Less welfare fraud

August 7th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Chester Borrows announced:

With the seven key initiatives in the package now all underway or in force, Mr Borrows today released figures showing the programme had already recouped or saved over $47 million and stopped thousands of illegitimate or fraudulent benefits.

The effect on the lifetime liability of current beneficiaries is estimated at a reduction of between $119 and $134 million as of March 2014.

“This Government has put in place a package of reforms to get smarter with the way we approach , and it’s very pleasing to see these reforms delivering such positive results,” says Mr Borrows.

“While we know it is only a tiny minority of beneficiaries who take money they’re not entitled to, those who do cost tens of millions of dollars each year, and we’re committed to stopping them.

“With the addition of these new measures, the Ministry of Social Development is stopping more fraud than ever before.  Investigators completed 4,614 investigations, established 2,270 overpayments and prosecuted 893 people during the 2013/14 year.  In total $88.4 million of fraud and illegitimate overpayments were established.”

That is not an insignificant amount of money.

“In its first year of operations this enhanced information sharing has prevented an estimated $44.8 million in illegitimate benefits from going out the door, and resulted in almost 6,900 benefits being cancelled.

The Greens will be outraged that someone had their benefit cancelled.

9 Responses to “Less welfare fraud”

  1. Yoza (3,125 comments) says:

    That is not an insignificant amount of money.

    Comparatively speaking it is very little when contrasted with the amount spent on welfare generally or when put up against the estimated $5 billion the government is missing from its coffers through tax evasion.

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  2. Nostradamus (5,410 comments) says:

    Quoting from the press release:

    “These are not people being kicked to the curb – they are people who are working, and earning enough money that they are no longer eligible for the benefit, who have failed in their obligation to tell us this has occurred.

    Right – so where’s Chester Borrows’ announcement regarding people who are capable of working, but have no intention of working, such as Philip Ure?

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  3. EAD (3,986 comments) says:

    Looks like Mr Burrows found the proverbial needle in the haystack!

    “Hey look here guys, I found 47 million……”

    John Key “nice work Chester, now what about that other 83 billion I’ve borrowed so I can tell the public a fairy story that all the growth under our watch is real as opposed to a debt fuelled bubble”?

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  4. Adolf Fiinkensein (3,678 comments) says:


    Which particular $5billion might that be? Is it in the same draw as your missing million votes?

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  5. backster (2,534 comments) says:

    David Cunliffe announced that a Labour Government would resume its policy of nod nod wink wink.

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  6. slijmbal (1,275 comments) says:

    @Adolf to be fair to Yoda he’s referring to the black economy.

    quite a lot of which is crime e.g. drugs -and there’s a fair sized cash economy with wet finger in the air efforts on estimation – but as usual he’s not doing an apples with apples comparison

    If we were doing an apples with apples comparison we would be comparing either the costs through those who claim the benefit by gaming the system rather than working against the black economy tax losses – both wet finger in the air estimates but the benefit costs would certainly be a lot larger than the costs of those currently caught


    comparing the amounts caught doing tax evasion vs the above figure for those caught doing welfare fraud

    Both comparisons are pretty rough but a lot more accurate than the meme around the $5bn trotted out by lefties whenever anyone is mentioned doing welfare fraud.

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  7. thedavincimode (8,136 comments) says:

    It goes beyond the money. Tacit acceptance of this behaviour by not stopping it only colours society’s perceptions generally about what is acceptable or not acceptable. “X does that so why can’t I do this …?”

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  8. Unity (1,502 comments) says:

    I remain suspicious when this good news comes out just before an election, believing that once the election is over the figures will go up again. Or perhaps they have been moved somewhere else – in the meantime or forever.

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  9. doggone7 (1,689 comments) says:

    Is the Minister for Wanganui Collegiate against welfare fraud?

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