They’re dreamin’ if they think it is that low

Jared Savage has written an article about benefit fraud. Apparently, shock horror, it has trebled from 5 years ago:

Benefit fraud cost taxpayers a record $22.6 million last year, and nine social welfare staff were sacked for ripping off the system.

Figures released to the Herald under the Official Information Act show fraud detected by the Ministry of Social Development has tripled from $7.5 million five years ago.

At that time, the ministry set up a fraud intelligence unit because of an international trend towards increasingly elaborate scams, including the use of stolen and faked identities, said chief executive Peter Hughes.

The ministry had also been embarrassed by Wayne Patterson, who used 123 fake identities to steal $3.4 million over two years – or $56,000 a fortnight – before he was caught in 2006 and jailed for eight years.

His offending is still the largest benefit fraud – the second largest amount stolen was $571,000 in 2008.

Oh right so it tripled because they are detecting it better…that is a good thing.

However it hasn’t tripled, the fraud has always been there and under Labour there was a dis-inclination to care about it.

But let me tell you…their fraud is quite a bit larger than $22 million. That is only what they publicly admit to. In private the numbers are more like $200 million. The trouble is most of the staff who can do anything about this are wombles who wear grey Julius Marlow double zip shoes, tan knee socks, tan walk shorts and yellow shorts with big lapels, even in summer they ear their grey cardigan with leather buttons. I know this because I have met them.

Back in 2000 their state of the art fraud department consisted of the aforementioned womble and a couple of helpers using state of the art analysis tools like Excel.

Proper data visualisation tools or appropriately designed farud detections suites were and probably still are non-existant. I know this must be the case because otherwise  the cases like Wayne Patterson’s wouldn’t be happening.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.