Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Avoiding sanctions - how hard can it be?

Does anybody else notice the irony of  child poverty activists complaining about beneficiary parents travelling overseas who've had their payments suspended?

NewstalkZB reports:

Nine percent of Auckland sole-parent beneficiaries had their benefits suspended for travelling overseas in the six and a half months to the end of January.
The figures have been supplied to the Child Poverty Action Group under the Official Information Act.
They show 2414 Auckland sole-parent beneficiaries, had their benefits suspended for travelling, well above the national average of 6 per cent.
It's not that beneficiaries aren't allowed to travel overseas. They just have to tell WINZ. How difficult can that be?

Most working people would have to make arrangements with their employers regarding going overseas and a contact while away.

CPAG can get all indignant but most people are just going to shrug.

4 comments:

Brendan McNeill said...

How do 9% of benificiares afford overseas travel?

Family and friends?

Perhaps those same people should be funding them 7/24 not just 9% of the time.

Anonymous said...

Right.

I bet if Colin Craig put up a referendum on a lifetime ban on benefits for anyone who travelled oversea on the bludge - it would pass easily.

Commonsense.

Susan St John said...

Lindsay
It is sometimes faster to go to Sydney than Dunedin. Do you think we should require beneficiaries to ask WINZ if they can travel within NZ too? Where does this harrasment stop?
Arent beneficiaries real people? Why do we treat those getting NZS, working for families, subsidised daycare, tertiary education differently?
Susan ST John

Lindsay Mitchell said...

http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/obligations/travelling-overseas.html

Being allowed to travel overseas and continue to receive a benefit for up to 28 days isn't harrassment.

The difference between work- tested beneficiaries and the other cases you mention is that the former are expected to be looking for and available for work.