Underpayments to beneficiaries over the past 18 years could cost the Government millions of dollars.
Radio New Zealand reported Work and Income had underpaid some beneficiaries by a day since 1998, as it had paid people from the day after their “stand-down” period ended.
When people applied for a benefit, they often had to wait two weeks for it to start.
Work and Income was meant to pay a beneficiary from the day after the two week period ended, but instead had been starting payments the following day, RNZ reported.
The Government was now trying to retrospectively change the law dating back to 1998, when the provisions took effect.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley downplayed the amount the mistake could cost the Government in unpaid benefits, but said it would not be a “huge amount”.
The amendment to the law would line up with what was happening in practice, changing the payment date to the day after the stand-down ended, Tolley told RNZ.
I would have though if practice doesn’t match the law, then it is the practice you should change – now the law.