Govt chases debt of one cent
Mon, 17 Sep 2012 6:03p.m.
By Tova O’Brien
In these tough economic times we've all got to pinch pennies where we can - and the Government seems to be setting an example.
In a letter sent to a beneficiary and given to 3 News, the Ministry of Social Development demands one client pays back their debt to the Government - the striking figure of one cent.
“Surely the minister and Work and Income have much better things to do than be pursuing arrears as low as one cent,” says Labour MP Jacinda Arden.
Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett says it's unlikely to be a one off - but recouping this kind of cost isn't encouraged.
“It would seem ridiculous to me, it would cost more to send out the letter than to get a few cents back,” says Ms Bennett.
The beneficiary in involved wanted to stay anonymous, something which may have had something to do with a privacy consent which, if signed, allows the ministry and the minister to make public a person's details if they go to the media.
“[It’s] an attempt by the ministry to now cover themselves in future if they ever in future release someone's personal details, which they have not ruled out doing,” says Ms Ardern.
The ministry says it’s a standard Government form, but it has only just added it to its website.
No one from the ministry would be interviewed. Instead it issued a statement saying it knows the one cent overpayment looks silly, but that it sends millions of letters a year through a system which doesn't distinguish between amounts of debt.
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23/09/2012 4:47:37 a.m.
Pathetic really and private businessmen financing our childrens abuse enquiry cos this govt cant. Total lack of leadership. What do these buffoons get to dip in the public purse at all. Make it performance based pay for them Mr speaker. That should make them wake up.
22/09/2012 12:58:00 a.m.
I have an idea, how about ending the fictitious war on terror, that should save millions.
22/09/2012 12:19:45 a.m.
Matt J wrote:
Wow. How much money does it cost including resourcing to issue a letter to someone demanding 1c off them? "Recouping this kind of amount isn't encouraged". Really Paula? Sounds like you need to get a grip on your Govt dept before you head off on this watseful exercise. You do have to laugh at Paula Bennet and how out of her depth she is. Roll on 2014 and we can turf this bunch of clowns out.
18/09/2012 4:33:27 p.m.
Lol, god help those who owe $1, i think Winz should just round it down to 0 cents and save wasting the tapayers money sending letter.
18/09/2012 9:12:42 a.m.
Jim Seaview wrote:
QUOTE: "In these tough economic times we've all got to pinch pennies where we can - and the Government seems to be setting an example.
In a letter sent to a beneficiary and given to 3 News, the Ministry of Social Development demands one client pays back their debt to the Government - the striking figure of one cent."
Not much common sense shown by our civil servants to chase a few cents???
Can it get much worse???
18/09/2012 8:15:10 a.m.
Dave is right, thats how banks can make make some money one cent from every account. It is ridiculous, rewrite the software. I am sure at some stage 2 cents can be deducted from there benefit at some stage with out having to resort to computerised letters. Computers are programmed by (lets hope, humans) so its a problem which can be fixed.
18/09/2012 7:07:58 a.m.
I am wondering if anyone else is seeing paula shaking out kids piggy banks
18/09/2012 1:35:52 a.m.
Unfortunately the real problem in this country is private sector debt. Seems to be a large elephant that is ignored. Too hard to deal with or vested interests....?
17/09/2012 11:18:11 p.m.
Kay Jones wrote:
When did the 1cent go out of circulation?if over the time limit of then 7 years,now 5 years stiff shit for Bennett,as it is now so out dated too pursue that 1 cent piece.just like the 2cent piece and the 5cent piece that many people got ripped off,like when the decimal currency came in,we lost the use of the 1/2 penny,1 penny 3pence people lost money then.
17/09/2012 11:04:23 p.m.
And yet Dave... if 200000 people owed 1 cent then the government would be out $2000
Amd to collect it from people it would cost Winz a minimum of $60,000
Of course people would be expected to pay back demoinations of money that actually exist Dave... but lets be fair... last time I saw a 1 cent piece was many years ago.
NZ currency doesnt come in a one cent denomination.
Talk about ridiculous Fascism.
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