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

 


Big department pay-out needs explaining


Big department pay-out needs explaining

Social development Minister Paula Bennett is side-stepping questions over a $97,000 taxpayer-funded ‘termination benefits’ paid out by her department, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“Responding to questions today Ms Bennett refused to say whether Janet Grossman, Work and Income’s former chief executive who left in June after only months in the job, was effectively asked to leave.

“Ms Grossman was head-hunted for the position and her role included overseeing the self-service kiosks at the centre of a major security breach.

“Ms Bennett’s remarkable act of dodge the question today was in direct contrast to her performance in June, when she seemed happy to answer questions about Ms Grossman, who left Work and Income just two days after handing in her ‘resignation’ and just 11 months after taking up the post.

“When asked about the cause of Grossman's departure then, Ms Bennett said ‘her husband has had job opportunities in the UK and she wishes to return back there. That is the reason for it’.

“However the Ministry of Social Development has since released its annual report, which reveals $97,000 in termination benefits were paid last year.

‘A termination benefit is defined as a payment made when an entity ‘decides to terminate an employee's employment before the normal retirement date’, and an employee decides to ‘accept voluntary redundancy in exchange for those benefits.’

“Ms Bennett needs to be up front about what has been going on at Work and Income this year.

“To bat away a straight question in the house today and again deny any responsibility – Ms Bennett said it was a matter for the State Services Commission - is just not good enough.


“If Ms Grossman left on her own terms and received no payment, then the Minister should be straight and tell us that,” said Jacinda Ardern.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Urgent Bill Planned:
MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency.

Mr Key says the decision was made after the Remuneration Authority’s latest determination which saw the total remuneration received by MPs increased by about 3.5 per cent...

The new legislation will be backdated to 1 July 2014, meaning the pay increase outlined in the latest determination will not be awarded. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news