It’s grim news for debtors who die: Social Welfare could catch up with you then

July 14, 2011

And goodbye to your money, too.

Here’s more evidence that the Ministry of Social Development is a soft touch.

According to its head of fraud, Mike Smith, the department is owed more than $930 million by beneficiaries.

Reporting on what he said yesterday, the Herald says half of that was due to overpayments.

The rest was largely interest free loans.

Benefit fraud debt totalled $65.6 million after $15.9 million was added to it last year – a big increase on the $11.1 million the previous year.

The ministry prosecutes about 800 people a year for benefit fraud and 95 per cent of those are convicted.

The ministry routinely undertakes data matching and data mining programmes and last year checked 538 million records.

Hmm. So not everyone gets away with money they are not entitled to. That’s encouraging.

But the Herald also mentions a recent Auditor-General report.

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Perks and piss-ups – the trick is to find an acceptable way of making the public pay

March 31, 2010

Another bucket of bollocks is published in the Dom-Post today, this time on the matter of MPs’ miserable spending allowances.

Vernon Small, one of the rag’s parliamentary press gallery hacks, makes it seem like he has been talking with a whistle-blower:

MPs are secretly negotiating to award themselves more generous perks.

If they were secret – you can be sure – a bugger like Small would not get to hear of them.

But there is no whistle-blower. Rather –

The behind-closed-doors talks were revealed by Auditor-General Lyn Provost in a report that found former housing and fisheries minister Phil Heatley unlawfully spent $1402 of taxpayers’ money.

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Paula gets probation – but for how long?

April 2, 2009

Gotta hand it to Crusher Collins.

She probably spotted that Big Business was uncomfortable with the way Paula Rebstock ran the Commerce Commission. Rebstock made it tough for the buggers – so much so, it seems they leaned on their mates in the Government to have her put in her place.

And so she quit.

Tough goes down well with Crusher. Someone who can piss off Big Business is bound to be able to shake up a bunch of public servants.
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Correcting the faults in Corrections

February 17, 2009

So whose neck next goes on the block?

If you’re a betting person, the head of the Corrections Department wouldn’t be a wild wager.

Corrections Minister Judith Collins has asked the State Services Commissioner to establish who is accountable for serious failings identified by the Auditor-General’s report into the management of offenders on parole.
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