I must confess I kinda stole the title from Marc Bolan for this blog. I hasten to add, there are no royalties due as my title is really quite different to the Tyrannosaurus Rex album, in content and it is only the rhythm of the title that is similar.
This week I am getting stuck into those greedy bastards who prosper from the shredded remains of the rest of us.
The thing about profiteers is they aren’t really all that smart. They think they are because they make a quick buck, but in most cases they could make a lot more of their precious bucks by taking a longer term view.
A glorious example is that Vile little man who claims to be the Minister of Health. Minister is a noun and a pronoun derived from a verb which means to wait on, care for, look after, see to, accommodate, serve, supply, aid, help, assist or support – whew!
I see very little evidence that Toenail is caring for our health, or looking after our health system. Nor is he accommodating it, serving it, supplying it, aiding it, helping it, assisting it or supporting it. A cynical person (do we know any of those) might say he is certainly seeing to it..... Seeing to it that most of us never get any timely health treatment. And as for waiting on it; it is the sick that are waiting on it and for it.
The Vile one tells us his measures are to save us money and gleefully fronts up before compliant press (usually to be found in his own general geographical area) to tell us how well his waiting lists are working. Of course he deftly avoids mentioning all those who have been refused a place on the waiting list because the under-resourced system can’t handle them, and he also fails to appreciate that saving money on a $2000 operation now is only a saving if you don’t later have to perform a $10,000 one because the patient has deteriorated while awaiting surgery.
Another of the genius strokes this Minister (most) Vile has pulled is to stop the DHBs from wasting money treating foreigners who have no entitlement to our public health services. Great idea, you might say, until you realise that he has hired people in every DHB to check on this. Given there are 20 DHBs in New Zealand that would mean there are 20 ‘Eligibility Review Officers’ or possibly ‘Eligibility Co-Coordinators’ and possibly more bum-stiffs and hangers-on associated with them. I don’t know how much was being spent on ineligible people but it would seem over $100,000 p.a. is being wasted on these people.
That might sound harsh, but when you consider that to prove our eligibility, all we have to do is submit evidence of NZ citizenship or possession of the appropriate category of visa, you might wonder why it can’t simply be handled by whoever sends out the letters already.
However the Vile one is not the only poodle in the kennel shitting all over us. Muzza McGillicuddy, the Minister of FAT is doing an amazing ‘do as I say, not as I do’ turn. Mighty Muzza, the man who dropped so many passes over the World Cup that he should have made the Black Caps (cruel), is cutting the fat at MFAT. But is he? He says he is, and he is a Minister so we should believe him, right? Wrong. I don’t know where Muzza learned his maths, but it would seem to me that chucking out 300 MFAT staff (despite the fact many are probably a waste of space) is a weird immediate move when you are set to spend $900,000 on upgrading an Olympic sized swimming pool for the consular staff in Japan. Furthermore we now learn these guys already have a considerable ‘complex’ in which their pool is housed and another $93,000 was to be spent on a badminton court, a gymnasium, and hot and cold running geisha girls. (Okay I made that last one up). Muzza has since decided the expenditure is unwarranted, but only after he had been sprung and publicly shamed over it.
It seems to me that flying a bunch of MFATs back to enjoy some RWC 2011 games wasn’t the best way to save money either. Nor was taking an expensive Air Force charter plane for a one-day meeting in Vanuatu, if Philgoshisthatthetime has his facts right.
Other supersavers in this government include Paula Bumfat who has figured out that beneficiary bashing and trying to force people into non-existent jobs is a thrifty habit and Heck Yeah Pariah who is saving us money on character and reference checks for teaching staff.
Meanwhile while all of this saving is going on it would seem the only ones not trying to save a dollar are our councils who think nothing of splashing out on quarter and half million dollar salaries for their CEOs (read Cash Eating Oafs).
Of course, I nearly forgot. Things aren’t actually all that bad. Bill (Nospeakada) English approved a whole $0.50 per hour increase for the lowest wage earners. Wow, a whole $20 per week before tax. Let me see now what can they do with all this money? That’s $20 less roughly 20 percent for PAYE which brings it down to $16. Those who don’t know about these things would say that means low wage earners could save $832 per year – and they’d be right – if you are not a person on the minimum wage. Because if you are a person on the minimum wage it is almost certain you have been running a deficit in your budget and this will probably only reduce that slightly. By the way, before anyone passes judgement on those running such a deficit, just remember they are only doing what governments all over the world have done for decades. The only difference is that if they start printing their own money or issuing notes of credit they can’t back up, they go to jail.