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


The Quarter-Billion Dollar Welfare Debt

The Quarter-Billion Dollar Welfare Debt

Heather Roy
Wednesday, 11 October 2006
Press Releases - Social Welfare

A quarter of a billion dollars of unpaid debt is owed by welfare beneficiaries, according to new answers to parliamentary questions released by ACT Social Services spokesman, Heather Roy.

"This $261 million dollars is made up of money owed by recipients of the Invalid's Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Unemployment Benefit and Domestic Purposes Benefit", Mrs Roy said.

"More than 141,000 beneficiaries are now indebted to the State, over and above what they receive in their normal benefit. This is an increase of 11,000 beneficiaries owing money while Labour has been in office.

"Since Labour came into government, the amount owed by Sickness Benefit recipients has increased by 137% to more than $48.8 million. Debt accrued by Invalid's Benefit recipients has increased by 179% to over $51.1 million over the same period.

"While Labour Ministers boast about their economic success, these figures show that more people are living in poverty, having to borrow money to top up their benefits.

"Under the Labour Government, the amount owed by people on the DPB has increased by $31 million, blowing out to more than $122 million.

"While recently released figures show that dads who have moved to Australia are not meeting their financial responsibilities with regard to their children, mums are left here to mind the children, and are having to borrow money from the State to make ends meet.

"The Minister for Social Development and Employment, David Benson-Pope, has revealed that these debts, which are often repaid very slowly, incur no penalty interest.

"If a taxpayer makes an error in their paperwork, the IRD applies punitive interest and penalties - but beneficiaries taking advantage of our welfare system face no such sanction.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>


Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>


United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>


Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election