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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Post-Cabinet Presser: EQC Reform, Greece & Surplus Stimulation

Prime Minister John key discussed proposals for reform of the EQC act and the Greek economic crisis at a press conference in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

GCSB/NZSIS: Intelligence And Security Reviewers Seek Public’s Views

“We are seeking public submissions to help us determine what issues to focus on during the review,” says Sir Michael Cullen. “We want to hear your views on what the GCSB and NZSIS should be doing to protect New Zealand and how they should do it.” More>>

Education: Schools Funded To Trial Innovative Approaches

Education Minister Hekia Parata has announced the successful applicants for a new $10 million fund to encourage innovative teaching practices. “I’m delighted with the quality of the 39 projects that have won funding in the first round of the Teacher-led Innovation Fund worth a total of about $2.6 million,” says Ms Parata. More>>

ALSO:

Generation Zero: Skypath Granted Resource Consent

Generation Zero is delighted and relieved that the ‘Skypath’ walking and cycling addition to the Harbour Bridge has been granted resource consent. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Two New Auckland Special Housing Areas

Two new greenfield Special Housing Areas (SHAs) that will provide up to 1800 new homes in Auckland have been announced today by Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Mayor Len Brown. More>>

ALSO:

Royals: The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall To Visit

Prime Minister John Key welcomes today’s announcement that the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit New Zealand in November. This will be the second joint visit for Their Royal Highnesses to New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Tracey Martin Replaced: Ron Mark Is New New Zealand First Deputy Leader

Clayton Mitchell was the successful candidate for the Associate Whip position. Winston Peters was re-elected as Leader by the Caucus. Ron Mark was elected as the Deputy Leader with effect from 10am, Friday, 3rd July. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild Rebrand: "Regenerate Christchurch" To Replace CERA

The regeneration of Christchurch will be the city’s focus for the next five years as local leadership progressively takes control of the rebuild, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

Nauru: Scholars Urge Minister To Act On Deteriorating Democracy

“Since the 2013 election in Nauru, there has been a series of disturbing developments on the islands that indicate a severe deterioration in the state of its parliamentary democracy and in the rule of law,” say the scholars. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news