This really takes the cake so to speak, bringing ‘let them eat cake’ to a whole new level! The Daily Blog reports on the reception a legally blind woman had from her case worker recently in Auckland. Firstly she says to her “you don’t look blind” then she pulls out a piece of paper, hands it to her, folds her arms and demands she read it and prove her wrong! These are the depths to which our government/corporate offices have sunk nowadays. Bonuses are earned (I’ve heard from a former WINZ worker) by those who manage to save the company funds.
There are humane workers at WINZ offices who respect people. But there are also many, unfortunately, like this poor specimen, who humiliate and denigrate their customers (forgetting that without their customers they would have no job themselves). These stories have been rolling out of late with the current homelessness crisis and people sleeping rough in the cities, or in their cars even. We’ve also heard stories of people with cancer and leukemia being told to look for work, the latter in particular, a man with two children to support, and at the time sick in his hospital bed.
This attitude reflects the great disrespect our corporately biased system has for the lower income bracket particularly those without jobs and in this case, the disabled. White collar workers on the other hand, who defraud the system are treated very favourably, particularly by the justice system.
Dr Lisa Marriott, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Accounting and Commercial Law at Victoria University, has stated that:
“Benefit fraud cost New Zealand $22 million in 2010, or around $5 for each New Zealander. While it is difficult to get accurate figures for tax evasion, the Tax Justice Network estimates New Zealand missed out on more than $7.4 billion of tax revenue in 2011, or around $1,500 per New Zealander…
So the figures for tax evasion are phenomenal while they are relatively small for benefit fraud…”
On top of all this the corporate media makes much of the vilified beneficiary who cheats the tax payer of the said $5, whilst it seldom if ever mentions the white collar criminal who cheats the same for $1500. Indeed it quite blatantly misleads the NZ public with its failure to mention these stats, stirring up hatred and disinfo against the less fortunate in our midst.
So much for justice and equity in our once prosperous welfare state. And let’s not forget, we once had full employment in this nation of ours. There was a job for everybody. And what happened to change that? It wasn’t the fault of people on benefits as the corporate media often subtly misleads us to believe. Let’s lay the blame squarely where it belongs…Rogernomics and the new neoliberal experiment … irresponsible governments that borrowed us into the big black hole we are now in. That has left an ever widening gap between rich and poor, and a crisis of homelessness that isn’t going to go away any time soon. Finally, keep in mind we are a corporation and corporations are about profits and not people.
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