The Press reports:
Former gang leader Darryl Harris will lose the sickness benefit he has claimed for 26 years.
Social Development Ministry chief executive Peter Hughes said Mr Harris, who lives in Christchurch, had been told that his benefit would stop from January 10 because “he no longer meets standard eligibility requirements”. …
Mr Harris, who has three months to appeal against the decision, and his wife, Marcia Robins, made headlines a year ago when it was revealed they had been claiming unemployment and sickness benefits continually since 1984.
They had received $30,000 in special-needs grants since 2000, including payments for new tyres for their 2007 Chrysler saloon and to fence a swimming pool at one of their Christchurch properties.
Efforts to cancel Mr Harris’s sickness benefit failed when he obtained a medical opinion from one of Work and Income’s designated doctors that he was addicted to cannabis.
Oh no, he is sick, so he must get welfare for life. Or not.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said yesterday that the Government believed those who could work should, “and if that is considered hardline, so be it”.
“If someone is receiving the benefit because they are unwell, it is reasonable to expect them to be making every effort to get well so they can return to work.
“That is their responsibility to the taxpayer,” she said.
“It is unreasonable to expect the New Zealand taxpayer to support someone for extended periods on welfare because of a drug habit, unless every effort is being made to kick that habit and get back to work.”
You go Paula.Tags: welfare