Ministry settles historic abuse claims

MSN News 21 March 2012
A surge in payments to people who were wrongly dealt with by welfare authorities is largely due to historic claims being settled, the Ministry of Social Development says.

Family First is calling for an independent authority to be established to handle complaints against Child, Youth and Family (CYF).

Bob McCoskrie, national director of the pro-family lobby group, says CYF paid out $836,375 in 55 cases in 2011 compared with $334,912 in 31 cases in 2010.

Ex-gratia payments are made when someone has suffered loss or harm as a result of the ministry’s actions.

Mr McCoskrie is using the figures to back his case for the appointment of an independent complaints authority.

But the ministry says the payments cover not just CYF but other department as well, such as Work and Income.

“Nearly half of these ex-gratia payments relate to historic abuse while in state care,” it said.