No checks being made on beneficiaries paid by Government to move to start new jobs

Source: 1News

It’s touted as a way to get beneficiaries into jobs, but 1 NEWS can reveal no checks are made to see if those who move for a job, stay in the role.

This has led to accusations of workers moving just to get paid $5,000 and quitting only weeks after.

Tasman apple grower, Simon Easton, told 1 NEWS he had a few workers leave after they got paid the relocation subsidy.

“[It was] pretty catastrophic because they left and we could not employ anyone else,” he said.

“We were very lucky in the end that we had some other growers that came and helped us harvest our crop. Otherwise we potentially would have walked away from maybe 10-15 per cent of our crop,” Easton said.

To qualify for the $5000 to work scheme, workers have to be entitled to the Jobseeker benefit, be the partner of someone who is, and move for a confirmed job that’s longer than 91 days.

But the Ministry of Social Development isn’t keeping tabs on how long that person stays in the role, and the Government says that’s impractical.

“Sometimes people will move for work and potentially find other forms of work in that area that works better for them, and if that's the case we need to be supportive of that,” said Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni.

The number of people who have applied for the grant has also soared since it jumped from $3,000 to $5,000 last October.

In the last seven months, 2,272 people applied, compared to the seven months before that when under 500 Kiwis signed up.

1 NEWS has also discovered problems with another scheme to relocate workers for $1,000. MSD weren’t checking with employers whether people were still working there either. The ministry has now changed that after questions from 1 NEWS.