Taxpayers will be tempted to celebrate on learning they no longer have to fill the trough from which a former gang leader and his family have been slurping for 26 years.
But don’t pop the champagne tops just yet. Darryl Harris – the bloke in question – has three months to appeal against the decision.
Harris, who lives in Christchurch, apparently has been told his benefit will stop from January 10 because “he no longer meets standard eligibility requirements”.
The information comes from Social Development Ministry chief executive Peter Hughes and is published at Stuff today.
The decision comes at a time when – nudged along by the likes of Alf behind the scenes – the Government is taking a harder line on benefit claims, including work-testing for sickness benefits from this May.
Stuff reminds us that this Harris feller and his wife, Marcia Robins, made headlines a year ago when it was revealed they had been claiming unemployment and sickness benefits continually since 1984.
They had received $30,000 in special-needs grants since 2000, including payments for new tyres for their 2007 Chrysler saloon and to fence a swimming pool at one of their Christchurch properties.
Many of Alf’s mates can’t afford a 2007 Chrysler or properties with swimming pools.