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

 


New law holds partners complicit in welfare fraud to account

Hon Chester Borrows

Associate Minister for Social Development

17 April 2014 Media Statement
New law will hold partners complicit in welfare fraud to account

Associate Social Development Minister Chester Borrows has welcomed the passage of a Bill to hold partners complicit in welfare fraud to account, 102 votes to 17.

The Social Security (Fraud Measures and Debt Recovery) Amendment Bill changes the Social Security Act 1964, making spouses and partners of beneficiaries, as well as beneficiaries, accountable for welfare fraud or dishonest overpayments.

“We know the overwhelming majority of beneficiaries are honest, and successfully navigate the rules, but those who don’t cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars each year,” says Mr Borrows.

“In the vast majority of cases where the fraud is failing to declare a relationship while receiving a single-person’s benefit, only the beneficiary was taking the blame and shouldering the debt, which can be tens of thousands of dollars.”

“That wasn’t fair. Relationship welfare fraud can only occur when two people chose – by their actions or inactions – to be involved in a fraudulent situation.

“We’ve now made it fair. Spouses and partners will be jointly responsible for the debt if they knew about the fraud, or turned a blind eye to fraud occurring in their own home,” says Mr Borrows.

The changes also ensure that the Ministry of Social Development continues to recover debt effectively while enabling it to exercise sensible discretion in managing recovery in individual cases.

The passing of the Bill is the latest in a package of reforms designed to combat welfare fraud.

“Welfare assistance is a major form of public expenditure and New Zealanders expect us to be good stewards of the taxpayer’s funds. These reforms are a sensible step in ensuring that the welfare system is there for those who need it, and is not abused,” says Mr Borrows.

The Bill comes into force on 7 July 2014.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Hager Revelations: Inquiry Into NZSIS Release Of Goff Docs

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced today that she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information to Mr Cameron Slater, regarding briefings provided to the then Leader of the Opposition, for political purposes...

“I am satisfied there is a sufficient public interest justifying the commencement of an own-motion inquiry into the substance of the issues raised with my Office,” said Ms Gwyn. More>>

Goff: Director’s Letter Contradicts Key’s Claims

At yesterday’s media standup, when asked on the topic John Key said ‘I wasn’t told’...
“In a letter dated November 2011 former SIS director Warren Tucker states three times that ‘in accordance with the usual practice of keeping the minister informed’ the Prime Minister had been told. More>>


 

Parliament Today:

Electionresults.co.nz: National and NZ First Rise in Roy Morgan Poll

National has bounced back in the latest Roy Morgan Poll but the big winner has been New Zealand First who rise to their highest level of support since September 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Fish Pun Warning: By Hoki! It’s Labour’s Fisheries Policy

A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. More>>

ALSO:

It's Official: Governor General Gives Direction To Conduct Election

The Governor General has signed the writ directing the Electoral Commission to conduct the General Election on 20 September 2014. This is the formal authority to run the 2014 election, and enables candidate nominations to open tomorrow Thursday 21 August 2014. More>>

Gordon Campbell: No More Mr Nice Guy

When future historians seek to identify the exact moment when the prime ministerial career of John Key hit the downward slope, they may well point to Key’s interview yesterday with Guyon Espiner on RNZ’s Morning Report. More>>

ALSO:

Dirty (Politics) Weekend: Collins’ Admission Reason For Key To Act

"Despite claiming that the evidence about her in Nicky Hager's book was ‘false’ Judith Collins has now been forced to admit that she did send information about a Ministerial Services staff member to Cameron Slater for him to use in a baseless smear campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Potential Disasters: Underground Coal Fire On Denniston Plateau

Forest & Bird says one or more coal fires have broken out beneath the Denniston Plateau, and that the Department of Conservation (DOC) must stop Bathurst Resources’ preparatory mining work going on there until the fire or fires are extinguished. More>>

ALSO:

Bikes: Nats Plan $100 Million For Urban Cycleways

Prime Minister John Key has today announced $100 million in new funding will be made available over the next four years to accelerate cycleways in urban centres. More>>

ALSO:

New Tax Bracket, Child Poverty Fund: Greens Launch Billion Dollar Plan To Reduce Child Poverty

The Green Party has launched a billion dollar package to significantly reduce child poverty in New Zealand. The details of the plan were released at the party’s campaign launch in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news