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A billion dollars overpaid to beneficiaries

A billion dollars overpaid to beneficiaries

The Minister of Social Development needs to explain how she let her department dish out a billion dollars in overpayments to beneficiaries in what seems like a staggering case of incompetence, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.

“Figures from MSD show overpayments to beneficiaries in the last financial year ballooned to $1 billion, $251 million more than National’s last year in government, the highest amount ever.

“An increase of a quarter of a billion dollars isn’t just a simple mistake, it’s blatant incompetence from a Minister that doesn’t have control of her department.

“Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has repeatedly talked about making sure people get everything they’re entitled to, but she’s gone the extra mile and overspent a billion dollars more of taxpayers’ money than she should have.

“Often, these overpayments are just written off, meaning the taxpayer picks up the tab.

“Under the Minister’s watch there are 15,500 more people on the dole, there are fewer sanctions for people who don’t follow the basic requirement that go with receiving taxpayers money and there is millions more being paid out in emergency grants as the cost of living soars under this Government.

“Ms Sepuloni needs to explain why overpayments have shot up by so much, and how that’s going to be fixed.”

Notes to editors: The Written Question detailing overpayments can be found HERE

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