The value of data-matching

July 18th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

More than 3000 alleged welfare cheats receiving a total of $33.7 million a year have been caught in the past six months.

The Government says the findings are the result of a new way of sharing information between Inland Revenue and the Ministry of Social Development which started this while it is also looking at tying the amount of money they have to pay back to their wages in a bid to recoup costs faster.

Associate social development minister Chester Borrows said a total of 3139 people were caught in the investigation, with 1948 on an unemployment benefit and 559 on a sickness benefit.

He said the ministry believed it would be able to prove a ”big chunk of them” were intentionally defrauding the taxpayer though some could have been a legitimate oversight, he said.

”The fact is that these 3139 have been found to be paying more tax than they should have been if they were only earning their $100 a week maximum that they were allowed to on a benefit so there is obviously a reason for suspicion there,” he said.

That’s a great practical example of the value of being able to have and check data with each other.

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11 Responses to “The value of data-matching”

  1. Tauhei Notts (1,687 comments) says:

    This data matching should have started a quarter of a century ago; not in 2013.
    This government is chip chip chipping away at Labour’s bludging support base.

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  2. Reid (16,683 comments) says:

    I hope this is seen as a dambuster by the politicians who are seeing something that those who work in compliance areas in all depts not just IRD and DSW, have known for an extremely long time exists but haven’t been able to prove except in roundabout ways with extreme paperwork eventually permitting limited trials lest the horses get scared. I guarantee that once data matching starts in earnest between all sorts of govt depts, this “revelation” will in time be seen as a mere tip of an extremely large iceberg.

    It will all be stopped in its tracks of course if and when the lefties get in, unless the public by then have so many real examples just like this one that the public simply will not tolerate the efforts being wound back. The entity stopping this is of course the Office of the Privacy Commissioner which is of course under the MoJ which is of course under Minister Collins. This is probably, read almost certainly, the reason why this matching got past the post. So let’s hope all the ministers in all depts immediately issue urgent directions to their depts to put crash programs into play right now, and let’s hope Collins directs the OPC to give such applications urgent and immediate attention.

    If such was done in Monday’s Cabinet meeting, so that various trial matching exercises were completed by the end of this year, I guarantee there would be billions saved in staunched hemorrhaging from the Consolidated Fund and the courts would be clogged for years with thousands of prosecutions of pricks who think nothing of ripping off the rest of us, for their own selfish ends. And that’s a justice problem I don’t mind us having.

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  3. dave (821 comments) says:

    Pity the story doesn’t reveal:
    1.what payments WINZ beneficiaries who were overpaid were supposed to get
    2. how much were over payments.
    3. How much over payments were fraud as opposed to WINZ case manager error and normal over payments other than fraud
    4. How much of the amount were legitimate payments which the beneficiaries should have got anyway.

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  4. Colville (2,318 comments) says:

    I would love to be able to do benefit investigations on a 20% of first years saving as a fee basis. !

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  5. mara (769 comments) says:

    Perhaps this innovation will quietly move to the “too hard” basket when the media glories in details of benes and their innocent LITTLE KIDDIES living in cardboard boxes in the street. The line between honest and dishonest benes will be blurred and the grasping Left will exploit the harshness of capitalist, rich pricks who callously starve the poor to death, etc. Oh wait ….

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  6. Inky_the_Red (764 comments) says:

    To me it is misleading to claim the whole benefit these people are used in a year would be saved. Many of these are people being lax telling WINZ they got work. It’s a headline that tells half the truth.

    The other day we were told that it was great that 10,000 came off benefits in a year. Under Labour that happened 4 consecutive years (2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007)

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  7. Reid (16,683 comments) says:

    Many of these are people being lax telling WINZ they got work. It’s a headline that tells half the truth.

    So you mean, they don’t have work? Of they might, but they don’t know yet but they decided to pay extra tax just in case?

    Under Labour that happened 4 consecutive years (2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007)

    Yes and let’s not forget 2004-7 were in the midst of the greatest global boom years anyone alive has ever experienced, shall we, and yet somehow, under Liarbore, after five longs years of their reign, still we had many tens of thousands unemployed. How does that work Inky? Is something wrong there? You’d have thought Liarbore with all their “emphasis” on jobs would have slam-dunked it so unemployed = 0, wouldn’t you. Unless of course that was just a slogan for the idiot media who didn’t look behind it. But that didn’t happen, did it. Of course not.

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  8. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Inky, hels and mike chucked them onto a half arsed knowledge wave training course, not a job.

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  9. Nigel Kearney (1,096 comments) says:

    Extremely careless of the fraudsters to be caught using the same name, address, bank account or IRD number. Some of them will be too dumb to commit fraud properly but many will learn their lesson and do it differently next time. Easier to just stop paying benefits to anyone capable of working then the whole problem goes away.

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  10. burt (7,424 comments) says:

    Inky_the_red

    The other day we were told that it was great that 10,000 came off benefits in a year.

    Under Labour we vastly reduced the hospital waiting lists as well by growing the number of people sent back to their GP for reassessment after 2 years on the hospital waiting list.

    That was a great achievement …. If success is measured by the quantity of people reclassified…

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  11. Liberty (277 comments) says:

    A job well done .
    Next is to data match ACC and IRD

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