Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lessons in life

This is an e-mail from nearly 3 years ago. I wrote it during the 2005 election campaign;

Yesterday I went calling on businesses in ____. I spent a long time talking to a man (who wants to remain unnamed for obvious reasons)
who runs, amongst other transport operations, a towing and salvage outfit. He does contract work for the police.

Frequently he tows vehicles that belong to beneficiaries. They ring up to find out how much recovery costs. They can't pay. Then they ring WINZ and plead they need the car for getting the kids to creche or doctor etc. Next thing is WINZ rings him for his bank account number and they deposit the fee on behalf of the beneficiary. He mentioned a figure of around $300. He says this happens frequently. So, in his words, the govt pays to tow away and impound the vehicle and then pays for its recovery to the owner.

I guess the payments may be "grants" but when you see how much deeper into debt many beneficiaries are getting (see growth in special benefit) I doubt they get repaid.

My son was watching National MP, Judith Collins expounding on the issue on the news last night. He said to me, "Do you think that when I get a car and a job if I go into WINZ they will give me the money to get my car back if it gets towed away?"

I think he was being sarcastic but I replied, only if you were on a benefit and then they would wipe your bottom for you if you asked. He disgustedly screwed his nose up. I think I have permanently put him off the idea of asking Work and Income for anything.


Anonymous said...

Mmmmnnnn.... I think it is time to start a towing company. Guaranteed payments.

luggage79 said...

if you were really smart you could have tons of people on the benefit park in wrong place, tow them, collect the money from WINZ, keep 80% to yourself and give the benefit person 20% :-D