Kiwi Polemicist

February 17, 2009

• Deborah Coddington on the Invalid’s Benefit: a critique

The comments button is at the bottom right of this post.

In the first version of this post I said that Coddington had made an error. Lindsay Mitchell pointed out that it was I who had made an error and not Coddington: the substantive difference was one word, but it was an error none the less. I would like to thank Mitchell for pointing out this error and apologise to Coddington.

In her latest column Deborah Coddington said in regard to the Invalid’s Benefit:

We need to get judgemental. Forty years ago, anyone applying for a benefit had to be “of good moral character and sober habits”. Another rule, since abolished, stated that “incapacity for work was not self-induced or in any way brought about with a view to qualifying for an invalid’s benefit.”

What Coddington does not say is that a similar but significantly more relaxed version of the rule is in force today. S40(5) of the Social Security Act says:

A person must not be granted an invalid’s benefit if the chief executive is satisfied that the person’s restricted capacity for work, or total blindness, was self-inflicted and brought about by the person with a view to qualifying for a benefit.

Coddington also criticises the woman who is receiving the invalid’s benefit and had to be restrained by four policeman. I do not wish to defend this particular woman, for I do not know her, but it is speciousness to say that someone should not be on the invalids benefit because they have to be restrained by four policemen. Many disabilities are invisible, and some disabilities such as psychotic illness and intellectual disability make people stronger, whilst also raising their pain threshold and thereby making restraint more difficult.

Coddington’s reference to the woman’s “gut hanging out over her jeans” is completely irrelevant and is a somewhat dirty tactic. Plenty of people who aren’t on the invalid’s benefit have their gut hanging over their jeans.

I am in broad agreement with Coddington when she says that many people who are on the invalid’s benefit should not be (I am paraphrasing), and I believe that the state has no business being involved in welfare.

What do you think about Coddington’s column?




  1. I am an aunty to the children of Victoria Stevens and Id have to say that I am in agreeance with the comments made as they are what they seem. Vicktoria has done nothing but endure the pain of others and as harsh as that may sound she dose not give a shit about you or anyone eles that knows of her. Iv seen nothing but heart ach and pain she has put on her children and others. Through my years of knowing her and past experience she is the nastiest woman I have ever come across. She uses and abuses what is given to her including her children. her eldest son pastd because she decided she did not want him looking like a freak, so she had the plug pulled and he died. The most saddest thing a parent could do and yet noone else could have there say. If that wasnt bad enuff, during her sons funeral, she spent most of the time slagging it of in the local pub. Before he was to be buirred she gave out vivids so that every one and anyone could tag on his coffin. This is only a glimps of what went on, she has a son in jail going up for murder (stabbing a good man) an yet who do you think he learnt that from. Victoria stabbed my Brother a good honest man, whom at the time was her husband and if it couldnt get any worse, there children witnessed it. Now 1 of her daughters is living with my neice, and is recieving no support, while this vile person continues to recieve for her daughter and her allegid sickness. This lady is expericenced when conning work and income, so dont be fooled and let this woman con you the public……………
    Vitoria has a way of putting the blame on others for her wrong doing, so her affiliations with the gang have nothing to do with the way she is, I knew her before she entred the gang life when she married my brother after so many years. She dragged my brother and there children through the mud, she is a good lier and will say and do anything make people feel for her.
    What about the people she has caused heart ach for?
    What about her Children?
    why can she addmit to her mistakes and take responsibilty for her actions?
    Why cant she get a job?
    there are jobs out there she can do, she is just bluddy lazy, If I can work to support my family then so can she……… excusses its not like she cant move or has heart problems, she allegidly has atheritis, so do the paper run, the milk run, anything is better than sitting on your arse all day waiting for payday to get drunk………

    angry auny

    Comment by aunty — March 18, 2009 @ 1:28 pm

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