Bevan Hurley is the Herald on Sunday chief reporter.

Food work payout

Fast food chains are receiving payments to employ beneficiaries.
Fast food chains are receiving payments to employ beneficiaries.

Fast-food giant McDonald's has been paid $272,000 by the Government to help unemployed people get back to work.

It was part of $22 million in wage subsidies paid by the Ministry for Social Development in four years to June this year, an Official Information Act request reveals.

Other fast-food chains also received whopper payments - believed to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars - but the ministry was unable to give exact figures.

"As Burger King, KFC, Subway, Pizza Hut and Dominos all trade under individual franchise names, the ministry is unable to accurately identify them in reporting systems without manual collation," Work and Income deputy chief executive Debbie Power said.

Power said 21,145 beneficiaries got jobs through the schemes at a cost of $1022 a client. "In the long term, keeping these clients in the benefit system would represent a much higher cost," Power said.

- Herald on Sunday

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