INDEPENDENT NEWS

Collins and the New Maths

Published: Thu 20 Mar 2008 05:24 PM
20 March 2008 Media Statement
Collins and the New Maths
Judith Collins has once again demonstrated she is a student of the New Maths, says Social Development Minister Ruth Dyson.
“The percentage of Ministry of Social Development clients who owe debts is 19.8% of their total current clients - this is a very small increase since 2000, when 18.8% of Ministry clients had debts with the Ministry.
“The percentage is not 70% as Judith Collins says. What she has done with her creative maths to get this figure is to take the total number of MSD clients who owe debt – which include Superannuitants and those with non-benefit debt - and divided it by the working age population on a benefit, which does not include NZ Super recipients. She is comparing apples with pears by using the wrong denominator,” said Ruth Dyson.
Total debt owed to MSD includes fraud, overpayments and recoverable assistance, where clients and beneficiaries make arrangements to repay money loaned to them by MSD.
“Recoverable assistance means interest-free loans, which are used for things such as repairs to household appliances or vehicles, petrol money for travel to funerals, or to pay fines which would otherwise incur penalties that would leave someone even further in debt,”
“Is it the policy of the National party that these families should go to loan sharks instead?” asked Ruth Dyson.
The total amount of benefit overpayments each year, has decreased from almost $190 million in 2001/02 to $150 million in 2006/07.
“This reflects our focus on getting people off benefits and into work, and our emphasis on debt prevention and early detection,” said Ruth Dyson.
In the last year the Ministry of Social Development has:
• run more than 346 data matching programmes comparing more than 12 million records
• visited more than 15,000 clients to check their entitlement
• completed 39,000 individual investigations and reviews
• prosecuted 905 cases with a 95% success rate
“We also have the Social Assistance (Debt Prevention and Minimisation) Bill currently before the House, that will enable our government to continue this good work,” said Ruth Dyson.
ENDS

Next in New Zealand politics

Government and Air NZ agree to manage incoming bookings
By: New Zealand Government
New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways
By: New Zealand Government
David Clark resigns as Health Minister
By: New Zealand Government
Green Party Proposes Transformational Poverty Action Plan
By: Green Party
New protection for dolphins
By: New Zealand Government
Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
By: New Zealand Government
Hamish Walker - A Personal Statement And An Apology
By: New Zealand National Party
Labour will extend loan scheme 'lifeline' for small business - PM
By: RNZ
Winston Peters on EU travel: 'We're not going to compromise our country's health'
By: RNZ
Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-start COVID Rebuild
By: New Zealand Government
Government Strengthens Managed Isolation System
By: New Zealand Government
ACT Announces List For 2020 General Election
By: ACT New Zealand
Air New Zealand Limits Capacity On Inbound International Services
By: Air New Zealand
Border Lockdown Shows Labour Governing For Labour
By: ACT New Zealand
Cash Boost For Wairarapa Waterways
By: Marcus Anselm - Local Democracy Reporter
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media