A tosser and a fraudster

The Herald reports:

A welfare fraudster who travelled the world for two years courtesy of the taxpayer has taunted Social Development Minister Paula Bennett in an online video. …

Freedom left for Australia in April 2009, but his benefit payments were not stopped until last January, allowing him to visit Europe, the Balkans, Britain, Africa and Asia.

He received nearly $28,000 in benefit payments over two years.

He contacted the Weekend Herald by email, drawing attention to the video. He said he was in the Netherlands, and would return to New Zealand eventually.

He was “indifferent” to prosecution.

I’m not indifferent to it. I’m all in favour.

He says that when he first claimed the $90-a-week benefit while living in Hawera, it was not enough to live on.

If he is claiming it is $90/week, he is again lying. If you are aged over 25 it is $201.40 net a week or $225.03 gross.

In the video, Freedom admits he fraudulently filled out a tenancy agreement to claim a greater benefit of $290 a week, but claims it was only in exasperation with Work and Income.

I admit I punched Mr Freedom in the face 27 times, but it was only in exasperation with him being a doofus.

Ms Bennett said it was the National Government’s Future Focus reforms – which required all who had been on the dole for a year to reapply – which cut Freedom’s payments.

One of the many reforms Labour fought against.

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