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#1 User is offline   anonymousey 

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 03:01 PM

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#2 User is offline   Marc 

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 01:43 AM

I agree that fraud must be stopped and prosecuted, where it happens, no matter whether it is tax dodgers and cheats not paying their dues, or where people rip off the state and taxpayer by claiming while they have no entitlements due to their circumstances. I would dare to throw in a note of caution though, as we get quick and easy "judgment" by media reports, where we are only told bits of information about the whole evidence and circumstances.

As for WINZ cheats, yes, there will be a fair few, same as in other areas, but there are many borderline cases, where people may be in temporary relationships, that need to be worked out yet, where people may be earning a bit through a very short, casual job, where some start new jobs, but are afraid to have their benefit cut off straight away, because they are not sure whether the job will work out. I would think that WINZ like ACC would take an approach, where they allow people a week or two, to check out if a job they take on actually works out, and can be managed, and that benefit of other payments continue for that time, being repayable afterwards. Cutting entitled support off straight away can create immense pressures on people, so they feel that a job has to work out, even if it may be too much to handle for some.

Also, it must be worthwhile to work, as there are situations where the financial support from WINZ or ACC may not be enough to live off for some, due to high accommodation costs, utility costs and overall high living costs. We have such a situation in some places in New Zealand (e.g. Christchurch and Auckland), where it is so expensive to live now, the minimum wage makes it very difficult to get by on. So it may make sense to increase the actual minimum wage of people, and to also provide more affordable housing, so that people can live decent lives here. Simply being overly punitive, denying support, cutting support and pressuring people to work in jobs that do not pay enough to get by on, that is exactly the kind of approach that will only create more dishonesty, as people will feel forced to be convenient with the truth, simply to manage and survive.

This is an area that deserves more scrutiny, as we usually get these media reports about "abuse" and so, where there is a borderline or transitional situation. It is of course hard to police, but it must be possible to apply common sense, and to use communications with the parties involved.

I simply do not believe that welfare fraud or benefit fraud is quite as large a problem as tax evasion or avoidance, and cheating.

As for the true, undeniable cheats, the law must be enforced firmly and fairly.

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