Benefit Crime Awareness Campaign A Success

  • Roger Sowry
Social Services, Work and Income

Interim results from Work and Income New Zealand show the campaign to raise awareness of benefit crime was a success, said Social Services Minister the Hon Roger Sowry .

"The numbers of New Zealanders who were prompted by the campaign to cancel benefits which no longer applied to them, or change onto a different benefit, was encouraging," Mr Sowry said.

Mr Sowry pointed to the figures from May, which show a 22% increase in people voluntarily cancelling their Domestic Purposes Benefit compared to the previous year. In June, this figure increased by 41% over the year before.

To the end of October, benefit fraud was detected in 1461 cases, representing some $12.4 million. Of thoses cases, Work and Income New Zealand interim results show 61% are the result of people in a marriage type relationship while claiming a sole parent benefit. About 32% were a result of people working and continuing to claim a full benefit. To date, 114 people have been referred for prosecution.