Thursday, January 25, 2007

"Dead people given benefits"

That's the headline in a DomPost story today.

The DomPost got figures under the OIA showing 600 people had continued to receive social security payments four weeks after their death.

National Welfare spokesperson, Judith Collins picks up on it and puts out a release saying, New figures show that 600 deceased beneficiaries wrongly received $380,000 from the taxpayer in the first 10 months of last year.

What Collins doesn't mention is that 90 percent of them were superannuitants, who, to my mind, are not beneficiaries - they receive Super, not a benefit. Others included veterans who are also not beneficiaries but pensioners.

That aside, data matching has improved the problem and as welfare problems go, it doesn't keep me awake at night.

Some meaningful welfare criticism (and policy) from National wouldn't go amiss. Problem is, with their current centrist approach there is nothing to offer beyond management quibbles.

Come to think of it, with their be-nice-to-everybody philosophy, this could be the best policy we get. No more Super for dead guys. Would you vote for that?


Murray said...

My father gets a navy super. He was told it was a benefit.

After 37 1/2 years of paying into it he gets his money back and someone who has been in NZ for a few years and doesn't speak English fluently tells him he's on a benefit!

Not a happy camper.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has finalised the estate of a deceaed parent knows super payments continue for a while after one's parent died. The money has to be repaid. Big discovery Judith!

No marks for telling the whole story.