Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Maharey Must Back Effort to Reduce Benefit Fraud

Maharey Must Back Effort to Reduce Benefit Fraud

Wednesday 18 Dec 2002 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Social Welfare

Complaints from a beneficiary advocacy group that WINZ's random visits to clients' homes are "invasive and intimidatory" should be disregarded, ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey caved in to advocacy groups when he limited the ability of WINZ to `cold call' people suspected of benefit fraud. He went against official advice in doing so and the result was a drop of tens of millions of dollars in the amount of fraud identified.

"Now it looks like he intends to stop these random WINZ visits which were meant to be a preventative measure to replace cold calling. Yet beneficiaries who are not breaking the law should have nothing to fear from such visits.

"Going soft on welfare fraud is just crazy. In our welfare dependent culture, benefit fraud is a very real and very serious problem. Taxpayers need to know that the safeguards are there to ensure that welfare is only available to those who really need it?

"That is especially important right now after the revelation last week that the leaders of a paua-smuggling ring, husband and wife Zhang Yuan Da and Zhong Hui Hong, were long term welfare beneficiaries. Picking up state benefits for 11 years while carrying out crime and having $800,000 stashed in the bank is an absolute indictment of the government's fraud detection ability. It would be outrageous to now go even softer on welfare fraud.

"The majority of people receiving welfare entitlements are not ripping off the taxpayer. But fraudsters undermine the integrity of the entire welfare system. They are committing a crime, and the Government has an obligation to detect their abuse and to prosecute them.

"Beneficiary advocates should be calling for tougher standards to ensure that the system is stronger for people who truly do need help. And the Minister should be backing his frontline WINZ staff to become more effective in detecting benefit fraud. With total welfare spending set to rise by about $1.5 billion in the next three years, the last thing we need is for Mr Maharey to show that he has no backbone," Dr Newman said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election