2/ Because it's easy
3/ Because the consequences are trivial
Anne Sepuloni is a case in point, and typical.
She has effectively been given a 14-year, $20 weekly penalty on her benefit (or Super.)
The NZ Herald reports:
For defrauding the Ministry of nearly $34,000, he gave her a sentence of four and a half months' home detention.
He said other mitigating circumstance - including her clean record, early guilty plea and show of remorse - cut the starting-point sentence further to nine months' jail.
The judge then accepted the pre-sentencing report recommendation that the jail sentence be converted to home detention. Sepuloni must also do 250 hours of community work and repay $15,000 at the rate of $20 a week.
But it happens in thousands of cases. The offender remains on a benefit, supported by the taxpayer albeit it at a slightly reduced rate.
If NZ was serious about benefit crime it would bar fraudsters from eligibility. That might be the deterrence factor required.