3 Nov 2010

Disqualified drink-drivers to lose access to loans

9:01 am on 3 November 2010

The Government says it will stop loaning money to disqualified drivers so they can get a licence to get back on the road.

The acting Minister for Social Development, Judith Collins, says the Department of Work and Income makes the loans to people who have been convicted of drunk and dangerous driving, enabling them to pay their legal fees when applying for a limited, work-only driver's licence.

Ms Collins says the Government was unaware of the loans until contacted by media, and she does not know how long they have been available.

"The department has said that it cannot be sure about how many of these would have been paid," she says. "They've said that they cannot be sure because of the way that these funds have been coded."

Ms Collins says the loans will still be available in exceptional circumstances, but approval will have to come from the head of Work and Income.

She says people who lose their licence should be prepared to catch the bus.