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

 


New welfare fraud measures come into force

New welfare fraud measures come into force

Associate Social Development Minister Chester Borrows has welcomed the start of new powers to hold both parties to relationship welfare fraud to account.

From today the amendments in the Social Security (Fraud Measures and Debt Recovery) Amendment Act 2014 come into force, creating a new offence for partners who are involved in relationship welfare fraud.

“’Relationship’ welfare fraud is different from most fraud in that it can by definition only be committed by two people, but we’ve only ever had the ability to hold one, the beneficiary, to account,” says Mr Borrows.

“From today that changes.”

“We know that the vast majority of Sole Parent Support beneficiaries successfully manage the change in their eligibility, but a small minority choose to take money they are no longer entitled to. Now we will be able to hold both parties to this offending to account.”

In the 2012/13 financial year there were 361 successful prosecutions that involved relationship fraud, with overpayments of $18.2 million. Over that same period 34,900 people came off the old Domestic Purposes benefit, many due to changing relationship status meaning they were no longer eligible for the DPB.

The Social Security (Fraud Measures and Debt Recovery) Amendment Act is part of a package of reforms this Government has implemented to combat welfare fraud.

“The Social Security (Fraud Measures and Debt Recovery) Amendment Act is a key step in combatting welfare fraud and ensuring those who would seek to defraud the system are held accountable.” says Mr Borrows.

The Acts also ensures that the Ministry of Social Development continues to recover all kinds of debt effectively – whether fraud debt, overpayments, advances or recoverable assistance.

“The Social Security (Fraud Measures and Debt Recovery) Amendment Act also makes it clear that the Ministry of Social Development should recover all welfare debt as the New Zealand taxpayer expects,” says Mr Borrows, “However this will continue to be done in a way that ensures the Ministry can exercise sensible discretion in managing recovery in individual cases so undue hardship is not placed on those repaying debt, or on their dependents.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza?

As usual, Prime Minister John Key has busily tried to distance himself from the political fallout, even though he happens to be the main beneficiary of the Remuneration Authority’s generosity. Finance Minister Bill English says with a straight face that it would actually be very hard to give the money back...

Even if it were true, it would actually be very easy for English and any other guilty colleagues, to give the extra money away. There are any number of food banks or homeless shelters who would be able to put the money to good use. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

ALSO:

143 Troops, Possible SAS Deployment, Legalities Unsorted: PM’s Statement On ISIL

Mr Speaker, today I am announcing to the House the Government’s decisions about our contribution to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL... More>>

ALSO:

Liu Saga: PM's Dinner With Controversial Donor

John Key must front up to New Zealand and say what he discussed with Donghua Liu when the disgraced businessman paid $25,000 for the Prime Minister to come to dinner at his Remuera home, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Roads: National MP 'Concerned' At Overseas Driver Crashes

Waitaki MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism Jacqui Dean said she was concerned at the number of fatal crashes involving overseas licence holders and she really felt that the time had come for more to be done. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parole Bill Passes

A bill reducing parole hearings deemed to be unnecessary has passed. The third reading of the Parole Amendment Bill was completed by 104 to 16 with the Greens and Maori Party opposed. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news