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


Welfare fraud bill passes second reading

Welfare fraud bill passes second reading

A bill to help hold partners complicit in welfare fraud to account has passed its second reading in Parliament today.

“While the overwhelming majority of people receiving welfare support are honest and follow the rules, a tiny minority think they can get away with ripping off the taxpayer, and we’re going to hold them to account,” says Associate Social Development Minister Chester Borrows.

The Bill will change the law to make partners of beneficiaries who fraudulently receive a single or sole parent rate of benefit criminally liable for their part in the fraud.

“The reality of this type of fraud is that by definition it can only occur when there is a second person in the picture,” says Mr Borrows.

“However, at the moment one partner – usually the woman – takes all the blame and all the debt, while the other gets away with it. That’s not fair, so we’re changing the law to fix that.”

The Bill is part of a package of reforms designed to prevent, detect and punish welfare fraud. It includes enhanced information sharing with Inland Revenue, which has so far resulted in the cancellation of more than 5300 illegitimate benefits worth over $56 million per year, and stringent new checks for people previously caught taking money from Work and Income.

“We owe it to the taxpayer to be good stewards of the money they provide. These reforms will help us ensure that the welfare system is there to help the needy, not be taken advantage of by the greedy,” says Mr Borrows.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news