More than 500 people have had their benefits cancelled since the Ministry of Social Development began information sharing with Inland Revenue.
Co-operation with police also saw two people arrested last week for suspected welfare fraud of $375,000, Associate Social Development Minister Chester Borrows said.
Borrows said the work being done between government departments and agencies would save money.
“As at 31 March, 525 people’s benefits have been immediately cut as they are earning above the income threshold and have failed to disclose their full circumstances.”
Those involved were part of a larger group of 3500 people being contacted by MSD because they were believed to be earning above the threshold for welfare support, he said.
I think this is great, and don’t quite understand why the government hasn’t been doing this kind of data-matching for decades. But, as Jacinda Ardern points out, the cost of benefit fraud is tiny compared to tax fraud, which will be much easier for a Labour-Greens government to prosecute on a wide scale once the police can legitimately involve the GCSB in their investigations and monitor the communications of businesses, multi-national corporations, high net worth individuals, their accountants and tax lawyers. Boom! An extra six billion dollars a year for the government books! There’s your deficit gone AND funding for a year of government-funded maternity leave right there.