Former carwash owner blacklisted after WINZ rip-off

The Council of Trade Unions is confident the Wellington businessman who ripped off a government job scheme is a one-off case.

Wash Works owner Michael Willbourne received nearly 40 thousand dollars in government subsidies to employ beneficiaries and then underpaid his workers.

Work and Income has blacklisted him and an investigation has begun.

CTU secretary Peter Conway says it's disgraceful and Mr Willbourne needs to be prosecuted.

"There's certainly problems with people being paid less than minimum wage, and there's also problems with people being sacked in the first 90 days and no right of appeal. But I have not heard of many cases of people abusing the subsidy, so this is a rare case."

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the case is really disappointing, especially as the vast majority of employers Work and Income deal with have an outstanding attitude towards giving young people good job opportunities.


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