Parliament

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

 

National to focus on benefit fraud, crime and drug use

Hon Paula Bennett
National Party
Spokeswoman for Social Development

15 November 2011 Media Statement

National to focus on benefit fraud, crime and drug use

National is today announcing measures to get tough on those who abuse and exploit the welfare system.

“We’ll sanction beneficiaries if their recreational drug use gets in the way of a job, we’ll cancel benefits for criminals on the run from Police and a new team of fraud specialists will focus on catching benefit cheats,” says Social Development spokeswoman Paula Bennett.

These changes build on recent announcements to comprehensively reform welfare by resetting expectations through a more active, investment-based system.
The additional welfare reforms announced today include three main areas:

Fraud measures:
• Extended data-matching with other government agencies
• Law changes to improve prosecution of those who defraud
• A team of eight specialist fraud investigators

This year Work and Income increased data matching with other agencies and found six to 12 per cent of people were receiving benefits they weren’t entitled to.

Over 2010/11 there was 690 benefit fraud prosecutions, involving more than $22 million, with a further $183 million counted as overpayment, because it fell below the prosecution threshold.

“So, in the past year alone, new debt of $200 million was established due to benefit fraud and that’s unacceptable,” says Ms Bennett.

“This policy will save an estimated $200 million over four years.”

Beneficiaries on the run from Police
• Benefit suspended for those who fail to appear on an arrest warrant and cannot be located by Police
• Even if warrant cleared and benefit resumes, no back-pay.

“Most New Zealanders would be appalled to know that someone can continue getting a benefit while on the run from Police. National has reviewed this and will not pay for criminals to evade the justice system.”

Police will advise Work and Income when an individual fails to appear on a warrant and evades subsequent attempts by Police to contact them. The beneficiary will then receive written warning their benefit will be suspended in seven days’ time.

Beneficiaries with children in this situation will retain 50 per cent of their benefit until they supply evidence to show the warrant has been cleared.

Recreational Drug Use:
• Jobseeker sanctioned if recreational drug use affects work prospects
• Benefit cancelled if Jobseeker fails workplace drug test or refuses to apply for a job because they would have failed a drug test.

“Employers are desperate to hire forestry workers in Northland, but workers must be drug free and that's not an unreasonable expectation,” says Ms Bennett.

“Currently Work and Income doesn’t put people forward for jobs if they know the individual will fail a drug test, so we’re changing the rules so Jobseekers are responsible for being available for work.”

"National believes in a welfare system that is fair for those who use it, but also fair on taxpayers who fund it," says Ms Bennett.

Visit the policy at: http://www.national.org.nz/PDF_General/Welfare_Obligations_policy.pdf

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Welfare Reform Has No Champions In Parliament

Ever since Victorian times, the unemployed have been a problem for those more fortunate, wealthy and powerful. Down the ages, society has been torn between providing for them as victims of misfortune, or dealing to them as the shiftless agents of their own condition. Either way, the poor are commonly regarded as The Other – as a group of outsiders gathered pitifully, reproachfully, or (depending on your POV) threateningly at the gates of polite society.... More>>


 

National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>

ALSO:

Lockdown Rules: Timeline For Moving To Level 1 Needed

The BusinessNZ Network is calling for more clarity about the conditions under which businesses can move to Covid level 1. The network is concerned about large numbers of businesses that are at risk of closure if restrictions continue at the current ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>

ALSO:


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19 Response: Law Setting Up Legal Framework For Covid-19 Alert Level 2 Passes


The law establishing a legal framework for the response to Covid-19 has passed its final reading and will become law in time for the move to Alert Level 2 tonight.
This is a bespoke Act designed specifically to stop the spread of COVID-19... More>>

ALSO:

ACT: Parliament Quits MP Cut Pay Debate To Go Home Early

“In an outrageous move, Parliament has today passed voluntary MP pay cuts and avoided any debate over whether to make them compulsory and transparent”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.... More>>

ALSO:

Trans-Tasman Bubble: PMs Jacinda And Morrison Announce Plans

Australia and New Zealand are committed to introducing a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so, Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP have announced... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>

ALSO:

The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>

ALSO:

Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On The Dodgy Politics Of Easing Level 3

As countries around the world tentatively emerge from lockdown, a lot of political noise is being generated by politically-driven arguments that (a) the safeguards need to be lifted faster and (b) the lockdown itself was an over-reaction likely to leave lasting economic damage in its wake... More>>

ALSO:

Govt: Concern At Introduction Of National Security Legislation For Hong Kong
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels