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Taxpayers owed $800,000 in job subsidies

Su’a William SIO

Employment Spokesperson
26 August  2012                                                            

Taxpayers owed $800,000 in job subsidies
The Government is owed more than $800,000 dollars in subsidies paid out to employers under the Job Ops scheme who did not keep their end of the bargain, Su’a William Sio has revealed.
Data supplied to Labour’s Employment spokesperson[i] shows that since Job Ops started in 2009, 507 young workers employed under the scheme lost their jobs before completing six months of employment.
“If Job Ops workers are sacked inside six months then employers are supposed to pay back the up to $5000 in wage subsidies they get to take them on in the first place.  It is not good enough that there are currently 477 employers who owe taxpayers a refund, with a total of $814,541 outstanding.
“That is taxpayers’ money that should be spent on helping more young people into employment, rather than being left sitting in the bank accounts of businesses who didn’t meet the scheme’s requirements.
“There are 84,000 young people who are currently not in education, training or employment.  Every dollar counts and the Government should recover the money owed to it so it can be put to use giving young people a helping hand into employment.
“The Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is quick to demand accountability from beneficiaries that are over-paid.  She should hold employers to the same standards,” says Su’a William Sio.

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