Benefit crackdown saves $47m: Govt

Last updated 10:30 06/08/2014

Election: Is our welfare system working?

Share your stories, photos and videos.

Relevant offers


Education Minister Hekia Parata announces Marlborough colleges decision Live Chat replay: Chief Social Worker Paul Nixon talks child abuse in NZ Partner of Kiwi detainee speaks out about detention centre struggles Jenny Shipley: Why we need a silver fern flag Faces of Innocents: Too many children are dying, are we about to break another promise? Children's flag referendum views are being heard by voters in their families 'Our job is not to censor. We're not serving the political elite, business or corporations' Stacey Kirk: Strewth! Join Australia? They're a bunch of flaming galahs! 'I don't want to be prime minister' – Jacinda Ardern Jacinda Ardern in da House – from red carpet celebrity to green leather politician

The Government has cancelled more than 6900 benefits and saved $47 million through a crackdown on welfare fraud.

Measures introduced by National in the last term of government include beefed up powers to tackle "relationship fraud", information sharing between Inland Revenue and the Ministry of Social Development and stricter monitoring of almost 2000 beneficiaries caught gaming the system.

The ministry prosecuted 893 people in the 2013/14 year, associate minister Chester Borrows said. It also completed 4614 investigations, established 2270 overpayments.

Information sharing between the two agencies alone saw future welfare payouts worth $44.8m cancelled. Just over $3m in overpayments was recovered and more than 350 people successfully prosecuted.

"These are not people being kicked to the kerb - they are people who are working, and earning enough money that they are no longer eligible for the benefit, who have failed in their obligation to tell us this has occurred," Borrows said.

A new law, which came into force in early July, has targeted the estimated $15.4m a year overpaid to those who misrepresent their relationships status to claim benefits.

Both parties in the relationship are now liable for the debt under the new legislation and the new rules are expected to apply to about 1000 cases a year.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?



Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content