A new Auckland University of Technology study reveals widespread benefit fraud is taking place among people receiving Sole Parent Support, according to ACT Leader David Seymour.
The study, released yesterday and commissioned by the Ministry of Social Development, took a sample of 5,473 children from the Growing up in New Zealand longitudinal study.
“The study’s authors found that 70 per cent of people receiving Sole Parent Support also have a partner, says Mr Seymour.
Sole Parent Support criteria specify that a person may only qualify if they are not in a relationship.
“This is a deeply concerning finding.
“Taxpayers are being ripped off. The Social Development Minister must give New Zealanders an assurance that she is doing everything she can to tackle fraud in the welfare system.
“Before it decides to weaken obligations and sanctions on beneficiaries, and make benefits more widely available through its upcoming welfare reforms, the Minister should ensure that the current welfare system isn’t being abused.
“Almost 300,000 New Zealanders receive a main benefit. The majority are law-abiding people. Their honesty should not be called into question because of a group of people who decide to commit benefit fraud.
“The Government must take these finding seriously and tell the public how it will root out benefit fraud and ensure taxpayers get a fair deal.”