The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union has welcomed the Ministry of Social Development’s confirmation that wage subsidy recipients will face renewed scrutiny and potential prosecution over their eligibility.
Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “This is exactly what we called for in the wake of the Auditor-General’s damning criticism of ‘verbal audits’ for wage subsidy recipients. Taxpayers deserve to know that $14 billion was paid to businesses who met the criteria to receive it.”
“This action needs to be backed up with stronger communication from the Beehive. We’d like to see the Prime Minister stand up and send a clear message to wrongful wage subsidy recipients: ‘If you took money for which you weren’t eligible, expect to be found out. Cough up now or face serious penalties’.”
“With $722 million already repaid, there is a good chance we’ll see hundreds of millions more flood back once recipients know that the Government is taking enforcement seriously.”