More beneficiary bashing | The Jackal

20 Feb 2013

More beneficiary bashing

Today, National reported:

“National promised to clamp down on welfare fraud, and I’m pleased to deliver on that promise today.”

The first initiative is to amend the law to create a new offence targeting partners or spouses of beneficiaries who are convicted of fraud.

Relationship offending last year cost over $20 million and makes up one third of welfare fraud prosecutions.

“Currently there are few options available to prosecute partners who know or benefit from such offending, leaving the entire debt with one partner,” says Mr Borrows.

How will they be able to tell what partners knew of the fraud and those that had no idea?

“Prosecuting partners who profit from welfare fraud will ensure that both parties who profit from the crime are punished, and will help the taxpayer recover the lost money faster.”

In some cases a partner won't know about the crime and wouldn't benefit from it, and yet National plan to prosecute and make them pay for a crime they didn't commit, which is entirely unfair.

In contrast to Nationals regular get tough on welfare dog whistling that often coincides with them slumping in the polls or being under fire, we see very little if anything concerning corporate corruption that costs the country far more than welfare fraud ever could.

Despite internal audits only picking up around 2% of fraud cases in New Zealand, the Serious Fraud Office pursued convictions against eight finance companies in 2012 for $2.2 billion worth of fraud.

That's a clear indication that National doesn't have its priorities right when it comes to saving the taxpayer money by reducing crime. Instead, they're picking on beneficiaries who aren't even criminals, and as usual it will be their children who will suffer.