Checking out data matches that show beneficiaries may have moved overseas and stopping their benefit if they have. That’s back-office work, eh? Exactly the kind of ‘unsexy’ jobs National has been cutting. Well, MSD stopped data matching because its resource were stretched too thin – and overpayments doubled to $19m. Heck of a job, National.
While National is fantasising over creating MSD flying squads to bust down front doors in South Auckland and drag solo mums away from their one year olds and into a job at McDonald’s, they’re letting the real work slip. While Paula Bennett promises to reduce benefit fraud, millions are being wasted simply because people who go overseas neglect to tell MSD before they go.
By letting people get money they’re not entitled to, lazy, half-arsed National is not only making the benefit system more expensive than it needs to be, it is undermining the legitimacy of a system that is not abused or misused by the vast majority of recipients but provides them and their families with a vital life-line.
It’s emblematic of a government that has squandered 3 years by trying to come up with silver bullet solutions and failing to do the day by day work that actually makes government function efficiently and cost-effectively.
The sooner they’re back on the Opposition benches, the better for the country.