WINZ cash grants for tickets to Australia
Tue, 04 Dec 2012 4:47p.m.
By Brook Sabin
The Government is being accused of paying for beneficiaries to travel to Australia to find work.
Labour made the claim in Parliament this afternoon and Social Development Minister Paula Bennett was unable to give a guarantee it isn't happening.
Since National took office five years ago, more than 170,000 people have left for Australia.
Labour's social development spokeswoman, Jacinda Ardern, says Work and Income has been using the Transition to Work Grant and taxpayers are picking up the tab.
“There is a taxpayer fund called the Transition to Work Grant that I’ve been informed has been used to assist job seekers to move to Australia for work.”
The $1500 grant is meant to help with job search costs, such as clothing and travel, and the Ministry of Social Development website explains it is normally for people intending to stay in New Zealand.
In the past five years 500,000 people have received the grant. Ms Bennett admitted that people going to Australia may have been given the grant “the odd time in the last five years”.
“I would have to go manually go back through the past five years, and in the last three hours I haven't had time to that,” she says.
Unemployment is at the highest level in 13 years with 175,000 people out of work. Minus, of course, anybody who may have found work in Australia, courtesy of the taxpayer.
“I think that what this says is this minister is more intent on keeping her numbers down than helping keep New Zealand families in work in New Zealand,” Ms Adern says.
So the Ministry of Social Development is now urgently trying to establish how widespread the issue is. But because the grant was never intended to fund travel to Australia, officials have to manually search the 500,000 files, and that could take weeks.
3 News / NZN
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
19/12/2012 7:29:32 a.m.
Hell, didnt know the grant was that much to help you find employment and buy clothing for your job. Grant use to be $250 - clothing allowance. Plus, not everyone who applies for this grant will get it.
10/12/2012 9:02:02 p.m.
no wonder labour leads in the electorate vote and will soon take over in the partyy vote .that is not on and the australian government have a right to be angry . no wonder were called bludging kiwis in australia its plain wrong.thanks for the brighter future my fellow kiwis ..
8/12/2012 10:28:13 a.m.
paula is the fat thing that thinks she is above the law she has a rude awakening comming beleave me
7/12/2012 6:08:37 p.m.
That's the most expensive way of fiddling with the unemployment figure. And adding another 500,000 people to the current 150,000 rate and the unemployment true rate is closed to 20 per cent.
7/12/2012 9:23:41 a.m.
unemployed but married wrote:
They give these people money to go to Australia to work nice. I am out of work my man works and we have a mortgage guess what they give us for financial help $37.50 a week what a joke I must go in and get tickets to Austalia.
6/12/2012 5:07:39 p.m.
Ha-hey!! Looks like the only thing kiwis can export with our over-valued currency is,..... kiwis themselves. Of course! Start shipping our unemployed to Aussie, it's brilliant. It even fits in with the govt's master plan to shift their responsibilities onto someone else at every opportunity. We can just give redundant workers airline tickets to SYD, MEL or PER instead of paying them off. We can relocate some of our pesky no-income lay-abouts to the Gold Coast for the next reality TV series. Damn,the possibilities are endless. It's like NZ's future is starting to look and sound like a reality TV series. A series of mistruths, lies and arrogant morons telling us how long it would take to rummage through all the files and find out the extent of the problem. (Thats why you have staff Paula).
PS....Paula Bennett to be the new 'Snooki'....hey that's being a bit rude sweetie? Can the situation in this country become anymore surreal? Only if someone endorses Hekia Parata as a great Minister of Education again huh?
5/12/2012 12:08:05 p.m.
ira boyd wrote:
What is the result? For example: did it benefit the nz taxpayer sending these few NZ'drs to Australia for employment! As for Jacinda [Labour Party], What is your solution!!! All bloody talk!!!
5/12/2012 11:48:23 a.m.
@ Katrina - You mean use tax payers money to pay for beneficiaries fare to Australia to reduce the number on the unemployment and the benefit list to make Paula and this hands off government look better than what they are at the moment? Wake up!
5/12/2012 8:14:13 a.m.
Fair NZer wrote:
For the past five years these Taxpayers monies should be spend on jobless NZers getting into employment in NZ and of not Australia. It this what our National Government can possibly do, eh, lame NZ voters? However, this has not help the official NZ UNEMPLOYMENT Stats ballooning up to 7.3%....
5/12/2012 6:50:45 a.m.
If labour allowed this to happen Katrina you would be calling for resignations.
But you excuse National doing it, shows how ridiculously hypocritical National Party supporters are.
Prime Minister John Key has labelled the Labour-led Opposition the "devil beast"...
What began as a protest for more pay has morphed into a battle against cheap bur...
Police had to physically push anti-poverty protestors back after they tried to b...
Tonight comes the Budget announcement you didn't hear yesterday – Food for Schoo...
One major issue heading into the Budget was child poverty....
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.