6 Aug 2014

Benefit reforms saved $47m - Govt

1:33 pm on 6 August 2014

The Government says its welfare reforms saved $47 million in payments or fraudulent benefits in the last financial year.

The Government says its welfare reforms saved $47m in wrong or fraudulent payments in the last financial year.

The Government says its welfare reforms saved $47m in wrong or fraudulent payments in the last financial year. Photo: PHOTO NZ

The Ministry of Social Development is now sharing more information with the Inland Revenue Department.

Those measures include information-sharing with agencies such as Inland Revenue and new rules on relationship fraud.

Associate Social Development Minister Chester Borrows said the Ministry of Social Development was stopping more fraud than ever before.

Couples on benefits who do not declare their relationships are both liable for wrongful payments, and data-matching with the IRD resulted in nearly 7000 benefits being stopped.

In the 2012/2013 financial year, investigations carried out by the ministry resulted in $48.2 million being recouped.

But the amount in the last financial year almost doubled to $88.4 million with the regular investigations and the $47 million saved from the reforms.