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Work and Income regularly break the law

Work and Income regularly break the law

Today's revelation by Radio New Zealand, that Work and Income practice has illegally cost every beneficiary a day's pay for the past 18 years, is the tip of an extremely ugly iceberg.

“Work and Income practice is regularly unlawful”, says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson Alastair Russell.

“We know, for example, that Work and Income, through benefit sanctions, have also unlawfully halved or stopped the benefit of over 80,000 people in the last year alone.

“Halving or stopping an individual's or family's income is a serious matter, it should not be done at the whim of a Work and Income employee – yet all of these sanctions have not complied with the Social Security Act.

“Further, we frequently work with families with children whose benefit has not only been cut unlawfully, but also by 100% instead of the 50% allowed for by the Act.

“At a bare minimum it is not unreasonable to expect a Government department to abide by its own legislation.

“Unfortunately, however, this Government has a goal to reduce the long-term cost of welfare by $13 billion by June 2018 no matter the social cost. They are clearly more than happy to achieve this goal through whatever means necessary – including unlawful practice and retrospective legislation.”

ENDS

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