Thursday, August 7, 2014

Data points

Following on from the previous post where we contemplated data points as real people with real problems, here is a short video from Auckland Action Against Poverty taken at their benefit impact in Mangere yesterday. Benefit impacts should be unnecessary, and people should be given their full legal entitlements so they can at least afford the (very basic) necessaries of life.

An earlier press release from AAAP outlines some of the shortfalls in WINZ's client-focused support. (Similar stories are common from other advocates and beneficiaries.)
  • A 48 year old man has had heart attacks, a serious brain injury, heart surgery and a defibrillator inserted into his heart since 2012. His heart surgeon wrote a letter to his GP in 2013, “in support of him being placed on a longer term benefit.” Work and Income continued to treat this man as a Jobseeker, fully able to work...
  • A man with 3 children needs a fridge and school uniforms for his children. When he applied for bond money to move into a flat Work and Income left him to pay $400 of the bond putting the family into further financial hardship. Work and Income had the ability to help him and his children with all of these things and declined to do so.
  • A woman with a 2 year old child paying rent of $450 per week wanted to move into a cheaper flat. She had transport costs from going to job interviews. She also needed money to buy tyres to get a Warrant of Fitness for her car. Work and Income declined to help her.
There is no doubt our welfare system needs to be reformed, and advocates such as Sue Bradford have been calling for just this for a long time. These miserable failures of social support show why reform is necessary.