No appeal in Ms F loans case
Media statement on MSD decision not to appeal High Court decision in Ms F case
Attributed to Viv Rickard, DCE
Service Delivery Ministry of Social Development
We accept the High Court judgement and will not be appealing. Our clients are unlikely to notice any change in the way we do things because our general practice already is that we do not treat loans as income. The Ms F case related to a rare combination of circumstances, a particularly complex case and very few clients will be affected by it. If any clients or advocates do have concerns about their cases we encourage them to get in touch with us.
We need to make sure that the system is fair and people get what they are entitled to. We need to take action in complex cases such as the Ms F case where a client’s spending is far in excess of their declared income. In Ms F’s case there were more than 140 payments from unidentified sources totalling more than $180,000 worth of unexplained income. It was important to make clear when money received can be treated as income. New Zealanders would expect us to look into a case like this.
We needed to protect the integrity of the welfare system.