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Dyson & WINZ continue to bat for drunk drivers

Judith Collins MP
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

20 February 2008

Dyson & WINZ continue to bat for drunk drivers

Social Development Minister Ruth Dyson has confirmed in Parliament that she endorses a practice by Work and Income to help drunk drivers get back behind the wheel, says National’s Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins.

“When I raised this issue yesterday, I was expecting the Minister to admit that the practice of WINZ paying the towage and storage fees for beneficiaries, including drunk, dangerous, and disqualified drivers, was flawed and bizarre.

“But she has, incredibly, told Parliament that she ‘supports the criteria for advance payment to beneficiaries’ .

“That is outrageous. I challenge Ruth Dyson to relay that to families who have lost loved ones to drunk and dangerous drivers, and tell them also that she has directed Work and Income to continue this obscene practice.

“Ruth Dyson had ample opportunity today to tell the country that she accepts that the policy is wrong, that it encourages criminals to escape punishment, and that it is hurtful to victims of drunk and dangerous drivers, but she refused.

“Instead, she disingenuously said ‘my expectation is that there are no circumstances at all under which Work and Income would assist people to continue to break the law’.

“New Zealanders understand that there are exceptional circumstances under which the retrieval of a beneficiary’s car from a tow yard, is acceptable. But they don’t understand why they should be assisting lawbreakers.

“This is an insult to law-abiding New Zealanders and taxpayers who are footing the bill.

“It is also another example of breathtaking arrogance from a Labour Minister who cannot admit she’s wrong.”


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