Sanctions working

September 25th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Michael Fox at Stuff reports:

Threats to sanction beneficiaries on the run from the law are leading to the clearance of more outstanding arrest warrants, the Government says.

One change revealed in the Government’s welfare reforms this year was the ability to stop payments to beneficiaries if they were subject to an arrest warrant.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said it had resulted in 161 arrest warrants being cleared within six weeks of operation. …

Bennett said the police were notifying Work and Income after their own efforts to track down those beneficiaries had failed.

Work and Income staff were then contacting the beneficiaries to tell them they needed to contact police or have their benefits slashed.

 The new rule affects those who have had an outstanding criminal arrest warrant for 28 days or longer.

Those people get another 10 days to clear the warrant. If they don’t their benefit is stopped if they have no children or halved if they do.

Not bad for just the first six weeks.

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14 Responses to “Sanctions working”

  1. scrubone (3,044 comments) says:

    Our welfare system has never been setup to provide income for people who can work, but have no intention to work.

    What’s funny is that some people seem to think it does.

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  2. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    This is a great idea. It is absurd that the government was paying people money while they were on the run from other government authorities.

    They need to do the same with people owing reparation and Court imposed fines. (not infringement offences)

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  3. Dennis Horne (2,059 comments) says:

    About fcuking time.

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  4. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    Next they can start on bene’s and those in paid employment that owe us taxpayers lots of money including those with student loans and all.

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  5. jaba (2,089 comments) says:

    Sue Moroney, in her 1st attack on Paula fell flat .. who would have thought?

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  6. LiberalismIsASin (288 comments) says:

    Frankly I was amazed that this was not always the case

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  7. tvb (4,197 comments) says:

    Why cannot welfare simply give the police their contact details and the police can simply round them up.

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  8. hubbers (221 comments) says:

    “Frankly I was amazed that this was not always the case”

    Ditto

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  9. laworder (269 comments) says:

    Great achievement for just 6 weeks. It’ll probably tail off though as the low hanging fruit is cleaned up.

    But as LiberalismIsASin says, frankly amazed that it was not always so

    Now to close the circle and get on with introducing controlled payment cards (suspect this is in the pipeline… I hope)

    Regards
    Peter Jenkins
    http://www.sst.org.nz

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  10. duggledog (1,337 comments) says:

    You see this is classic, funny old soft wide open daft New Zealand. How in God’s name has it taken until 2013 – or even just the last five years of this administration – for this simple, (vote scoring) no brainer to have been put into place? It reminds me of when they stopped people flying out of the country if there were outstanding court imposed fines. How long did that take?

    I know there are all sorts of hoops to jump through, but WTF?

    Paula, please also suspend all benefits until community work is completed satisfactorily, while a drink driving suspension is being enforced, while someone is on home detention, etc, THEN I might be impressed. After all I am paying for it.

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  11. Reid (15,917 comments) says:

    Why cannot welfare simply give the police their contact details and the police can simply round them up.

    Because the Privacy Act prevents the sharing of information given to the govt for one purpose being used by another govt agency for a different purpose.

    I know.

    Isn’t that mental.

    It causes problems across the board.

    And it’s mental because the only people who benefit are those who are using it to conceal nefarious activities of one sort or another, from benefit fraud to arrest warrants to breaches of the Immigration Act to failure of non-residents to pay for their bill at hospitals to income tax and ACC fraud. Causing collectively tens of thousands of wasted hours by those involved in enforcement trying to track people down whose actual real whereabouts is already sitting inside the anatomy of one govt dept or other.

    OPC (Office of Privacy Commissioner) says if these things are known then its possible to make a request, but you’re not allowed to e.g. perform a regular data match because that would be a “fishing expedition” which is a gweat big no no, in the land of the OPC.

    And so the various govt depts who already know all this have to wait for legislation to be enacted such as this, in order to stop what they already know is happening.

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  12. RightNow (6,646 comments) says:

    “Frankly I was amazed that this was not always the case”

    Frankly I’m amazed they still get a 38 day window to clear the warrant. Stop the benefit on day 1 and change these people’s attitude. It can only help them.

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  13. Monique Angel (251 comments) says:

    I hope they got the little shit that caused me 10k of damage in Christchurch. Last I heard was his probation officer contacting me to find out if I had contact details for him. That was two years ago. Two years of paying the little prick, no doubt.

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  14. duggledog (1,337 comments) says:

    Tell us more Monique. Tenant? I’ve been completely ripped off by one. He got away scot free, nothing I could do

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