Friday, January 13, 2012

NZ Herald's benefit fraud story incomplete

The NZ Herald reports today that "Benefit fraud cost taxpayers a record $22.6 million last year..." and that it is up from $15.9 million in 2009/10.

They got this information under The Official Information Act.

But anyone can access this page which shows that in 2009/10 the total fraud was $39,336,133

The Herald fails to define what sort of fraud it is referring to. Perhaps it is that fraud which is prosecuted.

Types of benefit fraud comprise working, living in the nature of marriage, child out of care, multiple benefits, accommodation, false documents and other.

Anyway, if they had wanted to be sensationalist, the current flavour, they could have almost doubled their headline figure.

Interestingly, according to MSD, 
In 2009/2010, marriage-type relationship cases accounted for 39% of overpayment cases but 57% of overpayment dollars.
Elaborate rip-offs make for lurid reading but most of the fraud is committed by parents pretending they live alone when in fact they do not.


ZenTiger said...

Perhaps they truthfully answer the question:

Are you in a committed relationship?"

gravedodger said...

A rather large hole in the existing welfare system, both payments, compliance and monitoring, exists in the differential between "single" and "couple" rates.
I wonder what the bottom line difference would be if the distinction was removed.

Many supposedly "single" beneficiaries employ accommodation, travel and food cost sharing within the stupid rules that the differential throws up.

I recall nearly 50 years ago when contemplating Real estate investments my Father in Law pointed out the premium for corner sections in the less attractive suburbs, with the two addresses available as a camouflage for rudimentary screening of accommodation sharing.

Anonymous said...

$40 million? Please.

More like $50 BILLION

All "welfare" is fraud by bludgers on those few hardworking Kiwis who pay for it all

(and yes, that includes super & schools & hospitals)

John Dalley said...

@ Anonymous. If you are goi9ng to be a petty Moron, at least do it truthfully uand use your own name.