Friday, June 18, 2021

Benefit fraud prosecutions heading for zero


Graphed data from a published  OIA response.

The sharp reduction is apparently due to "an increased focus on prevention and early detection."

"...the Ministry is conscious that prosecution can negatively impact clients and families who are already in a vulnerable and difficult situation."

By way of contrast, in the 2011/12 MSD Annual Report, under a different government, this statement was emphasised:

Where we find evidence of fraud, we prosecute.

Going back even further, just to emphasise yet again how different this Labour government is to that of Helen Clark's, here's a statement from the house:

Hon DAVID BENSON-POPE (Minister for Social Development and Employment) : This Government wants to make sure that everyone who is entitled to support gets it. Benefit abuse and fraud are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. All cases of deliberate fraud are prosecuted. It is a disappointing fact that some people attempt to defraud our system. Where debts are incurred they will be recovered. Currently, 96 percent of debtors on a benefit are repaying their debt. Prosecution rates in October, as I mentioned earlier, were 97 percent successful, with 12 sentences of imprisonment.

During the financial year 2007/08 there were 1,028 fraud prosecutions.

I'm a skeptic. Policy and practice may change but human nature doesn't.


pdm said...

`The sharp reduction is apparently due to "an increased focus on prevention and early detection."'

Under the current government and Minister Sepuloni - I say `heifer dust to that.

gravedodger said...

One way to reduce Crime stats I guess.