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WINZ apology too late for murder victim's mum

WINZ apology too late for murder victim's mum

Dunedin-based National MP Katherine Rich is appalled by a mix up at Work and Income, which has seen the mother of a murder victim granted, then denied emergency benefits within the space of just one week.

Mrs Rich says she was approached by Jill Bentley, after she became frustrated by the lack of help she was getting from the Department.

"Jill had been unsuccessful trying to get Work and Income to honour the first letter, which confirmed her application for a special benefit had been accepted.

"Within the space of a week she received a second letter which said completely the reverse," says Mrs Rich.

"Jill Bentley's in a fragile state and to her credit, she's never used her circumstances for sympathy.

"But Work and Income has recently spent $400, 000 to teach staff how to write letters with some degree of sympathy and empathy - it's pretty clear now that was a complete waste of time and money.

"At least now the Department appears to be apologising and admitting it made a mistake, but only after Jill went public," Mrs Rich says.

"It should never have got this far, the damage has been done, the apology's too little too late.

"Against a back-drop of growing welfare dependency, and statistics that show more people are expected to become beneficiaries, New Zealanders need to know that WINZ is on top of its game.

"It's pretty obvious from this case, that the Department is not," Mrs Rich says

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