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

 


New tools to combat welfare fraud announced

Hon Chester Borrows
Associate Minister of Social Development

20 February 2013 Media Statement
New tools to combat welfare fraud announced

Associate Social Development Minister Chester Borrows has today announced new measures to prevent, detect and catch welfare fraud.

“We know that the vast majority of beneficiaries are honest and do the right thing, but a small minority take advantage of the welfare system. Let’s be clear – welfare fraud is a crime, committed by criminals, for their own benefit at the taxpayer’s expense, and we treat it as such without excuse,” says Mr Borrows.

“National promised to clamp down on welfare fraud, and I’m pleased to deliver on that promise today.”

The first initiative is to amend the law to create a new offence targeting partners or spouses of beneficiaries who are convicted of fraud.

Relationship offending last year cost over $20 million and makes up one third of welfare fraud prosecutions.

“Currently there are few options available to prosecute partners who know or benefit from such offending, leaving the entire debt with one partner,” says Mr Borrows.

“Prosecuting partners who profit from welfare fraud will ensure that both parties who profit from the crime are punished, and will help the taxpayer recover the lost money faster.”

The second key initiative is to introduce new ways of working with beneficiaries who have previously been dishonest with MSD. These new measures include greater verification of information and less access to self-service transactions, and will cover around 1000 beneficiaries each year.

“This approach will give MSD a package of tools which can be tailored to target the way an individual has been dishonest before. It is a sensible step to make sure that those who have ripped us off once cannot do it again,” says Mr Borrows.

The third new initiative is to formalise information sharing links between ACC, Inland Revenue, Housing New Zealand Corporation, New Zealand Police, and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).

“Sharing information between Government agencies will allow us to detect or catch welfare fraud sooner. Bringing these key agencies together will also help catch high value fraudsters whose deception extends across multiple agencies.

“It’s vitally important that the public has every confidence in the welfare system and these measures, alongside a range of smaller initiatives included in the package, will give MSD the tools it needs to achieve this.”

ENDS

Attached: Full details of new tools to combat welfare fraud
http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1302/20_Feb_Welfare_Fraud_Full_Initiatives.pdf


________________________________________


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river.

“Despite an explicit assurance from Minister Smith that the new water standards would provide for human and ecosystem health, he has failed to deliver on either of these things,” says Forest & Bird CEO Kevin Hague. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Immigration: Clampdown On Rogue Employers Good First Step

The Human Trafficking Research Coalition is pleased at the new clampdown on rouge employers who exploit migrants announced by Minister Woodhouse this morning, and believes this is a step in the right direction. More>>

ALSO:

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington (Over A Decade)

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:


Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news