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

 

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news