Sneaky government break another promise

The government have been sneaky over an election promise for pensioners. In fact, so sneaky that the promise may actually have been a lie. Janine Starks writes at Stuff: Quote:

?Brrrrr. It’s rather autumnal out there and the chill winds of government are blowing golden promises away with the leaves.

If you’re feeling the temperature drop, you might be one of a million New Zealanders who qualify for the new $700 Winter Energy Payment ($700 for couples, $450 for singles).

It’s an amount of money you can spend on anything ? if you fancy some firewood, feel free.

Alternatively if you desire more biscuits and a new woolly jumper, don’t worry as no one is looking.

The million lucky winners of the Government’s Winter Energy lottery are those on benefits and our large population of retirees on superannuation.

For the beneficiaries, the payment will be welcome and warmly received.

For the retired, I’m not so sure. This payment grates – a fiddled promise right from the start.

Here we are at the beginning of May shivering and expecting this Winter Energy Payment to begin. It was promised to run from May to October. Well, layer up. It’s not arriving until July, but the delay is the least of your problems.

Here’s the bad news for the nation’s pensioners. You were all expecting a $700 increase to your pension this year (couples). You’re not getting it. It has been reduced to $413. Singles now only get $265.98.

How can this be possible? End quote.

Because they lied? Politicians do that to get you to vote for them.?Quote:

National’s pre-election promise was a $680 increase to your Superannuation. Labour marginally trumped it, but dressed it up as a $700 Winter Energy Payment (no means-testing or monitoring, but the label was good PR).

Both sides in the election wooed you and that’s why a haircut of almost $300 is worth hollering about.

The fiddling started right from the beginning. Labour made the $700 promise in July 2017. Originally, they stuck in a little proviso that you’d have to apply for it. They were upfront with the reason. It would save them money, as only 80 per cent of people would bother.

In November 2017, I encouraged retirees to put out their hand and claim the $700 Winter Energy Payment as soon as Work and Income allowed you to. After all, it was an election promise and the out-going government intended to pay the money without an application or a cold-granny label.

December 2017 arrived and the new government had its ears on. You no longer needed to apply and rich people could pay it back if they objected (high-five, both points were mentioned in this newspaper).

In the announcement on the Beehive website, it was noted that payments would be made over 13 weeks in 2018 (a late start in July), whereas in 2019 it would begin in May for 22 weeks.

Innocently, I figured this was a systems issue. New Government, new payment and Winz?needed time to get it up and running. Surely they’d just divide $700 by 13 weeks. It was a gold-plated election promise and Winnie would surely be a guard-dog on this one.

Errr no. In all that innocence I missed the words “When fully implemented, the annual payment will be?”

They’re talking about 2019 being the full implementation date.

The election promise was clearly a 2018 winter warmer. Can you imagine Labour going head-to-head with National’s $680 increase and proudly parading a $413 kilowatt floppy carrot?

A financial haircut of $287 is a substantial amount in kilowatts hours ??1190 kWh to be exact (going by my own anytime-rate). It’s at least a month’s power in winter to most pensioners.

I didn’t discover this until I had a chat with a disgruntled firewood collector who looked more closely at the Winz?website. Let’s just say my father is most displeased and dismayed I hadn’t informed him of this “diddling” (his words not mine).

I might have been slow on the literacy test, but not on the maths. The financial cynic in me quickly saw the calculation.

Over the next two years Labour’s energy payment will remain fiscally neutral. They wanted to pay 80 per cent of couples $1400 over two years.

Making you apply for this winter treat would see a fifth of people fail to claim it. The July manoeuvre means they’re now paying you $1113 over two years.

Voila, the new payment is 79.5 per cent of the promised payment. Well done, bang on budget boys and girls.

What happens in the winter of 2020? Who cares, it’s pensioners promise time again on the eve of a new election.

On a final note, watch out for the winter holiday clause. Those of you travelling overseas with your hard-earned savings are going to get pinged.

Stay away more than four?weeks and your Winter Energy Payment stops.

You need to apply for reinstatement if you get home before October. End quote.

Liars, thieves and ratbags, that’s our government for you… but hey, didn’t Jacinda do a good job in that viral video, and wasn’t she pretty in that Vogue feature? #Winning, one soft interview at a time.

Just remember, Jacinda Ardern says she doesn’t lie… which was a lie.

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