- Date published:
8:52 am, May 31st, 2016 - 38 comments
Categories: benefits, election 2014, national, same old national, Social issues, spin, welfare, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: anne tolley
News broke this morning about a major mistake by the Ministry of Social Development that caused the underpayment of benefits to tens of thousands of Kiwis. From Radio New Zealand:
Almost 90,000 beneficiaries have been paid incorrectly, totalling millions of dollars, due to an automatic payment mistake at the Ministry of Social Development.
The error dates back to 1993 and has resulted in thousands of people being given incorrect accommodation supplement payments across 21 years.
Initial analysis shows just over 41,000 people have been underpaid a total of $23 million, and just under 46,000 people have overpayments of around $32 million.
The mistake was discovered in September 2014 and was fixed a few months later, though Social Development Minister Anne Tolley was informed only in March this year.
Keen followers of New Zealand history will recall that the 2014 election was held in the month of September. Depending on timing the news would have embarrassed the Government and put them on the defensive.
So how was it that the Minister was not told until 18 months later? Do we live in a western democracy or is there that much manipulation of the flow of information that this sort of news is hidden and buried until it is politically advantageous for the Minister to be told and the news then released?
I suspect the following scene resembles the National Party War Room at the time the mistake was discovered …