Benefits to be stopped over outstanding warrants

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett. Photo / APN
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett. Photo / APN

People on outstanding arrest warrants could see their benefits stopped as a part of the next stage in welfare reforms to take effect later in the month.

From July 15, beneficiaries with outstanding warrants will have their benefits stopped if they fail to come forward and clear their warrant within 38 days.

Those with children will have their benefit reduced by no more than half.

"There are about 15,000 people with outstanding warrants at any one time and 8000 of those are receiving a benefit,'' Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said.

People with a warrant outstanding for 28 or days or longer would be given ten further working days to clear it. Failing that, Work and Income would be notified and the benefit reduced by 50 per cent or stopped, until the person complied.

But if police believed a person evading arrest posed a serious danger, their benefit could be stopped immediately at the request of the Police Commissioner, Ms Bennett said.


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