N.Z. — Dishonesty costs you and me (From insurance fraud to tax dodges, the figures add up.)

Crime Scene - Do Not Cross. by Alan Cleaver

From the New Zealand Herald opinion piece:

With health insurance the problem is both fraud by customers, and medical providers that think it’s okay to bump up the bill to the health insurer. You and I pay for their greed.

ACC’s fraud investigations add up to more than $18 million a year in recoveries and savings. That’s only $16 for my household, but doesn’t include the ones that get away with ACC fraud.

Like insurers, many Kiwis consider the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) to be fair game and avoid paying vast sums of tax and student loan repayments. Underpaid taxes could fund many times the cost of melanoma drugs that the country allegedly can’t afford.

In an extensive worldwide study, the Tax Justice Network estimated that the shadow economy (illicit or undeclared economic activity) in Oceania, which includes New Zealand, was the equivalent of 14.1 per cent of GDP. The researchers noted that figure equated to more than half the region’s health-care spending. If those estimates are correct there could be $7.5 billion of earnings in New Zealand that is escaping the tax net.

Read the full article here:
http://m.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11604132

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