3 News reports:
More than 21,000 people have had their benefits cut since rules around overseas travel were tightened, Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says.
More than $10.5 million has been saved since July last year by suspending the benefits of those who chose to travel, Ms Bennett says.
The largest group of suspensions applied to nearly 11,200 people on job seeker benefits, followed by more than 4800 sole parents.
More than 1750 people had their benefit suspended for multiple overseas trips.
The figures don’t include people receiving superannuation.
Hard to be looking for a job when you’re overseas!
Almost 5000 people have had their benefits cancelled because they failed to reconnect with Work and Income eight weeks after their departure from New Zealand.
Ms Bennett said although the rules are tighter, they still allow for overseas travel on compassionate or health grounds in certain cases for job seekers.
People without work obligations may in most cases travel overseas for up to 28 days.