INDEPENDENT NEWS

New tools to combat welfare fraud announced

Published: Wed 20 Feb 2013 12:32 PM
Hon Chester Borrows
Associate Minister of Social Development
20 February 2013 Media Statement
New tools to combat welfare fraud announced
Associate Social Development Minister Chester Borrows has today announced new measures to prevent, detect and catch welfare fraud.
“We know that the vast majority of beneficiaries are honest and do the right thing, but a small minority take advantage of the welfare system. Let’s be clear – welfare fraud is a crime, committed by criminals, for their own benefit at the taxpayer’s expense, and we treat it as such without excuse,” says Mr Borrows.
“National promised to clamp down on welfare fraud, and I’m pleased to deliver on that promise today.”
The first initiative is to amend the law to create a new offence targeting partners or spouses of beneficiaries who are convicted of fraud.
Relationship offending last year cost over $20 million and makes up one third of welfare fraud prosecutions.
“Currently there are few options available to prosecute partners who know or benefit from such offending, leaving the entire debt with one partner,” says Mr Borrows.
“Prosecuting partners who profit from welfare fraud will ensure that both parties who profit from the crime are punished, and will help the taxpayer recover the lost money faster.”
The second key initiative is to introduce new ways of working with beneficiaries who have previously been dishonest with MSD. These new measures include greater verification of information and less access to self-service transactions, and will cover around 1000 beneficiaries each year.
“This approach will give MSD a package of tools which can be tailored to target the way an individual has been dishonest before. It is a sensible step to make sure that those who have ripped us off once cannot do it again,” says Mr Borrows.
The third new initiative is to formalise information sharing links between ACC, Inland Revenue, Housing New Zealand Corporation, New Zealand Police, and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).
“Sharing information between Government agencies will allow us to detect or catch welfare fraud sooner. Bringing these key agencies together will also help catch high value fraudsters whose deception extends across multiple agencies.
“It’s vitally important that the public has every confidence in the welfare system and these measures, alongside a range of smaller initiatives included in the package, will give MSD the tools it needs to achieve this.”
ENDS
Attached: Full details of new tools to combat welfare fraud
http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1302/20_Feb_Welfare_Fraud_Full_Initiatives.pdf
________________________________________

Next in New Zealand politics

On The Ethics (and Some Of The Economics) Of Lifting The Lockdown
By: Gordon Campbell
On Going To Level Four (and Scrapping The Olympics) Right Now
By: Gordon Campbell
Cabinet Approves Business Continuity Package In Response To COVID-19
By: New Zealand Government
Statement From Police Commissioner Mike Bush Following Guilty Pleas In Operation Deans Prosecution
By: New Zealand Police
Record transport investment in Draft GPS 2021
By: New Zealand Government
On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones
By: Gordon Campbell
On The Oil Price Smackdown, And On National’s Fatuous Crusade Against Red Tape
By: Gordon Campbell
Predator Free 2050 Strategy - Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
On Buying Ventilators, And Expanding The Testing For Covid-19
By: Gordon Campbell
Advance payments to support contractors
By: New Zealand Government
Auckland Council Welcomes Package To Stimulate Economic Recovery
By: Auckland Council
Infrastructure Sector Sees 30 Percent Less Jobs
By: Infrastructure NZ
COVID-19 And The Fundamentals Of Living On A Timed Borrow
By: Nikko AM
Fixing Wellington’s Infrastructure Deficit Should Be Top Of Government’s To-do List
By: Business Central
Nation Steps Up To COVID-19 Alert Level 2
By: New Zealand Government
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media