Govt cracks down on 'wanted' beneficiaries
Thursday 4 Jul 2013 5:47 a.m.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett
Beneficiaries with outstanding arrest warrants are going to have to give themselves up or forfeit their payments under a law that comes into force on July 15.
Those with children will have their benefit cut by half.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says there are about 15,000 people with outstanding warrants at any one time - and about 8000 are beneficiaries.
From July 15 they will be given 38 days to come forward or their benefit will be stopped.
If police believe a person evading arrest poses a serious danger, their benefit can be stopped immediately at the request of the commissioner.
"Taxpayers overwhelmingly say they don't want to fund people to actively avoid the police and the Government agrees," Ms Bennett said.
"These changes are commonsense and will encourage people to front up to the justice sooner and straighten things out."
The law is part of wide-ranging welfare reforms passed by Parliament earlier this year.