Thursday, July 05, 2018

WINZ's war on the poor

Surprise, surprise! It turns out that 80% of complaints to WINZ are unsubstantiated:

Figures released to Checkpoint with John Campbell under the Official Information Act show 8968 allegations were made in the 2016/17 financial year, resulting in 5992 investigations.

However, an overpayment that needed to be paid back was only identified in 20 percent of cases - or 1829 of them - meaning 4163 people were needlessly subjected to an investigation.

"So many resources are being put into people with a gripe about anything, dobbing in these vulnerable people, and subjecting them to the misery of an MSD benefit fraud investigation," lawyer Frances Joychild QC said.

Joychild provides examples of allegations made by abusive ex-partners, or in retaliation for exposing sexual abuse. But WINZ doesn't care about the motive for complaints - instead, they're just looking for excuses to cut benefits. But it speaks volumes that two thirds of their investigations turn up nothing. And you really have to wonder about how many million dollars they're wasting on this vindictive war on the poor.