An interesting column in The Guardian‘s ‘Comment Is Free’ series on the nature and complexity of governmental bureacracy and form that an average Australian, who doesn’t have the ability to hire a professional to do it for them, struggles with.
I know from recent anecdotal evidence just how difficult and perilous the process can be in attempting to access a benefit that someone is entitled to access. The complexity was astounding and, thankfully for the people concerned, they had someone to assist them in lodging a claim. Even more thankfully, the claim was ‘granted’ – as if the government bureacracy was doing them a favour by providing the benefit to which they were lawfully entitled.
As the author of this column right points out “Our systems make us jump over hurdles to discourage people from claiming benefits they don’t need.” Even more frightening, however, is that
we hear nothing about all of the people who never make it to the point of claiming the benefits they are entitled to because they can’t make it over the hurdles that are deliberately placed in front of them. Nor about those who never even realise what they are entitled to in the first place.