Sunday, January 3, 2010

WORRYING

The revelation in the Sunday Star Times that beneficiary Graham Foster has spent two years fighting a decision of WINZ that he should have to repay the $190 to be advanced to him for a new pullover and pair of shoes at the rate of $3.00 per week and that this has cost the taxpayer up to $250,000 in legal costs just beggars belief.

The decision by WINZ, which was endorsed following two internal reviews, was then appealed to the Social Security Appeals Authority and then to the High Court and finally to the Court of Appeal. All found the original decision justified.

As part of the earlier appeal the Social Security Appeal Authority questioned items listed in Foster's domestic budget including $30 for a cellphone, internet and phone line at his shared accommodation. It said "It is surprising that the appellant can afford to buy the listener and pay for an internet connection but cannot budget for clothing."

For his part Foster claimed he shouldn't have to pay the money back because of what he described as a "poxy" benefits system.

The comment by former ACT MP Dr Muriel Newman who said "The attitude is, if you need a jumper and a pair of shoes they (the taxpayer) can pay for it. It's an indictment on the system. People can go to an Op Shop and get a pair of shoes for $5 and he's definitely chosen not to take that path" is spot on.

But what the Veteran REALLY found surprising was that Foster, in the early 2000s (before he became first a Sickness and then an Invalids beneficiary), was employed by the Ministry of Defence as a "Social Policy Adviser". What the f**k. No money for the combat airforce but plenty of dosh for SOCIAL POLICY ADVISERS. Strange priorities.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope the court awards costs against the bludger, and that WINZ sees sense and starts deducting the costs at $100 per week.
Perhaps this parasite on society could consider pumping gas,

alex Masterley said...

No costs were awarded in the substantive judgment.

dave said...

Its a pity WINZ didn't give this guy a food grant and told him to use the money saved on food to pay for his jersey and shoes.

The Veteran said...

dave ... was that a 'serious' suggestion?

Hope not.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

He would have been on a pretty reasonable salary so what did he do with? Piss it up against the wall?
Give it to the Labour Party? Not much difference really. Is he another mate of Phil Goff's?

Why is he in debt? Is he paying anything to his creditors? Does he have any assets?

Methinks it is high time for another expose of the 'true facts' about this voluble whinging bludger.

Psycho Milt said...

I hope the court awards costs against the bludger...

Why stop at costs? Why not exemplary penalties as well? Say, a gajillion dollars? Having to pay a gajillion dollars would make him regret becoming a "bludger" alright. And New Zealand would be a gajillion dollars richer - it's win-win...

He would have been on a pretty reasonable salary so what did he do with? Piss it up against the wall?

Maybe he sought professional financial advice and invested it with those masters of the universe that Doug Myers feels we don't give enough respect for the heroic work they do parting ordinary people from their cash?

I think Danyl's right on this one - it's Paula Bennett's office creating a propaganda image of social welfare as being about "bludgers" rather than being about a vast majority of people in need of help and a small minority of assholes. Make sure the minority of assholes get in the papers, and the debate gets framed the way you want it. The journo scum should be posting their sources for these stories.

Anonymous said...

The point is Psycho, that there is no repercussions from this parasite's actions. He simply refuses to take responsibility for himself, and would rather the state provided his necessities so that he could carry on getting his life's luxuries unperturbed. Is the listener, the internet, a cellphone really all that necessary when you are an unproductive member of society? Why didn't he just go without some of those luxuries in order to be able to afford the jersey and shoes? As farrar has pointed out already, the listener subscription would more than covered the interest free loan repayment terms of the advance he was given, and yet the thanks we get for our beneficence, 6 appeals at the cost of tens of thousands of dollars. How is that Justice for the taxpayers of NZ?
Until NZ wakes up to this kind of behaviour NZ will fall further and further behind, and we will slowly become the paupers of asia, as we reward the unproductive and punish the productive.
The truth is Singapore is now richer society than NZ, Sth korea is about to pass us, and in the not too distant future China, India, malaysia will too if we keep on the same track.
What is your answer to the stemming the tide of mediocrity and pauperdom in NZ Milt?

The Veteran said...

Psycho Milt ... perhaps you (and Danyl) might care to provide some authentication to back your contention that this story was a 'plant' by Paula Bennett.

If you bother to read the SST article you will find that Mr Foster is quoted extensively. That hardly suggests the story is a plant.

But Heh ... anything to divert attention from the unpalatable fact for you and yours that the welfare net is supposed to be a hand-up rather than a hand-out.

You see Mr Foster is a product of a system that Sir Apirana Ngata warned as likely to destroy his people .... State dependancy.

And clearly Mr Foster has never reflected on the words of President Kennedy when he said in his inaugural address "Ask not what your country can do for you but rather what you can do for your country".

I support unreservedly a welfare system designed as a safety net.

People like Foster give a bad name to the many genuine people who, for no fault of their own, find themselves in need of of a 'hand-up'.

So, if you and Danyl feel so strongly about this then can I suggest you dig into your own pockets and fund a sweater and shoes for the 'gentleman'.

Psycho Milt said...

Psycho Milt ... perhaps you (and Danyl) might care to provide some authentication to back your contention that this story was a 'plant' by Paula Bennett.

I claim "legitimate personal opinion." I can't see any other plausible basis for this story existing.

If you bother to read the SST article you will find that Mr Foster is quoted extensively. That hardly suggests the story is a plant.

He is. Did he contact them to try and get publicity for his case, or did the journo contact him for comment on a story fed to them from Paula Bennett's staff? As already pointed out, the journo scum should really post their sources for this stuff.

...anything to divert attention from the unpalatable fact for you and yours that the welfare net is supposed to be a hand-up rather than a hand-out.

Could you explain exactly what an invalid benefit is supposed to be a hand-up to? Being an "invalid" is generally a permanent state of affairs. Are you suggesting that if we treat invalids badly enough they'll be motivated to become able-bodied again?

if you and Danyl feel so strongly about this then can I suggest you dig into your own pockets and fund a sweater and shoes for the 'gentleman'.

We did - we're both taxpayers. The fact that he spent the money on buying the Listener instead is his own affair, as has been pointed out to him.

The point is Psycho, that there is no repercussions from this parasite's actions.

What repercussions do you have in mind? Deprive welfare beneficiaries of access to the courts? Prescribe punishments for being a wanker? (Actually, that one's tempting, but the legislation would probably run into some problems with definitions.)

What is your answer to the stemming the tide of mediocrity and pauperdom in NZ Milt?

Did King Canute teach you nothing, anon?

Redbaiter said...

We did - we're both taxpayers.

You work at a Public Library don't you Milt?

Your salary is paid by the taxpayers. (rate payers)

You can't pay tax.

FAIRFACTS MEDIA said...

As I have blogged over at my place, whether Paula bennett was the source of the story or not, this and other stories show there remains much abuse of the system by bludgers like this.
It wasn't that long ago we heard about Natasha Fuller raking it in and being an ungrateful so-and-so.
If the public is being softened up for a welfare crackdown, bludgers like this guy only have themselves to blame.

Psycho Milt said...

You work at a public Library don't you Milt?

No, I don't. And given that you most likely still live with your mum, you're hardly in a position to criticise others.

...this and other stories show there remains much abuse of the system by bludgers like this.

Feel free to substantiate:

1. How Foster is a "bludger" - ie, not entitled to the invalid's benefit he's receiving.

2. How this story, in which Foster didn't get the money he wanted, demonstrates "abuse" of the system.

If the public is being softened up for a welfare crackdown, bludgers like this guy only have themselves to blame.

Is Paula Bennett at least bunging you some cash for this, FFM? If not, all I can say is "Mug."

Redbaiter said...

"No, I don't."

I don't think you pay any real tax Milt.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Peter said...

Being an "invalid" is generally a permanent state of affairs.

Not everybody on a sickness benefit is sick, and not everybody on an invalid's benefit is what you would normally think of as an invalid. The social welfare system in NZ is very easy to abuse.

Psycho Milt said...

I don't think you pay any real tax Milt.

I'm crushed.

Anonymous: you want to write personal abuse of FFM, go do it on his blog or yours.

...not everybody on an invalid's benefit is what you would normally think of as an invalid.

True but irrelevant, unless there's some reason to suspect the subject of the post isn't actually an invalid. I haven't seen one.

Anonymous said...

Milt, your calling upon Canute is interesting given that it was he who stopped the Danegeld, i.e. the bribery payments to stop the wreckers and parasites of English Society from performing their raping of the wealth of England, so from this then I guess we can have your whole hearted support in abolishing Welfare beyond the sfaety net it was designed to be?

FAIRFACTS MEDIA said...

Thanks for deleting whatever anonymous said about me , PM.
He has been at my blog too since I was able to resurrect it.
As for Paula Bennett, no she has not been paying me.
But the beneficieries are not helping themselves with stories like this.
What has struck me about this story is it's appearence in the Sunday Star-Times.
It doesn't exactly fit their narrative, does it?
There again, I noted a big story from their pet conspiracist gracing the front pages.

FAIRFACTS MEDIA said...

As for the bludging, I guess we will have to discover more about the illness allegedly suffered.
It is the sense of entitlement that rankles and the cries for more.

Barnsley Bill said...

I think this is a dificult one to defend PM. But I do share your concern about the origination of the story.
One would have thought that handouts should be received with a level of humility that this particular beneficiary does not seem to posess.
Despite the usual wingnuts frothing and shitting all over this post it is not dificult to see why people would get agitated over this.

Anonymous said...

I support unreservedly a welfare system designed as a safety net.


That's "nice". Unfortunately no such system can be designed in reality.

There is one straightforward option that removes all potential for bludging: zeroing all benefits. Zero the dole, sickness, invalids, ACC, super, and the rest.

Call it Year Zero

Psycho Milt said...

Fuck off Sinner.

BB: I'm not defending it. I think WINZ took the right approach to his whinging and the courts obviously agree. That said:

1. I think Bennett has an interest in a propaganda narrative that has beneficiaries as all being wankers like this guy, so I'd love to know where this story originated.

2. Even wankers are entitled to social welfare if they meet the criteria and even wankers have recourse to the courts, so there really isn't much to be done about it, is there?

Barnsley Bill said...

Well yes there is actually. Allowing this to go through almost every level of appeal is completely disproprtionate to the original amount disputed.
Small claims should have been the end of the line for this.
Yet again we see the lawyers completely ripping the piss out of everybody.
I think we should put them all on the dole... Oh, hang on a minute..

Emily said...

Umm, just a quick point- legal costs were estimated at 25,000-30,000 NZD, not 250,000 NZD.

Anonymous said...

Your point exactly Emily? What you are forgetting is once the parasite had been told here's a loan, we're going to deduct this back @$3/wk from your beneficiently given living allowance, he should have said, thanks very much, I appreciate your generosity, I'll go without my weekly infill of communist propaganda or wishful lotto 'investment' so that I can enjoy these nice new shoes and cardie now. But no his actions reinforced the requirement of employment of at least 1 lawyer and their sidekick/s by WINZ, which as we all know is a damn near impossible thing to get rid of once acquired.
I can understand having a process of 2 appeals, but when the outcome is not going to result in a prison term it should stop there.
The reality is this parasite has grown such an entitlement mentality, that he thinks we owe him a living, and he has no responsibilty whatsoever in accepting it, the fact that the people who earned the money but had it appropriated from them before they even got to see it, thus leaving them in a position where they are having to budget and thus sacrifice their own luxuries to buy their kids clothes from op shops, buy crapbrand products from the supermarket, and pick up additional jobs juct to make ends meet, all due to the govt appropriating 51% on their income so it can fritter the cash away on ingrates like the parasite in the story.
(Given that the parasite in question has an interenet connection I wonder if he would like to defend his actions, but the reality is he probably only uses the internet for the TAB page, Lotto reults page, and porn. I doubt that he'd use it for anything educational, or thought provoking).

Barnsley Bill said...

I find internet porn both educational and thought provoking.
That aside I am strugling to disagree with anything else you wrote.