INDEPENDENT NEWS

Investigation into student rip-off called for

Published: Fri 6 Dec 2002 03:01 PM
Investigation into student rip-off called for
National MP Katherine Rich is calling for a proper investigation into allegations that hundreds of millions of dollars may have been overpaid in student allowances.
A survey by the Ministry of Social Development has found that out of 96 students 70% were overpaid, at a cost of $161,000. Despite this no further investigation is planned.
“I don’t accept that this initial survey isn’t indicative of potentially wider problems. This kind of error rate should set alarm bells ringing.
“The Ministry’s explanation is rubbish and doesn’t do anything to dispel my concerns. Approximately 60% of students declare some form of income, so the Ministry’s grey hair analogy is bizarre.
“The Minister of Social Services may wish to keep his head in the sand over these payments but the public have a right to know whether millions of dollars have been overpaid.
“There is potentially a huge amount of taxpayers money involved here. The Government along with the Ministry of Social Development need to take this seriously and get to the bottom of it,” said Ms Rich.

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