$23 million a year in welfare fraud. $140million per year in tax avoidance. If we are arresting the partners of welfare fraud, when are we throwing the rich housewifes into jail for knowing hubby is hiding his wealth?
We won't be doing that will we because this latest piece of bennie bashing crap isn't about solving problems, it's about distracting the voting population from another bad week for the Government.
Throwing beneficiaries into John Key's brand spanking new private prisons where they will be forced to work 40 hours per week is one way to lower the unemployment rate, but so would forced exile from NZ for every solo mother. The rules around when a boyfriend becomes a 'partner' which then lower the amount of welfare they can claim seems draconian in the extreme when you consider it's a year inside or a $5000 fine now pending if they catch beneficiaries out.
The ever brilliant Gordon Campbell explains in painful detail why Government overpayments and white collar crime are far larger issues...
Other evidence confirms that tax avoidance and departmental error are far bigger problems. The Standard did the sums a year or two ago and came up with actual fraud of $22 million, overpayments by the department of $195 million, and white collar fraud of $172 million. That makes it pretty clear where the real problems lie. Rather than set up special units on welfare fraud, Work and Income would be far better advised to sort out their own overpayment issues, and begin to address the unknown extent of underpayment – where people do not know of their entitlements, are not advised of their entitlements by Work and Income, and are consequently being ripped off by the state.
You know whenever this Government are having a bad week and need a diversion the moment they start dog whistling welfare reform and the sleepy hobbits buy the spin hook line and sinker.
Seeing as one of the ways officials will be able to expose a relationship is by dawn raids to see who is sleeping where in welfare homes, I'm astounded once again at how a nation that screamed Nanny State over the repeal of section 59 doesn't blink an eyelid at an Orwellian Government if they are invading the homes of the poor.