Tuesday, September 04, 2018

WINZ: People believe what they want to

“The Ministry … gets most aspects of service right, for most clients, most of the time. Most clients we spoke with said that good case managers had made a real difference to their lives. When something goes wrong, the Ministry provides clients with good opportunities to seek redress, and the Ministry works well with those who advocate on behalf of clients.”
                        Office of the Auditor General, December 2014

April 2018, MSD Minister, Carmel Sepuloni says the culture at Work and Income is “toxic”:

“The culture under National was to make it as difficult as possible for people to be able to access what they were entitled to at Work and Income, and now our job is to turn that around.”
                              Carmel Sepuloni, Newshub, April 28, 2018

Clearly they can't both be right. 

But people will believe the one they want to. Like this guy writing in today's NZ Herald about what NZ would be like if National had won the election:

 "Beneficiaries would continue to have it pretty bad, with tough sanctions remaining and a mentality from WINZ to cut benefits where possible."
He has ignored that National increased benefits for those with children.

According to MSD  “Exit rates for clients without children are outpacing those for clients with children...the gap is continuing to widen over time . This correlates with changes in benefit policy that increased income for clients with children.” People staying on a benefit when unskilled work is plentiful doesn't point to having it "pretty bad".

He has also ignored that sanctions are entirely avoidable.

People believe what they want to and I am no exception, though I cast around for various evidence and weigh it up. The truth, at an individual level anyway, usually lies somewhere between two extremes.