What TV3 calls “hard line” beneficiary reforms, we call “long overdue”

Newshub are all aghast at the beneficiary reforms, which most hard working Kiwi taxpayers will be cheering for.

Newshub can reveal the full extent of the Government’s crackdown on beneficiaries.

Since hard-line welfare reforms in 2013, 165,177 sanctions have been placed on beneficiary payments.

The majority were for failing to attend an appointment, but also included failing a drugs test and refusing a job.

The penalties range from a 25 percent reduction in benefit to a full cancellation for 13 weeks.

Today there was a steady stream of foot traffic into Newtown’s WINZ office in Wellington, hoping to avoid penalties for breaking the benefit rules.   

The Government’s sanctions regime is based on a series of ‘strikes’ for offending beneficiaries.

Strike one earns a decrease of 25 or 50 percent in their benefit. Since 2013, a little more than 106,000 such penalties have been dished out.

Strike two in the same year would see a benefit suspended and 41,500 of these penalties have been issued.

Strike three means the benefit is cancelled all together — 17,000 of these sanctions have been imposed in three years.

There’s also a ‘grade four’ offence — refusal to take a job, which carries an automatic penalty of the benefit being suspended for 13 weeks, a penalty 229 people have faced.

Minister of Social Development Anne Tolley says the rules are made to be followed.

The figures also show that in 2014 and 2015 the number of sanctions issued are virtually the same — about 70,000.

Which begs the question — are any lessons being learned?


How stupid are Newshub? Where is the evidence that the same people are being sanctioned over and over again.

This is long overdue and needs to get stronger.


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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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