Blog description.

Accentuating the Liberal in Classical Liberal: Advocating Ascendency of the Individual & a Politick & Literature to Fight the Rise & Rise of the Tax Surveillance State. 'Illigitum non carborundum'.

Liberty and freedom are two proud words that have been executed from the political lexicon: they were frog marched and stood before a wall of blank minds, then forcibly blindfolded, and shot, with the whimpering staccato of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ resounding over and over. And not only did this atrocity go unreported by journalists in the mainstream media, they were in the firing squad.

The premise of this blog is simple: the Soviets thought they had equality, and welfare from cradle to grave, until the illusory free lunch of redistribution took its inevitable course, and cost them everything they had. First to go was their privacy, after that their freedom, then on being ground down to an equality of poverty only, for many of them their lives as they tried to escape a life behind the Iron Curtain. In the state-enforced common good, was found only slavery to the prison of each other's mind; instead of the caring state, they had imposed the surveillance state to keep them in line. So why are we accumulating a national debt to build the slave state again in the West? Where is the contrarian, uncomfortable literature to put the state experiment finally to rest?

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Kafkaesque StudyLink - Open Letter to Minister of Social Development.

Update to Below Post:

Credit where credit is due, a MSD staff member phoned me this afternoon after being made aware of this post. He was not only competent, but most agreeable. Indeed, he was genuinely disappointed to hear of these problems, most of which have come about because of changes in the way parental income is scoped from 2012 - so politicians again :) So big ups for the phone call, I don't think my clients will be having problems into the future due to processes set in place.


It doesn’t matter where you stand politically on the matter of student loans and allowances, if we are going to have such a system, then it needs to work better than under the uber-bureaucracy operating it currently. That department is a working example of why you wouldn’t want a government running anything: labyrinthine - it’s easier doing the paperwork for a million dollar bank mortgage than a $14k student allowance - and as with the public sector, a culture that has no notion of the importance of privacy. The below is simply a letter with names taken out to be an open letter.


To whom it may concern.

Re:       [Student Name]


[List of documentation, verified, including taxation summaries, relevant financial statements, et al, relating to student's parental income (parents being my clients).]


Please note I’m at my wits end dealing with Studylink. You have had all of the above information from me, particularly a statement of income with full disclosure as to the nature of the Family Trust, beneficiary income, trustee income, etc. More particularly, that statement of income had my full contact details, and a specific request handwritten on and underlined to ring me if further information is required - as on particular clients I needlessly lose so much time on this process year after year - but despite this StudyLink continues dealing with the student, sending form letters that all have to be relayed to me, and often containing only partial information that is applicable, while relisting as needed all the information that you already have. If you require anything further from this point, can you please ring me direct so any further documentation matters can be dealt with quickly. (Moreover, when you do send form letters to the student involved, please provide a direct dial number to the officer working the application, or even an email address, so that we humans on this side of the Berlin Wall of your telephone system - the worst of any government department I’ve ever dealt with - are not driven to utter distraction. In fact I will not use the StudyLink 0800 number: it is a waste of my time.)

Concerns as regards privacy:

It has long concerned me that the way StudyLink operates constitutes a breach of parents’ privacy. Not all parents are comfortable with their children knowing the complete details of their income – (I certainly wouldn’t be). There are, indeed, some situations where children should not have this knowledge, nor knowledge of family trusts that may have been set up specifically with regard to errant behaviour on their behalf. The Kafkaesque routines of Studylink aside, I guess parents, or myself, could try to supply details of their parental income direct to StudyLink, although the way the loan/allowance application process works this would seem outside the formal route, namely:

The statement of parental income has to originally be stapled to the student's allowance application, the rest of which the student completes. Thus the parental income figure, and breakdown of this income, always ends up given to the child/young adult to be sent with their application, meaning in every case the child learns these details.

Secondly, as stated, when StudyLink want further information regarding parental income, or information verification, then it never corresponds with me or the parents, but the student.

This is not only a privacy breach of confidential information between parents and their children, but when details are needed from parents who are separated, then this quickly devolves to a very difficult situation, as the parent whom the child is living with can use it to find out their ex’s income. That is a charged situation which can lead to pressures and stresses which are unhelpful, to say the least.

Although I am the last person, normally, to promote departmental information sharing, because no taxpayer has privacy before the state, anyway, the simple solution to all the issues above would appear to be that StudyLink, as ACC do, get a tape of all applicable parental income direct from IRD.

In frustration, yours faithfully …



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