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Benefit fraud must be repaid by community service

Benefit fraud must be repaid through community service

National’s Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins, says welfare fraud is reaching scandalous levels and fraudsters must be made to repay their debt through community service.

Answers to written questions show that the top four welfare fraudsters owe a combined $807,032 and will not have repaid their debt until the year 2825.

The single biggest welfare fraudster is paying back a $222,529 debt at just $20 per week, according to reports today.

Ms Collins says a repayment scheme of just $20 per week on a debt that large is a joke.

“I simply do not believe that these people are unable to repay their debt to society at a more meaningful rate. Community service must be explored as an option.

“Clearly the current system for dealing with benefit fraud is not working.

“New Zealanders don’t work hard and pay taxes so that other people can sit around on welfare that they aren’t entitled to for indefinite periods of time, racking up huge loans at the taxpayers expense.

“There must be a time when such people lose the right to receive taxpayer support.

“The benefit system should always be there to help people through hardship and get them back on their feet, but it should never be a lifestyle choice,” says Ms Collins.

National will require those who are able to work to be available for community work and retraining.


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