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  1. #7021
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod View Post
    Two important points to remember when reading these headlines:

    1. Being referred for investigation does not in of itself denote that investigators believe companies committed fraud or violated the rather nebulous terms and conditions of the wage subsidy. Further information could be required that cannot be obtained through the methods of the initial investigation.

    2. Companies paying back some or all of the subsidy similarly does not provide any evidence of wrong doing. For many companies, subsides may be fully or partly repaid due to employees resigning during the period of subsidy payments, for example. There are a myriad of reasons, particularly when policy is set haphazardly.
    Sounds like a bit of blaming there when you say particularly when policy is set haphazardly.
    I think the policy demonstrates that it is easier to measure and define income than capital or using your own resources before applying for the wage subsidy. Just as it is easier to tax income than capital gains.

    Main causes of fraud and error

    • social norms and beliefs: including beliefs that welfare fraud is acceptable, a victimless crime, and ‘everybody is at it’

    • complexity of the system: this leads to confusion and genuine error among clients and staff, as well as the actual and perceived ‘hassle’ for clients in updating their circumstances
    • means-testing: the difficulty in confirming the information provided by clients about income and assets is correct
    • perceived weakness of the sanctions: the sanctions do not present an adequate deterrent to potential fraudsters. This includes the perception that punishment may not be forthcoming due to the time elapsed between the fraudulent activity and the subsequent detection, investigation and debt recovery/prosecution
    • internal systems and support for staff: lack of resources for staff (particularly appropriate IT systems), and lack of training and incentives for accurate processing of client information.



    Benefit fraud initiatives - January 2012 - Ministry of Social ...
    www.msd.govt.nz › documents › research-archive › be...

  2. #7022
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    Quote Originally Posted by moka View Post
    Sounds like a bit of blaming there when you say particularly when policy is set haphazardly.
    Policy needs to be clear and concise, making it less susceptible to subjective interpretation. This is especially important where the consequences of alternative interpretations are serious. If this policy provided opportunity to companies or individuals not originally envisaged during drafting, then yes there is blame to be assigned.

    Quote Originally Posted by moka View Post
    I think the policy demonstrates that it is easier to measure and define income than capital or using your own resources before applying for the wage subsidy. Just as it is easier to tax income than capital gains.
    Which is completely irrelevant given the stated purpose of the policy is to provide a subsidy subsequent to meeting specifically outlined criteria, none of which included having used all of your existing resources before applying.

  3. #7023
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    Quote Originally Posted by moka View Post
    Sounds like a bit of blaming there when you say particularly when policy is set haphazardly.
    I think the policy demonstrates that it is easier to measure and define income than capital or using your own resources before applying for the wage subsidy. Just as it is easier to tax income than capital gains. ....
    I am not sure if that is the case. It is only easier because it is an already well established system with volumes of legislation and common law legal case decisions. Have you seen how voluminous Income Tax legislation is? Income tax/ dividend/ profit / rent etc. cases have kept a cadre of lawyers in work for generations. If William Pitt the Younger had not introduced in 1798 an Income Tax to broaden the tax base to pay for the war against Napoleon, it is difficult to imagine the existing land tax (and any subsequent capital gains tax) and various duties would have produced any more work for lawyers.

  4. #7024
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    https://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/107763/economist-brian-easton-says-way-we-approached-threat-covid-tells-us-about
    Economist Brian Easton says the way we approached the threat of Covid tells us about possibilities for the future ways.

    Some of the enthusiasm for the (failed) Swedish strategy reflects a very different account of how society works or how it should work. It argues that we should aim to maintain as high as possible economic output while minimising Covid deaths. In contrast, Denmark went for as few deaths as possible while minimising the impact on the economy.

    These may seem mathematically equivalent, but they involve different strategies. The evidence is that prioritising the economy over mortality as Britain and the US have done – results in very high death rates; prioritising wellbeing over the economy has kept deaths low but – amazingly – has not done a lot of damage to the economy.

    The difference is social management. That is where samfundssind comes in. A strategy which emphasises community solidarity is not one which fits easily with emphasis on the market – the neoliberal strategy.

    As it happens, New Zealand went down the samfundssind path although we called it ‘kindness’. The ‘team of five million’ is about samfundssind. Thus far it has worked. Our anti-Covid strategy, like Denmark’s was not that everyone was to look after themselves (and their close family) but that we were all in this together, that we were to be kind to everyone – even strangers (the Good Samaritan).

    So we – the world – have had a revealing contest between neoliberal market strategies with their emphasis on individualism (their code word is ‘freedom’) and collective social strategies with the emphasis on community spirit and social mindedness. The latter seems to have thus far won hands down in the Covid Crisis (although much of the race is still to be run).

    The health sector has been an ever bigger, and less resolved, example. The management of our hospitals is shaped by commercial considerations, whereas most of us want a health service whose primary concern is providing health services, subject to a funding constraint. One has the uneasy feeling that had the anti-Covid strategy been left with the DHBs, they would have gone down the neoliberal path, or ended up in a major row with their better informed health professional employees.

    The Rogernomes promised us that when we intensified the use of their commercial model there would be significant gains in material output (an argument paralleled by their anti-Covid proposals). It did not happen. Following their measures we returned to a long-run economic track which was lower than the one we started with, but the growth rate was no faster.

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