The Dominion Post today revealed the story of someone who had taken a two year overseas holiday by stealing from the taxpayer. The fraud was discovered because the government’s reforms mean dole recipients have to reapply for their benefit after a year.
Fortunately this case is the exception rather than the rule. Most unemployed people are trying to find work. However, the worrying aspect is the failure of the welfare system to detect such fraud apart from a change in government policy. The longer term concern is that if you keep paying people to do nothing for long enough then eventually they will do…nothing.