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 welfare fraud, 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.