Thursday, October 23, 2014

Trial to assess sole parent benefit fraud

From the MSD Annual Report released yesterday, this is news to me. It appears in the section on Fraud:


This is justified. There is clear evidence from more than one source that a significant portion of sole parent benefits are going into families where the recipient has a partner.

I've done a number of searches looking for further information eg what region is the trial being conducted in, to little avail.

However a search of  '1,616 sole parents'  at the MSD website found that at December 2013, there were 1,616 sole parent beneficiaries in the Gisborne Regional Council area. Could be mere coincidence. Though it'd certainly be a good target area. A previous MSD voluntary trial amongst sole parents aimed at getting them into work or training - COMPASS - was conducted in 4 areas. One was Gisborne.

If the trial was being conducted in Gisborne it might provoke a drop in sole parent beneficiaries but the difference between December 2013 and September 2014 (-6.8%) is almost exactly the same as the nationwide drop.

The trial has probably been disrupted by the incident at Ashburton following which (as I recall) home visits were suspended. But let's hope the evaluation will be made public.

I'll ask some OIA questions anyway.

1 comment:

Brendan McNeill said...

Good work Lindsay. We will await the answers with interest!