How WINZ sets targets for throwing people off the benefit

I just read this post on No Right Turn highlighting how WINZ sets staff monthly targets for how many beneficiaries they need to get off the benefit.

The Shub reports:

Work and Income (WINZ) staff are “more than happy” to break the law to get people off benefits so they can reach monthly targets, it has been claimed.

Beneficiary advocate Jeremy Roundill says a WINZ employee in Manurewa told him the target for each case manager was 12 clients off the benefit a month.

The beneficiaries often don’t fight back because “when you’re a beneficiary and WINZ provides you with your lifeline, you’re likely to capitulate to the orders of your case manager, as they’re the one who puts food on your table”.

WINZ documents released under the Official Information Act require employees to make “an appropriate individual contribution, as agreed with their manager, to the number of clients supported off-benefit and into employment”.

WINZ declined to be interviewed for this story, but said in a statement while there are targets – which differ by regions – employees have no financial incentives to reach them and are not sanctioned if they don’t.

Of course, as ‘Idiot/Savant’ writes, there may be no financial incentives, but you can bet your left testicle that questions will be asked at performance reviews and higher ups will always be putting pressure on staff to cut those costs. Any reason WINZ staff find in their interrogations is seen as enough justification to cut the benefeciary’s livelihood.

This is yet another example of how the government and WINZ see the poor as a burden on the state, rather than see poverty, the actual issue, as a burden.

We should be helping and supporting beneficiaries (and those who deserve it), rather than treating them as thieves. Anything less is unjustifiable.

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