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The benefit fraud card

Written By: - Date published: 2:21 pm, July 18th, 2013 - 107 comments
Categories: benefits, crime, tax, welfare - Tags: , ,

In trouble over your Sky City dirty deal? Try the benefit fraud card again. Meanwhile, back in the real world…
tax evasion vs benefit fraud


107 comments on “The benefit fraud card”

  1. tracey 1

    its sad how some people like the constant attacks on welfare cos they consider it “our” money but they dont seem to get that tax evaders are cheating us while smiling to our faces and attacking welfare

  2. Anne 2

    More than 3000 cases of welfare fraud have been uncovered in the last six months

    What percentage of the total number of beneficiaries (discounting those on superannuation) does that equate to? The news outlets never supply the full picture. My hunch is that 3000 is little more than a drop in the bucket.

    In the 1990s when I was caring for an elderly mother with mild dementia and becoming increasingly frail, I received the DPB which, at that time, was only a few dollars more than the unemployment benefit. Around $160 to $170 per week (from memory) to live on… purchase petrol for the car and pay the bills. I was able to get a part time job for one day a week (Sat.) and that enabled me to make ends meet – sort of. Once in a blue moon I got an extra day’s work – desperately needed – but never declared it otherwise my benefit would have been docked. It amounted to around $60 net extra on each occasion.

    I guess that made me a beneficiary fraudster. A criminal?

    • weka 2.1

      I’d like to know how fraud is being defined for those stats too.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 2.2

      Well, it isn’t anything like the “criminal” definition of fraud.

      • Mary 2.2.1

        No, it’s not. It’s defined by which internal unit within Work and Income identifies a potential “discrepancy”. For example, because the data matching is carried out by the investigation unit then all “discrepancies” identified go into the fraud statistics. This was uncovered in the mid-1990s by some advocates in Wellington around the time of the TV “dob in a beneficiary” campaign. I think it was the Wellington People’s Centre who uncovered it and made complaints to various authorities. The Government Statistician agreed the statistics were misleading because they didn’t represent fraud at all. Nothing changed though, except a disclaimer was added hidden as a tiny footnote saying something like “these figures don’t necessarily represent actual fraudulent behaviour”. But the intention remained which is to present the figures as if it’s all fraud in order to help paint the picture of all beneficiaries being criminals and of course the lazy MSM don’t let facts get in the way of the story. Again, there should be outrage but it’s only beneficiaries so it doesn’t matter. Imagine the same scenario going on anywhere else?

    • tracey 2.3

      Yes anne you are an evil criminal we never caught. Whereas those who do cash jobs and deprive the revenue of gst and income or company taxes are just hard working kiwis who need a break…. unlike you caring for a vulnerable member of society…

      • ab6666 2.3.1

        Didn’t her admission of doing cash work just amount to being both a benefit fraudster and a tax evader?

        • CnrJoe

          and a home carer with dementia involved – try it

        • Anne

          Who said the extra days work (on average once every 8 weeks) was cash work? Not me. Just another idiot assumption from a RWNJ?

    • Mary 2.4

      “Once in a blue moon I got an extra day’s work – desperately needed – but never declared it otherwise my benefit would have been docked. It amounted to around $60 net extra on each occasion.

      I guess that made me a beneficiary fraudster. A criminal?”

      Yes, unfortunately. The unfairness of benefit levels or abatement rules have nothing to do with what’s fraud and what’s not. It’s your intention that’s crucial here.

      Having said that, my guess is that the occasional one-off payment would not have in fact reduced your entitlement to the DPB because that benefit is abated on an annual basis and income is averaged over that period so may well have meant total annual income remained under the average weekly exemption. Again, I think xtasy is probably the best person who knows all about this, but Work and Income often tries to reduce the DPB on a weekly calculation but this is wrong. Lots of people have had and continue to have significant amounts of benefit payments wrongly withheld because of this unlawful policy.

  3. Chris 3

    Where does the $39m come from – the minimum number must be higher given they have ones they have identified in that article cost the country $34 million p.a. Either that or they have managed to stop around 90% of welfare fraud which should be applauded.

    I admit that no matter the real number of welfare fraud tax evasion is going to be magnitudes of order larger and should obviously also be dealt with. However the government is also going after these and have had a few high profile case wins recently.

    As you said obvious distraction is obvious.

  4. King Kong 4

    I read the headline and initially thought this might be a Mana Party policy announcement.

    Something similar to the Gold Card but for lazy lefties instead of old people.

  5. ak 5

    Big tough ex-copper Borrows boasting his bloated arse off about three thousand battling bennies hanging on to twenty bucks a week……sickening, bullying, thug.

  6. Santi 6

    No dole/benefit double-dipping. Good to see it curtailed and stopped.

    • McFlock 6.1

      if it ever existed.

      Meanwhile, double-dipton is letting the true parasites off scot-free.

    • Roy 6.2

      So how do you feel about the double-dippers who pocket National Super while still holding down a job, Santi?

      • Santi 6.2.1

        Productive people, those who worked all their lives, are entitled to the NZ Super they paid for. Nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, the guys who did nothing….

        • Colonial Viper

          “worked all their lives”

          You wanting to guarantee life time employment now mate?

        • David H

          Santi you really are showing that the average IQ of a Nat supporter is about the same as a GNAT.

          So you are saying that whilst on a benefit I can’t work and try to help myself and my children. BUT when I turn 65 ALL the rules go out the window.

          Jesus H Christ save me from these mindless fools!

    • Great to read Santi’s comment re good to see benefit double dipping being addressed I also am glad that no tax evasion is being addressed. It is good to see that is not being curtailed either.

      Reasoning provided below:


      a) I am one of them


      b) Eyes beleeve I shall benefut from these peeples fourtunes cos thay told me they would giv mee somethink and they are important and powerfull peeples who are authorotative and i lissen to othorotative peeple cos they are powerfull peeple with lots of muny and that means they a good peeple cos muny is good and lots of muny is even gooder and eyes figures gooder meens that they have all tha good kwh..kwhot…koala-tees likes Onesty and kindness and jenerosity

      ….and anyways it maykes me feel powerfool to support the corze ….clawz…cawz of powerfool peeple cos i myte be rewardeed if i am good to them and thay mite shear sum of theyre paua wuth mee.

  7. muzza 7

    You left out the billions per year going down the drain in corporate deals, corporate friendly legislation, corporate bailouts, and independent consultants…

    That’s even before you factor in the BAU rip offs such as.

    – Above market hourly/daily rates
    – Long term contracts with little to no accountability
    – Awarding job role titles with higher pay bands/rates to unqualified/inexperienced staff/friends etc
    – Recruitment via *connected agencies* – not on the PSL
    – Poorly scoped business cases, including benefits which will never exist, nor be realized
    – Financial checks/balances not adhered to
    – Support agreements unmanaged, long term, and tied in for huge $$$


    Now apply that at local/regional/national level, include the police, judiciary, diplomatic rorts, and you would still not even be close to the numerical value, which is being stolen , each and every year!

    But sure, focus on $39m….Hey look, over there, bigfoot

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    Can someone link to an announcement by Labour slamming this “benefit fraud” spin as just that?

    For perspective, its equivalent to only 1%-2% of the total number of beneficiaries in Auckland. Sweet FA in other words.

    • fender 8.1

      Be patient mate……every roof needs inspecting before any announcement can be made.

    • “Social development spokesperson Jacinda Adern said anyone defrauding the system should face the consequences, but not all cases would be straightforward fraud.

      “Of course anyone who receives the benefit when they’re not entitled to that benefit is ultimately taking money away from those who need it most.”


      This line is bogus imo “taking money away from those that need it most” unless she means middlenz which she probably does.

      • Santi 8.2.1

        Adern is correct. It’s is middle NZ who will move the country forward. No question about it.

        • marty mars

          forward to where or what exactly?

        • Mike S

          ‘Middle NZ’ ??

          That won’t exist mate.

          • Colonial Viper

            Capital isn’t being made available for productive, employing enterprises. Santi is probably talking about more middle class real estate investments.

          • Santi

            What are you proposing?

        • Draco T Bastard

          No, it’s middlenz which is holding NZ back seemingly at the request of the rich of NZ. If the beneficiaries and poor of NZ had access to the resources they need then NZ would be screaming ahead. Unfortunately, we’ve got a socio-economic system that hands all those resources to the rich and they don’t share.

          • Santi

            Sorry Draco, but your socialistic model hasn’t worked anywhere in the world. Utopia is still unreachable Utopia. Dreams are free.

            • marty mars

              What are you proposing?

            • Colonial Viper

              NZ ran a highly socialistic model between 1950 and 1970. Worked just fine. American visitors to our shores are routinely flabbergasted that we have a heavily communist healthcare system which manages to deliver far more patient benefits at a fraction of the cost of their one.

              So what is your problem?

              • Draco T Bastard

                His problem is the same one that all RWNJs have – reality not conforming to their delusion.

              • framu

                also america’s greatest increase in living standards ever was under a highly socialised govt system post WW2 – something the libitarians and free marketeers always forget

            • Draco T Bastard

              Actually, Santi, it hasn’t been tried.

        • Paul

          It’s just that neoliberalism is in the process of destroying the middle class in the US, UK and New Zealand.
          It benefits the 1%, Santi. Are you a supporter of them?

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.2

        “Social development spokesperson Jacinda Adern said anyone defrauding the system should face the consequences, but not all cases would be straightforward fraud.

        Ardern’s line is fucking useless. Let’s see how we can improve it:

        “…anyone defrauding the system should face the consequences, but let’s remember that tax evasion by companies, trusts and other entities costs society 30 times more than benefit fraud.”

        Ahhh that’s better. Was that so hard?

        • Chris

          The use of companies and trusts is not tax evasion if anything it is tax avoidance. There is a big difference. Tax evasion is the act of not declaring all of your income and the entities you describe don’t really assist in this. If people put all of their income in trusts they actually pay a higher tax rate than they would if they had it in their own name.

          • tracey

            Cant trusts gift to beneficiaries and the gifts attract no tax.

            no discussion of the black economy?

            • Chris

              They can but it makes no real difference to tax. They can only ‘gift’ (wrong word but same meaning) tax free items from capital (i.e. assets which have been gifted to them in the first place and income from prior years which the trust has already paid tax on). This would be the same if people held those assets in their own name and decided to gift them to their children or whoever.

              Any distributions of income will be taxed at the beneficiaries marginal tax rates. This is the main way they are used to lower tax – if the trust earns $140,000 it can distribute that to 2 beneficiaries and they will pay $28,040 in tax on that income whereas if the trust kept that income it would pay $46,200. This does create a tax saving but it also creates a real debt which the trust can be called to repay by the beneficiaries (i.e. if the marriage breaks up).

              You can call this tax avoidance if you would like but it hasn’t been considered that by governments or courts for over 100 years. I’m happy to admit there would be a reasonable argument for it being avoidance but that issue is simply not what is being meant when people talk about tax avoidance and particularly evasion.

              • felix

                You use the word “real” in an entirely arbitrary way Chris.

                You can’t simultaneously claim there is “no real difference” between two different numbers and then use the same word “real” to give weight to a theoretical debt.

                Totally disingenuous use of language. Everything you say is suspect.

                • Chris

                  I’m sorry if it came across that way but my writing skills have never been fantastic. I have to admit I’m not sure it’s a serious as you make it out to be. remove the word real and there is no difference to my point or statement.

                  Out of interest is there a grammar rule about using the same word in two different contexts in the same body of work. I would be surprised if there was

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Don’t blame your writing skills, blame the morality of your ideas.

                    You can call this tax avoidance if you would like but it hasn’t been considered that by governments or courts for over 100 years.

                    Laws for the rich are passed by whom? The rich.

                    • Chris

                      If he wad simply disagreeing with my viewpoint id be happy to blame the ‘morality’ of my ideas. however his point was focussed on a grammar ‘error’ and how that made my point suspect.

                      In response to your point trusts do have purposes beyond tax planning for poorer people. for example estate planning. Obviously it is not targeted at the poorest part of society but not every law needs to be

                    • Chris

                      If he was simply disagreeing with my viewpoint id be happy to blame the ‘morality’ of my ideas. however his point was focussed on a grammar ‘error’ and how that made my point suspect.

                      In response to your point trusts do have purposes beyond tax planning for poorer people. for example estate planning. Obviously it is not targeted at the poorest part of society but not every law needs to be

        • Santi

          J. Ardern espouses the correct line. Sorry, you are mistaken, CV.
          The eloquent and charismatic David Shearer and Jacinda will lead Labour to victory. Any problem?

        • Colonial Viper

          I’m referencing the graph at the top of the page. The bar is labelled “tax evasion”. That is what I am referring to.

    • Olwyn 8.3

      Not only that, it probably includes accidental overpayments and the like. The article looked to me to be based on a timely press release.

    • Mary 8.4

      And that’s assuming it is all fraud, which it isn’t so the percentage is even less.

  9. Mike S 9

    In 2010 the fraud intelligence unit within social welfare checked 29 million records and found the benefit fraud rate, as a percentage of total benefits paid was a massive 0.1% or 1 tenth of 1%. Hardly worth the amount of lip service given it by Nat politicians and by the mainstream media.

    An example to put benefit fraud in perspective would be the major foreign owned banks for instance. They finally agreed in late 2009 – and only after being pursued at great taxpayer expense through the courts by the IRD – to cough up $2.2 billion of what they owed and had refused to pay in unpaid taxes. I seem to remember there were a couple of columns in the herald and maybe a brief tv news soundbite on it. Compare that with the screaming front page headlines we get about benefit fraud.

    Info sourced from Werewolf – ten myths about welfare. Santi, this is a must read for you.and the likes of you.


    • tracey 9.1

      Santi either will not read it or tell himself it is made up. When people buy the lies they are sold it is very hard for them to resile from tgeir stance without feeling stupid. Paradoxically they dont consider their pm to be stupid when he changes his stance. Which he has dobe alot.

    • tracey 9.2

      Santi either will not read it or tell himself it is made up. When people buy the lies they are sold it is very hard for them to resile from their stance without feeling stupid. Paradoxically they dont consider their pm to be stupid when he changes his stance. Which he has dobe alot.

  10. Lefty 10

    Employers defraud workers by many hundreds of millions of dollars every year through not giving legal paid breaks, altering time sheets, making workers do unpaid overtime if they want to keep their jobs, paying less than the minimum wage and a bunch of other nasty shit.

    I am not talking about a few little ethnic restaurants, here I am talking about major corporates and respectable small businesses.

    They do it because they can, because enforcement is difficult and because it is considered good business practice.

    The useless greedy fuckin parasites then go on to avoid paying tax on the money they have stolen from their workers.

    If the government wants to be consistent it will seek out the best and biggest benefit fraudsters and give them knighthoods.

    • DavidW 10.1

      That’s right Lefty, keep the hate going, you are going to need it to see you through to the election.

      Hopefully you will realise one day that the Class War is over and that employees by-and-large accept their conditions with intelligence and open minds. Sure there will always be some shitty employers and you must concede that there will always be some shitty and hopeless employees but the bulk of the population is well educated and has access to the means of making these matters public in a way and at a speed previously only dreamed of.

  11. BrucetheMoose 11

    Typical elitists attitude. If you drive the latest 5 Series, you are to be respected and have made good decisions – including employing a smart tax lawyer and accountant. Drive a tired looking Corolla, you have made poor decisions and are probably up to something dodgy – let’s beat ’em up.

    • Chris 12.1

      Nothing more needs to be said – as you have just shown the government is also going after tax evaders/avoiders. This is something that many people on this site seem to ignore.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        Not ignoring it mate, just putting it to scale.

        Tax avoidance causes losses to society 30x greater than benefit fraud.

        Sounds good when you say it out loud eh. “Thirty-times greater losses than benefit fraud.”

        • Chris

          The part you are ignoring is that the government is putting significant funds towards tracking down tax evaders. You cannot try and argue posts like this are framed in any other way.

          • Colonial Viper

            I’m not ignoring fuck all mate.

            Say it out loud: “Tax evasion costs society thirty times more than benefit fraud.”

          • tracey

            thanks for the link chris. i will try to find the report. if avoidance costs a billion a year then we are clawing ack about ten per cent pa. despite dunnes moaning he has done nothing to impact creating stigma on avoidance to even match the stigma attached to legitimate beneficiaries

      • tracey 12.1.2

        Not only was the GPF feature of the transactions unlawful and therefore correctly disallowed, all four transactions tested in the case “were tax avoidance arrangements entered into for the purpose of avoiding tax”

        chris which govt are you giving credit for chasing down the tax avoidance found to be evasion by tge banks? The case against westpac although decided in the high court in 2009 was begun in 2005.

        • Chris

          It’s not any specific government – it was done by the IRD under government policy which has not changed since National took over. There was little to no impact on the chasing of tax avoiders/evasion since the government changed. The only difference is National has closed some loopholes (such as LAQC’s and depreciation on rental buildings) and increased the audit budget for the IRD. I’m not saying the National government is any better – they are pretty much exactly the same

          • tracey

            You wrote “the government is also going after tax evaders/avoiders. This is something that many people on this site seem to ignore”. The example you made this comment to is not evidence the govt is also going after tax evaders. I havent seen any release to show success of this govt in this regard

              • muzza

                QE2 will be pleased with the extra 200m.

              • Bob

                You can’t post that here Chris!!! That doesn’t link up well to this story and the ‘National only out to help its rich mates’ at all! Shame on you, you RWNJ

                [lprent: *sigh*. Please don’t waste my time by phrasing it as a statement that looks like you are requesting my attention. Read the policy on wasting moderators time because if it happens too frequently, then I simplify my life by removing the waster of my time.

                BTW: Since I had to look at the post and comment to figure out if you had anything to complain about (you didn’t – you were just jerking off), and because it is clear that you are a complete fool….

                It appears that Peter Dunne is crowing over settling in 2 years about 20% of the estimated tax evasion from a single year. Reads to me like Dunne thinks that a 10% recovery rate of recovery is a success. Even worse, it reads like it is costing about ~20-25% of the recovered value to recover it. Moreover since most of the recovered value is likely to be penalties (ie not just the actual evasion), then it is likely that the tax evasion is that is detected and chased to successful conclusion is well below that 10%.

                Reads like a complete and utter failure to me. Makes me wonder if you have any idea on what you are waffling about since it appears that you think ~3-5% recovery is effective. ]

    • David H 12.2

      But I bet they Leave one ShonkeyJohns Tax haven/family trust well alone.


  12. Descendant Of Sssmith 13

    Of course the framing is Intended to further demonise beneficiaries.

    In fact it is workers, the self employed, those in relationships, and the investors who are ripping off the benefit system.

    If you are working you are entitled to your wages and to be called a worker.
    If you have no entitlement to a benefit you cannot be by definition a beneficiary.

    Remember too this fraud will include those working accessing assistance for accommodation and medical costs.

    If you add those numbers into the calculation of those getting a benefit the numbers will be even smaller.

    Most people getting assistance from the state have paid taxes and contributed to the government in order to get this help, most are on a benefit short-term, most are honest.

    By most I mean the vast majority.

    Yay too that women have choices now about not having to be dependant on abusive violent men and are able to get out of those relationships more easily.

  13. big bruv 14

    I applaud the government for going after these benefit bludging parasites. The fact that so many in this thread seem happy to have low life stealing from their fellow tax payers is one of the reasons that there will not be another left wing government in this country.

    The average bloke is sick of working 50+ hours a week to feed his family only to see bludgers and DPB breeders ripping off the system.

    I hope the Nat’s prosecute as many of them as possible, send a message to these losers that they need to pull their weight and that stealing from the tax payer will not be tolerated.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 14.1

      Nah the average bloke’s not cause the average bloke has a degree of empathy and intelligence that is absent from people like you and the views that you profess to have.

      • big bruv 14.1.1

        The average bloke cannot abide parasites. The average bloke realises that the government has no money and that what these parasites are stealing comes from his own pocket.

        • framu

          Ok – can we take it that you also point thy finger or wrath at the tax evaders?

          you know – the ones in the chart above that far outstrip the benefit fraud who hate so

          ie: not avoiders – evaders – those commiting tax fraud

        • muzza

          BB, you are really not a very good trool are you!

          Do you consider yourself to be the, average bloke?

          Let me state what I can’t abide by – Lies, spin, fraud, corruption, manufactured scarcity, statistics manipulation, private monetary supply, governments agents masquerading as NZ’ers, corporate welfare, employer welfare, corporatization of governments departments, cronyism, nepotism, police brutality, judicial corruption, independent reviews, privatization, out-sourcing, PPP’s, private prisons, tax havens, blind trusts, CERA, commissioners, regressive taxation, stealth tax, attacks on teachers/education, love of money, money as god, profit over people, dehumanization, greed, ignorance, ….(I could go all day).

          The thing I cant stand most of all, are those who are part of what has made this country sick, people like you, who are either paid to peddle their idiocy, or are actually are so ignorant, that they believe it, which are you?

          Either way, attitudes such as yours, be it manufactured or real, will be taking us all down, and that includes yourself, your family and friends, so you better wise up sunshine. We are all on the chopping block, and it won’t be those who are on benefits that lower the boom!

        • David H

          And I (an average bloke) can’t abide Mindless Morons commenting here… But C’est la vie We still have you and Santi. So people just don’t always get what they want.

        • Draco T Bastard

          That would indicate that the average bloke is ignorant of where money comes from, doesn’t understand that taxes are payment for services rendered and that not paying taxes is outright theft.

        • Rosetinted

          The average bloke just goes around doing stuff and earning money and not thinking too much at all and considers he understands the world he lives in.

          The money system seems to him to be something that has been created by nature and people just tweak it. The society around him, its buildings, like – they just grew up out of the ground.

          The average bloke doesn’t attempt to understand the way the system works except the bit that spoons money into his pocket and petrol into his vehicle and liquor into his mouth. Just lives like a mosquito, existing but knowing nothing about all the complexities affecting the humans it lives off.

          You would say that applies to beneficiaries, I say it applies to you, a beneficiary of the system you make your living in. You are a parasite as much as anyone on social welfare because you just want to draw out, and have the means to put back in, but don’t want to.

      • Mike S 14.1.2

        “the average bloke has a degree of empathy and intelligence”

        I used to think that but am not so sure these days, especially the empathy.

    • Paul 14.2

      So you also approve of government’s going after tax bludgers like Starbucks, Google, Amazon etc. As the amounts are so much larger I welcome hearing that you support the government prioritising getting fair laws on tax multinational corporations.
      Or do you just favour attacking the poor?

      • big bruv 14.2.1

        No Paul, I favour going after bludgers and parasites, those who steal from other hard working blokes.

        I understand that your faux concern is politically motivated; you would rather that these parasites go unpunished just as long as they keep voting for the left.

        • Paul

          In answer to your comment to dss, Governments don’t have money because they don’t collect taxes from rogue corporations and they give tax cuts to the wealthy. Hence the trills in offshore tax havens.

          In response to your comment above, do you consider multinationals who don’t pay taxes bludgers? Not clear from your comment? Or companies that underpay their workers, thereby stealing from hardworking men and women? Or do you just see the poor as bludgers?

          Please do not presume my motivations or politics; I can tell you that I am concerned about the fate about other people than myself. Neoliberal economics and Ayn Rand’s philosophy and obsession about the selfish individual is not part of my motivation.
          What motivates you to support the 1% so consistently?

        • muzza

          BB, you’re talking nonsense, and I hope for your sake, you understand that, as if you don’t, well you probably don’t understand much above primary school level!

          Your comments represent no-one other than yourself, and they speak volumes, well done!

          Parasites indeed!

    • framu 14.3


      ahem – something about a bet and a debt?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 14.4

      So, Big Bruv, are you saying they are right down there with Graham Capill, David Garret and John Banks? Or slightly higher up?

    • tracey 14.5

      But it is tolerated… average blokes doing cash jobs are also stealing from taxpayers… banks steal unless and until caught along with thousands of individuals and businesses. More than a billion a year but you are not outraged. Ever done a cash job or paid cash for one bruv? If you have you have stolen from law abiding tax payers

  14. big bruv 15

    No, right down there with Chris Carter and Helen Clark….oh and David (I forgot about my 50K) Shearer.

    • Santi 15.1

      Only 50K? Looks more and more like 500K US Dollars. David is rich, very rich.

      • Paul 15.1.1

        Trolls out early this morning.

      • tricledrown 15.1.2

        santi you grinch if thats rich by your standards you must be poor!

        he wouldn’t make it in National or Act!

        You are a philistine judging people by what they earn!

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 15.2

      You’re just letting your political bias twist the facts there, Bruv: Clark, Carter and Shearer still hold high office, unlike disgraced child molesters and identity thieves, like Capill and Garret. There’s no comparison.

    • Rosetinted 15.3

      I think The Standard has a very therapeutic role for BB and Chris – it allows them to vent their acidic and unhealthy opinions and stops a build up of bile in their bodies. One shouldn’t take them seriously though and waste time trying to present a case that differs from their diatribes.

      That’s my decision anyway. I have a toy parrot in bright colours that will repeat what it has heard when you press its button. It has a purpose of being amusing and colourful and BB and Chris are neither. They aren’t funny, just dismal and its depressing when you think they are examples of a signicant group in NZ. Parroting disgust and dislike against their fellows.

      Probably applies to these – Santi BB Chris KK. ?

  15. bad12 16

    The facts,even admitted to by the likes of Associate Minister Burrows is that very few of these supposed bludging rip-ripoffs will be in court facing charges of benefit fraud,

    WHY NOT you may ask, simple, because a failure to declare the correct amount of income earned while a person is in receipt of a benefit IS NOT fraud, and there are a myriad reasons why the incorrect data has been recorded at WINZ including the loss of paperwork which can and does occur at all WINZ offices,

    A large % of what has been announced will simply become a matter of collecting monies back from beneficiaries where a slight over-payment based upon what the beneficiary is allowed to earn, ($100 per week), has been previously incorrectly assessed at the WINZ office,

    As has occurred in the past 10% of this recently announced ‘fraud’ will be shown to be actual fraudulent behavior on the part of Beneficiaries deliberately working ‘full-time’ while in receipt of a benefit,

    There is a growing disquiet among the middle class about the ‘welfare reforms’ as they see the effects begin to take effect upon their kids and National have resorted again to ‘attacking’ all such over and mis-payment in a manner that insinuates that all of this is criminal,

    A big UP’S has to go to Labour’s Jacinda Adhern who this week has been quoted in a number of media out-lets deliberately comparing the $$$ amounts of such supposed ‘fraud’ with the amount of tax evasion/avoidance undertaken by those at the other end of the financial spectrum…

  16. tracey 17

    Chris my problem is that trusts h ave been exploited to become a tax avoidance tool.sadly the powers that be and those they socialise with are served by the exploitation. Trusts were intended to protect the vulnerable. Those days are long gone. If tax avoidance and evasion were indeed a priority changing the law around what a trust can be used for and apply it retrospectively. Self interest continues to rule.

    • Chris 17.1

      I agree that is an issue however trusts do still serve a vital role in estate planning and asset protection for a lot of average families. They definitely can be used by criminals and for tax avoidance however I honestly think they do more good than harm.

      That is definitely just my opinion though and I can see the otherside of the argument but I just dont agree

  17. tracey 18

    Perhaps borrows will release the info on how much is due to winz errors… and how much fraud is committed by staff

  18. tracey 19

    If individuals couldnt hide behind trusts and if commit wrongs… contractual… tortious and their assets were at stake how much more careful might they be in words and deeds.

  19. Bob 20

    Here you go: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/budget-2013/8681190/IRD-to-target-property-investors “Since 2010, IRD has increasingly chased tax on property investment, in particular where land is acquired for the purpose of reselling it. Such activity is generally taxed, unlike most capital gains on property investment. According to Mr Dunne, about $110 million has been raised from additional property audit funding at IRD since mid-2010.”

    And: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/8745996/IRD-joins-offshore-tax-crackdown “The scope of the IRD’s investigation would also capture advisers, such as lawyers and accountants, who actively manage or promote schemes designed to rort the tax system through the use of overseas structures.”

  20. Bob 21

    Just noticed as well, according to the graph shown above, and the link provided there is only $5.3M worth of benefit fraud left to track down, so don’t worry, this is the last time they can use the benefit fraud card according to your own sources.

  21. jaymam 22

    When I volunteered to help the CBU, I took on the case of a beneficiary who according to WINZ had fraudulently accepted $24,000. She had been paid a small weekly amount for helping handicapped kids in an institution. I checked all the figures and the law and got the amount owed down to about nothing. Much of the money beneficiaries allegedly owe is becuase of mistakes by WINZ or because of the usual time delays when getting or losing jobs.

    • lprent 22.1

      Having helped out a number of people or talked to a number of people (mostly DPB) who have had this “overpayment” issue with WINZ over the decades, I have come to suspect that the fault is always with WINZ.

      In many of the ones I know about it has been obvious both to the lawyer(s) AND WINZ when they (finally) looked at the file that the problem didn’t exist at all or was minimal.

      In a couple of other ones, the problem is that WINZ hadn’t acted upon being told that there was a change in status that was listed in their own damn files. One also had a letter copy that they said they’d sent and had a response to, and which wasn’t in the WINZ file, but where the letter complaining that WINZ hadn’t

      Basically whenever anyone tells me that WINZ is chasing them for money, I tell them to assume that WINZ screwed it up again.

      Of course then there are the almost random way that WINZ just cut benefits without bothering to tell people that it is going to happen. Typically it will be the result of a letter going astray giving a date/time. But what gets me is that they don’t use the damn phone or email where the beneficiary had it available.

      The point about this is that I don’t need to use their services as I’ve never been unemployed for long enough to need it (or for that matter to get past the silly stand-down periods and other obstacles like their useless required courses). But I find it appalling that I’m paying for a safety net that is effectively useless at the purpose. They seem to spend way way more effort on stupidly screwing up peoples lives than they do on the task that they are charged with.

      I think that it’d almost be worth taking a series of class actions against the ministry to encourage them improve their systems.

      • Murray Olsen 22.1.1

        My educated guess would put WINZ fault at about 95%. I used to act as a beneficiary advocate years ago and it was about 90% then. I doubt if it’s improved at all.

        What’s required to take a class action?

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