KOBE – A family in Hyogo Prefecture stopped seeking child welfare benefits after admitting they were not entitled to them, following a tip-off by a local resident encouraged by a city ordinance, the municipal government said.
The ordinance to “rectify” the benefits system, which took effect in the city of Ono in April, states that residents have a duty to notify the city government if they find people illicitly receiving welfare or other public assistance payments.
The city, which has a population of around 50,000, said Wednesday it had received 10 tip-offs from citizens by the end of January.
The family in question was receiving child allowances given to a single-parent household despite both parents being present, according to city sources.
When the ordinance took effect, the city compared it to banning citizens from spending too much on gambling. The prefectural bar association, however, slammed the move, saying it violates human rights and “involves citizens in surveillance.”