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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bennett MUST be fired (no place for Big Sister)


Bennett stands by actions on benefits
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is under pressure to release details of her income as a beneficiary after she revealed the benefit payments of two women critical of Government policy. Bennett, a former solo mother and beneficiary, yesterday refused to apologise to Natasha Fuller and Jennifer Johnston, whose income details she released after they attacked her decision to axe an assistance allowance to help beneficiaries into tertiary study. Bennett authorised the release of information showing Fuller [and Johnston's DPB weekly payments and other WINZ assistance]

It is disgusting that she is still in her position as Minster of Social Development. Bennett’s outrageous misuse of power to publish the personal details of two beneficiaries who complained about cost cutting of a benefit Paula herself used when she was a solo mum at uni is so utterly wrong it is difficult to see how she’s still in her role.

For those on the right bleating that these beneficiaries are earning more than them – shut up! What you small minded clowns don’t get is that these woman have received their benefit legally, there is no suggestion they are illegally getting that money, ask the 1000 NZers now hitting the dole each week how ‘easy’ it is to get benefits – it isn’t, if you have them you’ve bloody well earnt them. To smokescreen this blatant misuse of power by Paula by screaming these beneficiaries are earning more than the national average is just so small minded, only the very stupid would sink the debate to that level. And would those from the right who are using this attack line be happy with any Minister detailing their personal details if they complain about any Government policy they don’t like?

The irony is that these women wanted to train to get off the bloody benefit, yet the Minister is crucifying them as bludgers and giving them the bash for daring to question National’s slash and burn policy.

Bennett said in the House yesterday that she had sort her advice on ‘implied consent’ on the Privacy website, as my co-blogger clearly pointed out, there is nothing on the Privacy Website that says anything about ‘implied consent’. She has clearly been caught out lying!
This is such an obscenity.

BTW – Christ isn’t Close Up pathetic, last night John Campbell’s hammering of Paula Bennett compared to the Walrus of News’s weak handshake of an interview reminded me how bloody good John is when he’s allowed to break the lifestyle magazine show for Parnell Housewives format of Campbell Live and gets to do politics. Well done Mr Campbell.

Big Sister has to go.

32 Comments:

At 29/7/09 7:20 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Close Up was awful,trying to turn this into a human interest story.

For once I wish Paul Henry had been hosting, there would have been a better than even chance of him going feral on Bennett like he did with Melissa Key.

 
At 29/7/09 7:36 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The irony is that these women wanted to train to get off the bloody benefit,

Then they should get an interest free student loan like everyone else.

Bennett isn't going anywhere: NZ is horrified that someone on a benefit can get $200 per week more than the average wage - no one gives a shit about the privacy issue except the left wing blogosphere.

 
At 29/7/09 7:46 am, Blogger Bomber said...

Then they should get an interest free student loan like everyone else.
THEY WERE TURNED DOWN FOR ONE!

Bennett isn't going anywhere: NZ is horrified that someone on a benefit can get $200 per week more than the average wage
They are allowed to have a benefit based on their individual cases, what the hell does that have to do with the State misusing their power, breaching the Ministers manual and the Privacy laws????

- no one gives a shit about the privacy issue except the left wing blogosphere.
And there is the dividing line between the thinkers and the rednecks then. That you seem incapable of understanding the actual issue at hand of an outright abuse by Paula of power explains you posting anonymous, I wouldn't want to put a name to your post either mate. You should be embarrassed anon.

 
At 29/7/09 7:48 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no one gives a shit about the privacy issue except the left wing blogosphere.

In that case anon, put up your name and address.
No?
Bomber, could you please publish anon's ISP address, being that he has no regard for privacy.

 
At 29/7/09 7:53 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the saddest things about this case is that Paula could have potentially been used as an example of the benefit of training single parents so they could move into a good job and 'repay' tax payers for the money they received while on the DPB. Now all she has done is shown people how thoughtless and thankless she is about people (women mostly) who are in the same position she was in.

It's a bit of a waste of a 'happy ending' story really, don't you think?

She most definitely has to go.

NS

 
At 29/7/09 7:54 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work 40 hours a week and get $650 after tax. Why should these bludgers get more? NZ is behind Bennett on this. We believe in work, not handouts.

 
At 29/7/09 8:12 am, Blogger Bomber said...

I work 40 hours a week and get $650 after tax. Why should these bludgers get more? NZ is behind Bennett on this. We believe in work, not handouts.

And this is the exact spin dr line that National are running with - but Anon you purposely miss the point don't you? Purhaps because you are stupid, or perhaps because you are a National Party supporter trying to sway opinion anonymously. Would it be okay for the Minister to release your personal income details now because you've complianed about bludgers getting more than you? Because that is exactly what you are arguing for you Clown. Paula went beyond the law and she attacked 2 beneficaries on an issue that has nothing to do with their compliant. They get that benefit legally, that has no bearing on the debate regarding National Party policy to penalize those trying to get off the benefit and it is an illegal abuse of power. Paula was well out of line and you aqre only agreeing with it because it's attacking a group you hate, if Labour had pulled this stunt you'd be on this site screaming bloody murder, because Paula pulled this stunt it's okay. What a sad little position to defend.

To blind yourself to that debate while bashing the beneficary shows why you should continue to post anonymously. I wouldn't want to put my name to your opinion either.

 
At 29/7/09 8:21 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy released his income details himself you dork.

 
At 29/7/09 8:21 am, Anonymous Relic said...

Well good on you Mr $650 man above. Now, how exactly do you spend your hard earned dosh? Don’t want to tell us? I would love to know. Perhaps you would get paid even more if you got involved in a union and helped to push for higher wages instead of putting the boot into others with legitimate entitlements. Pathetic.

 
At 29/7/09 8:26 am, Anonymous Lover of Love said...

@ 7.53 AM.

I couldn't have said it any better - except with more swear words.

 
At 29/7/09 8:51 am, Anonymous amelia said...

People seem to forget that theres children in this equation, most of those pissing and moaning are forgetting that this is NOT money they spend on themselves but to raise a family.. where the hell are the men that should be paying instead.. And how about some of you ignorant people take five minutes to study the poverty those on benefits live in and especially children that live in homes with single parents on benefits.. blindly listening to numbers without actually calculating what is involved is short sighted and narrow minded.
Also the fact that people assume that these women CHOOSE this as a "lifestyle" my partner walked out on me when i was 8 months pregnant with another small child.. i dont see anyone dragging him into question but i feel constantly judged for sticking with my kids.
I have worked full time and lost my job, having to be on a benefit anyway i saw the only option was to upskill while the support was there.. I didnt make the system, im simply trying to live in it.. once my degree is finished i'll take that mole's job AND wont forget where i have come from cos my value system doesnt allow me to become a heartless wonder. I am paying for my own education with a student loan, use TIA for help with transport and to off set it i volunteer two days a week so dont judge till you walk in my shoes (my well worn, cheap shoes)
One of the fundemental question is what kind of society do we want to live in? one that constantly degrades and humiliates those on the bottom rung of the ladder?? I tell you if i had the money id run to Sweden where they actually work as a society to support each other in times of need.. We'r neanderthals compared to them.. UG

 
At 29/7/09 9:27 am, Anonymous aj said...

The number of people who fail to put their brain into gear before letting their vitriol-dripping fingers loose on the keyboards never ceases to amaze me. If anyone thinks its a bed of roses bringing up 3 kids on effectively the min adult wage then they need to go and try it. As for the higher payout, after childcare and medical costs are deducted she's effectively on the min wage as well.
I have two problems with Bennett: she's a gade one hypocrite, and shes broken the law.
Dave Henderson's tax records would be up for view now under Key's new standard of ministerial behaviour.

 
At 29/7/09 9:37 am, Anonymous Frankie said...

Key always going on about "I was raised by a solo Mother in a state house."
Bennett always pushing her "Ex DPB Mum from West Auckland."
And for Gods sake, Key's wife comparing herself to a solo mum.

As if this gives them some sympathy for people who for whatever reason find themselves in the shitty position of trying to raise kids on the DPB.

All it does is make them feel self-righteous as they burn the ladder behind them. "Well, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, and bloody well so can everyone else."

Hypocrisy of the highest order.

I'm not saying it's great to be on the benefit... But these people were trying to get off the benefit as Bomber points out, much like Paula herself did.
If she thinks releasing people's personal information is fine then logically she should have no problem with her own benefit history being made public also.

 
At 29/7/09 9:43 am, Blogger Jeff said...

Three points.

One the way the information was released is worrying, however a blanket ban is also worrying. A country cannot have an informed debate without knowing the facts. These woman misled the public on the facts, Labour would of done the same but just "leaked" the info to the media. Is one worse than the other, unsure.

"you’ve bloody well earnt them" They are benefits, you havnet earned them, you are being assisted by the state. A massive difference. A correct statement would be "you bloody well need them" which 95% of the time is likely true.

"Then they should get an interest free student loan like everyone else.
THEY WERE TURNED DOWN FOR ONE!"
This is the issue then, but I am interested which part were they turned down for, living / fees / course costs. I think noone would disagree with them getting the later two but the earlier one should be irrelevant if they are already receiving fiscal assistance.

My personal view is these two got caught misrepresenting the facts, and part of me says, well serves you right. But I do hold the concern that someone with access to so much data has released private info without even getting legal advice, that concerns me greatly. I think a furour is needed to ensure this doesnt happen regularly, but at the same time I want the full facts when an issue is debated, not some misleading Labour PR spin release (que person who was to lose his home up north but had 1 house + 2 investment properties).

 
At 29/7/09 10:20 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family have been in the position of entering work and earning less than we were getting on the benefit. We had to sell a lot of our belongings in order to eat. Would never change that decision for the world, though. Being on a benefit is terrible - it makes life horribly difficult, and it's degrading. I have a lot of empathy for people who are reliant on benefits for reasons beyond their control.

I am disgusted at Paula Bennett. Absolutely disgusted. She needs to front up and let us all know down to the last cent what she got from WINZ in the past. She also needs to be fired for gross misconduct.

It is indecent to have come through hard times oneself, makes a go of it, then start bashing those who are in the same position you were once in. It says a lot about Bennett's character - ugly.

 
At 29/7/09 10:34 am, Blogger Bomber said...

One the way the information was released is worrying,
Worrying? Try illegal Jeff. If your much hated Labour had pulled a stunt like this would you be calling for a sacking yes or no?

however a blanket ban is also worrying.
Blanket ban? You mean following the law Jeff?

A country cannot have an informed debate without knowing the facts.
Then it is for the media to do that fact checking, what does their legal benefit entitlement have to do with the 'facts' in this case Jeff? They are arguing about a training subsidy, the same one Paula had when she was a solo mum at uni, why did they need to be vilified by people like you on line for protesting that cut?

These woman misled the public on the facts,
That's a lie, where have they mislead people about the facts, you're the one misleading people about the facts.

Labour would of done the same but just "leaked" the info to the media. Is one worse than the other, unsure.
WTF? You are hypothetically attacking Labour for something they didn't do to defend what Pauls did? You have to be kidding right?

"you’ve bloody well earnt them" They are benefits, you havnet earned them,
ARe you suggesting Jeff that the benefits these women were paid were taken illegally?

you are being assisted by the state.
That's right, so why does that have any bearing about protesting cuts to training allowances, these women are entitled to the benefit they recieve, otherwise they wouldn't be receiving it.

My personal view is these two got caught misrepresenting the facts,
My personal view is you are misrepresenting the facts.

and part of me says, well serves you right.
How is complaining about the allowance a misrepresentation of facts that greenlights the Minister breaking the Privacy Act Jeff?

But I do hold the concern that someone with access to so much data has released private info without even getting legal advice, that concerns me greatly.
Great to know you are concerned.

I think a furour is needed to ensure this doesnt happen regularly,
Sack Paula Bennett.

but at the same time I want the full facts when an issue is debated,
How is having the state breach privacy and publicly show someones personal details like this the 'full facts' - they have nothing to do with protesting the allowance training cuts!

not some misleading Labour PR spin release (que person who was to lose his home up north but had 1 house + 2 investment properties).
What has that got to do with this case? Isn't that getting a wee bit desperate just to defend Paula?

IF Paula Bennett had called a press conference and said, "We are paying some on the benefit $200 above the minimum wage I want to stop that" - then the debate could be had about that and you would be in here posting your reasons, I would be posting my reasons, but that isn't what happened. Paula went on the attack after being embarrassed by these two and broke the Ministers manual, the Privacy act and as my co-blogger pointed out lied through her fucking teeth over looking up 'implied consent' on the Privacy Commission web site.

 
At 29/7/09 1:20 pm, Blogger Jeff said...

"Worrying? Try illegal Jeff. If your much hated Labour had pulled a stunt like this would you be calling for a sacking yes or no?"

Like their repetitive breaches of the EFB and previous electoral laws that resulted in soooooo many sackings. Not to mention the passage of that assault on freedom of speech, when all that needed to be done was clamp down on use of Trusts.

As for much hated Labour, I have voted for them every election, regretting it once. Currently they are incompetent, as they were for most of their last term.

Answering your question directly, questionably illegal - not clear cut. However I do agree that their particular details shouldn’t of been released rather "people in their shoes earn X".

I think people who pay for benefits have a right to know what exactly they are paying for. However I will agree with you this should be done in such a way that the privacy act, or the privacy of an individual should not be attacked.

However I would also like any debate on the issue not to automatically be seen as dole bashing, which Greens / Labour just use automatically, its gets tired. Anyone who says there is not a problem with a portion of society at the moment is lying. Do I think these two woman are part of that? No. They were trying to get out of where they are.

"Then it is for the media to do that fact checking, what does their legal benefit entitlement have to do with the 'facts' in this case Jeff? They are arguing about a training subsidy, the same one Paula had when she was a solo mum at uni, why did they need to be vilified by people like you on line for protesting that cut? "

If one simplifies the issue to this then one can get to that point of view, however the claim was she could not afford to do Uni without the $25 pw supplement. The fact she is earning more than 1/2 of NZers before the subsidy is therefore relevant to the debate. Yess $700 pw for 3 kids on your own is not going to be easy, but it is doable, allot of NZ do so on less. Not saying lets slash benefits here but the statement cant afford to do Uni (assuming Student Loan is available)is disingenuous. My earlier statement in this regard stands.

"That's a lie, where have they mislead people about the facts, you're the one misleading people about the facts."

Leaving out facts is misleading, stating they cant afford Uni with $25 pw less is likely misleading. How am I misleading?

"WTF? You are hypothetically attacking Labour for something they didn't do to defend what Pauls did? You have to be kidding right? "

Actually this assertion came from Colin from NZ herald in his opinion piece, hardly a pro National flag waver. Labour often "leaked" facts to the media about relevant stories at the time. Did they do so with such a total breach of privacy? Likely no, but wouldnt count on it.

""you’ve bloody well earnt them" They are benefits, you havnet earned them,
ARe you suggesting Jeff that the benefits these women were paid were taken illegally? "

Just because someone is legally entitled to something does not mean they have earned something. They have been granted state support, and chosen to take it legally yes. But have they earned it? That implies work. The rest of my previous statement "they need it" is more true, which is why the state supports them.

"but at the same time I want the full facts when an issue is debated,
How is having the state breach privacy and publicly show someones personal details like this the 'full facts' - they have nothing to do with protesting the allowance training cuts!"

Because Bomber the argument is they CANNOT AFFORD TO TRAIN WITHOUT IT how can you establish whether this statement is FACT until you know their full takehome income. IT has EVERYTHING to do with it. I agree this could of been doen without breaching thier privacy by talking about amounts in general and this is what should have been done.

 
At 29/7/09 1:20 pm, Blogger Jeff said...

(continued word limit)


"not some misleading Labour PR spin release (que person who was to lose his home up north but had 1 house + 2 investment properties).
What has that got to do with this case? Isn't that getting a wee bit desperate just to defend Paula?"

Labour has been using this as political food since its release, they have been caught twice last week leaving out the full facts.

"IF Paula Bennett had called a press conference and said, "We are paying some on the benefit $200 above the minimum wage I want to stop that" - then the debate could be had about that and you would be in here posting your reasons, I would be posting my reasons, but that isn't what happened. Paula went on the attack after being embarrassed by these two and broke the Ministers manual, the Privacy act and as my co-blogger pointed out lied through her fucking teeth over looking up 'implied consent' on the Privacy Commission web site."

I totally agree.

 
At 29/7/09 1:32 pm, Blogger Dave said...

The irony is that these women wanted to train to get off the bloody benefit
Bomber do your research. There's no suggestion that these people wanted to train to get off the benefit. One was a trained private investigator, and also trained in running a small business. So shes trained. The other one was only taking three papers -which is less than half a year's work. Lets see, with a 24 paper degree that's 8 years of study on the benefit to drag out the non-taxed TIA instead of getting a taxed student allowance like the rest of us.

 
At 29/7/09 1:49 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

Bomber do your research. There's no suggestion that these people wanted to train to get off the benefit. One was a trained private investigator, and also trained in running a small business. So shes trained.
Your point being? She's not just getting the money and isn't doing something - you would prefer they recieved money and do no training?

The other one was only taking three papers -which is less than half a year's work. Lets see, with a 24 paper degree that's 8 years of study on the benefit to drag out the non-taxed TIA instead of getting a taxed student allowance like the rest of us.
And as she explained she was sick and forced to stop for a period of time, hence her higher benefit to take into account costs to go to the hospital. You seem to be pretending it was some 4 star resort they lived in. You also managed to avoid the fact that none of this is relevant to the fact Paula Bennet circumvented procedure to release this information.

 
At 29/7/09 1:50 pm, Anonymous Rick Rowling said...

Yep it's a bad look for Bennett to release the information like that.

Any experienced minister from previous governments of either hue would have used the tried & true leak to the friendly journo method.

 
At 29/7/09 2:13 pm, Blogger Dave said...

Your point being?
Get a job with your training - or get a student allowance like everyone else.

And as she explained she was sick and forced to stop for a period of time

NO, that was the other beneficiary. you've got them mixed up I think.

 
At 29/7/09 2:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parliamentary Privilege : She hasn't tabled any documents or had the nerve to give out someone's personal information in parliament. And if she did try to table it - it would be blocked.

VOMIT INDUCING?

YA GET SHOUTED DOWN BY THE SPEAKA IF YA DO TABLE ANYTHING AND THAT HAS TO STOP.I THOUGHT THEY WANTED THE FULL STORY WHEREAS AFTA 5 MINS OF PARLIAMENT I WANT TO CHUNDA FROM THE SECRECY.

(wot 'abut' free speech?)

LET WACK IT ON THE BILL PHIL SPILL DA BEANS ON DA JOB LOSSES (HE SAID 29,000 HOUSEHOLD LABOUR FORCE SURVEY) AND TELL LOCKY TO TAKE THE WEDGY OUTTA HIS BUDGIE SMUGGLAS WHEN HE GOES JOGGIN IN HIS SPEEDOS LIKE MICHAEL LHAWSY (ANOTHA NATIONAL PARTY FAILURE BY THE WAY)

 
At 29/7/09 2:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE ONLY GOOD REASON FOR A STUDENT TO BE ON THE (INVALID'S) BENEFIT IS IF YER TRESPASSED FOR A DECADE LIKE ME!

AUSA

NZUSA

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT.

 
At 29/7/09 4:03 pm, Anonymous Sam Clemenz said...

Paula acted out of retribution and used bullying tactics, and had no business releasing private and confidential information and should be held to account for the action. This is not an action that should be tolerated by an elected Minister of Parliament - whether National, or any other party in the Crown Government, or anyone for that matter!
Further, to have John Key stand in support of this action is outrageous and proves to me that there is a clear classist and discriminatory agenda that is being followed by this National government, and I certainly hope that this is pursued vigorously to a reversal through the Privacy Council for this appalling abuse of position by both Mr. Key and Ms. Bennett! It's not only a blatant abuse of the Privacy Laws, but it is a totally disgusting display of Political Retribution and Arrogance! And these people are our Public Servant's?

 
At 29/7/09 7:02 pm, Anonymous Aaron said...

I'm not saying Paula is on crack, but I do have my suspicions.

 
At 29/7/09 9:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Paula acted out of retribution and used bullying tactics, and had no business releasing private and confidential information and should be held to account for the action. "

Just show what Bennett learned from Aunty Helen.

 
At 29/7/09 9:50 pm, Anonymous BR said...

"Yep it's a bad look for Bennett to release the information like that."

Why? They put themselves on offer by running whinging to the media. Instead of complaining, they should be grateful for what they receive. Money that they have not earned; money that belongs to the taxpayer.

It's interesting to note that Natasha Fuller was paraded by David Benson Pope as a paragon of business success that was attributed to a $10,000 government grant. Labour released details of her benefit to the media at the time. I guess it's OK when the price is right. I don't remember Fuller or any other Labour party stalwarts complaining then. The business went bust. No surprises there.

What is also interesting is that Natasha Fuller was on Fair Go last year complaining that the wheels had come off her $400 hair extensions. If a beneficiary can aford to spend that kind of money on primping, the benefit is way too high.

"Any experienced minister from previous governments of either hue would have used the tried & true leak to the friendly journo method."

That's what Labour would do. Instead of being straight up, they would release the information in an underhand and sneaky way. Nice to see that you approve of this.

Bill.

 
At 30/7/09 12:44 am, Blogger Fi said...

Wonder how her grandkid is going to turn out, what with a Thug of Canal for a father and a Thug of Molesworth for a grandmother.

 
At 30/7/09 1:51 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parliamentary Privilege : She hasn't tabled any documents or had the nerve to give out someone's personal information in parliament. And if she did try to table it - it would be blocked.

I THINK SHE SHOULD HAVE SAID IT (THE INCOME DETAILS) IN THE HOUSE WITH PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGE BUT INSTEAD SHE CHOSE TO LIE AND SAID NO SHE DIDN'T HAVE ACCESS TO THAT INFORMATION.FOR THAT REASON ALONE, SHE HAS TO GO!

 
At 30/7/09 1:56 pm, Blogger McPoster said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I work 40 hours a week and get $650 after tax. Why should these bludgers get more? NZ is behind Bennett on this. We believe in work, not handouts."

So I guess then if you had kids you'd be refusing the working for families assistance you are entitled to? That might put you in the "bludger" catagory.. funny how so many National supporters and beneficiary bashers are actually also recieveing this assistance every week.

But you gotta give it to Paula.. she said next time she's in Invercargill she'll "take the coffee" - so big of her to slum it with the beneficeries, since when have those dirty "bludgers" deserved any kind of privacy.. they are sub human afterall..

 
At 30/7/09 4:58 pm, Blogger McPoster said...

Anonymous said...

"I work 40 hours a week and get $650 after tax. Why should these bludgers get more? NZ is behind Bennett on this. We believe in work, not handouts."

Btw Anonymous, their income is based on their personal circumstances i.e how many children are in their care and how much their accomodation costs are. If their accomodation is lower so is thier income. The government decides how much that is, the crumbs they get to survive on are there just for that purpose, to survive. After theyve paid for the roof over thier head and food there aint much left buddy.. what are they supposed to do so they can go out to train everyday to move into work? Go without electricity and clothing? That assistance is needed.

I work and pay tax also and I have no problem doing so, so that amoungst other things mothers and children arent starving and freezing without a roof over thier head.

 

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