way but it isn't going to happen. Must be frustrating being you.

S.Beast said...

This might happen though:

Anonymous said...

Might be the way but it isn't going to happen. Must be frustrating being you.

It's going to happen one way or another. Simple arithmetic dictates that! The question is: do we want to do it in a way the preserves NZ's infrastructure - or do we want to just trash the place and flee?

As I've always said: the first sign of really serious NZ reform will be Australia canceling their visa-free-enttry policy.

S.Beast said...