Is Centrelink Giving out Money Too Easily These Days? Do We Need Tighter Laws to Prevent Centrelink Fraud?

Is Centrelink Giving out Money Too Easily These Days? Do We Need Tighter Laws to Prevent Centrelink Fraud?

I was shocked to read on the news today that someone with "five joint home loan accounts" which I read as multiple investment properties could still access a huge amount of money from Centrelink.

More disturbing is the fact that if she had kept quiet and didn't make her TV appearances she wouldn't have been caught. How many undetected Kim Castles are out there making a killing off Centrelink by lying low and gotten quiet hardworking Australians to fund their holidays and lavish lifestyle?

Do we need stronger policing of Centrelink funds and stronger regulations to ensure only the needy gets what they need and not give dishonest dole bulgers an unfair advantage in owning investment properties when young Australians today are having a hard time even getting their first homes? Also, is the single parent payment paraxodically bad for society by indirectly encouraging single parenthood (cue single moms with four kids by different dads living in social housing spending Centrelink money on drugs, etc)? In an alternate reality where the single parent payment didn't exist in the first place, do you think that those single moms would have reconsidered having kids as she wouldn't be able to afford them, and probably actually had to work an honest job and live a honest life, thus reducing crime rates?

Constructive thoughts and civil discussions are welcomed.

Poll Options expired

  • 310
    1. Yes, we need more stringent requirements surrounding the disbursement of Centrelink money.
  • 320
    2. No, we are not called the Lucky Country for no reason.


                  • @trapper: Looks like it is still going -

                    The cost isn't really astronomical. So many people get benefits already - this will just be putting them all under one type. Plus for people that don't need it to survive, it is just a matter of taxes changing. The government manages to give tax cuts on the regular anyway, it will just be like that (except actually benefiting struggling people instead of just the rich)

                    • @Quantumcat:

                      Looks like it is still going

                      Interesting, so the idea has merit. I think $2500 after a year is unlikely to motivate as much as $10k in six months though.

                      The cost isn't really astronomical.

                      $300+ Billion is astronomical. Far more than the current welfare bill and insufficient for many welfare categories. (e.g. unemployed single parents)

                    • @Quantumcat:

                      it will just be like that

                      Except tax cuts reduces the amount of tax that they are paying. The benefits is giving someone free money for nothing in return.

                      • @ozhunter: If I give you $10 and take $100 you have net -$90. Same thing as if I just took $90 from you. Tax cuts have the same effect as a UBI for working people, reducing how much tax they pay. The system would be administered through the ATO as we wouldn't need DHS anymore (no complicated policies and rules)

                        • @Quantumcat:

                          If I give you $10 and take $100 you have net -$90. Same thing as if I just took $90 from you.

                          Uh, what does that have to do with anything lol. The worker has gone out and earned his money by working. You didn't give it to him.

                          Tax cuts have the same effect as a UBI for working people

                          Don't see why they would need UBI if they are working.

                          as we wouldn't need DHS anymore (no complicated policies and rules)

                          Just a guess, but just flat out giving everyone UBI cost far far greater than paying employees to see it goes to those who need it most.

                          • -1

                            @ozhunter: Giving $10 was meant to represent the UBI, take $100 was meant to represent taxation.

                            Just a guess, but just flat out giving everyone UBI cost far far greater than paying employees to see it goes to those who need it most.

                            It might, but not by much. It also means not paying 15,000 employees 50k-300k salary and not spending millions each year IT budget, (probably millions on other budgets for DHS) and millions in property costs for DHS offices, and millions on department of social services too (who work out the policy). Welfare payments are very expensive to administer! I wouldn't be surprised if it actually ended up cheaper.

                            • @Quantumcat: Still not sure what you were trying to say with that example. Was there a reason that tax you were taking in the example 10x higher than the UBI?

                              In reality, the worker goes out, looks for a job(maybe also spends money and learns a skill to get a better job)then pays a portion of their income to the tax man.

                              The jobseeker and other centrelink recipients aren't working, but are receiving income for nothing, and don't pay any tax on it.

                              • @ozhunter: I was trying to say that there isn't much difference in terms of cost between implementing UBI and giving a tax cut, except that the UBI comes with the benefit of much less bureaucracy and dramaticly less spending on public servants. You don't hear liberals cry about how much a tax cut is going to cost, they love it.

                                • @Quantumcat:

                                  I was trying to say that there isn't much difference in terms of cost between implementing UBI and giving a tax cut

                                  Similar to saying that we should increase tax to cover the cost of UBI. I'm not saying it couldn't be done, but should it?

                                  You don't hear liberals cry about how much a tax cut is going to cost

                                  I'd think pretty much everyone would like to keep more of their money that they worked for. A full-time minimum wage worker net pay is $662/week A jobseeker not working at all is $333/week. So the worker gets an additional $329/week in his pocket for working a full time job. Of course, you'd want to pay less tax.

    • +4

      And so the rich get slightly richer, while the poor and disabled get screwed. Great…

    • The money doesn't appear out of nowhere though.

      If the govt gives me $300 'free' per week extra it's going to have to tax me an extra $300 per week to pay for it.

      So what's the point? The guy on the dole can now sit there for years with no incentive to do anything.

      It will be especially bad for young adult's who, with very low expenses, could actually survive quite well on that kind of money.

      • The state can fire the army of means testers and worthless JSAs that cost billions a year. People on the lowest brackets of income are not punished for earning too much, there is a threshold where it doesn't make sense to work more because your partner loses money effectively slashing your wage into the single digits. No need for estimating earnings per fortnight either(its ridiculous), you just file a tax return at the end of the year and pay are assessed like everyone else. No great worry about fraud and no class warfare since everyone gets it; it is isn't deserving poor vs workers vs capital holders.

        It makes way more sense than the scam John Howard set up. If you are paid an extra 300 but earn enough to lose it at the end of the tax year you haven't lost the money. If you lose your job unfortunately you don't even have to make a claim, the safety net is built in. Its a painless transition both ways.

        No one is living the high life on 300 a week.

        • No one is living the high life on 300 a week.

          Plenty of people happy to live the low life though.

          • @trapper: Its hard to be concerned about their choice since you lose nothing either way. The vast majority of people don't want to live in share houses broke all the time.

  • +9

    I think we need to reassess aged pension rates and asset limits. I have some in my family I don't want to dob in, but they are very well off and have had a very cushy life, while the younger generations are living worse than they did but expected to support the older people because it's culturally what was done for a long time.

    Also the aged pension is a ponzi scheme that relies on the constant importation of many to support the few. I don't know many younger people who think the aged pension will still be a thing when it's their time to go on it.

    Universal Basic Income is interesting. It applies to all. I used to be against the idea but I've come around to it recently. With the cash grab happening by wealthy elites in a covid world and a funneling of cash from the middle and lower classes to the top few percent (only big business allowed to be open in covid world is super unfair and is destroying the middle merchant class). I think UBI might be the only way to prevent run away inequity with wealthy elites buying up all the property from under them. UBI seems the most fair and least likely to cause animosity between groups who receive it and groups who work to pay for it, as the ones who pay for it get it also.

  • +1

    demolish baby bonus

    • +4

      Hasn't been a thing for a long time.

      • It still exists. Just not at the rate it used to be. It's call newborn supplement now.

        • Yeah, with a total of just over a grand or so over a 12 month or so period. Nothing like the baby bonus.

  • +2

    I find it funny how some people who are probably younger think that getting rid of the pension is a good thing maybe one day in the future you well may need it none of us know what the future holds!! Try living a decent life on the pension if you have to pay rent don't own your own home
    Not everybody rips of centrelink in a first world country like Australia should have a decent welfare system for when people fall on hard times I have been on the the dole a couple of times in my working life a few months at a time couldn't wait to get back into work I am in my mid 50's now.

    • Mate when people talk about abolishing the pension, they don't mean rip it out from under those that rely on it currently.

    • One thing that doesn't sit right with me is that some people on the pension have multi million dollar homes. I feel like I'm working to pay for theirs and my retirement.

    • Mate as if anyone under 30 is getting the pension, our entire generation has already accepted the fact that super will be 70 and pension will be never. We're all just going to live too long.

      That's where our mindset comes from, why do I have to pay for mine and yours, when you had 30 working years to get your own.

  • I realise that people are not talking about getting rid of the pension right now but somewhere down the line much later, yes some people have expensive homes but are cash strapped part of that debate is that they should sell the home to get the cash, it will be a brave government who will move the super age to 70 the retirement age is now 67 both sides of politics have said 70 is to old especially for physical jobs
    It will be interesting to hear people’s comment about this when they get closer to retirement age.

  • +1

    I reckon you have over simplified the problem.

    It is a system problem and multi causal, not one that can be "fixed" with a tightening this and that…

  • +1

    Make funds easily available for those who need it. Also have a team of investigative analysts.

    My view is you take public money, you need to open your books when asked.

    You take money mens rea and you get hit with 20odd million (population) counts of fraud. Liquidated assets and jail.

  • Is Centrelink Giving out Money Too Easily These Days?

    CL is just an avenue for people to take advantage of, and not necessary a problem with CL.

    The thought of being treated like a fraud, get robodebt notice, even I have done everything by the book, is why I disagree CL gives money too easily if I'm applying for jobseeker.

    More disturbing is the fact that if she had kept quiet and didn't make her TV appearances she wouldn't have been caught.

    When someone believes what they are doing is right so much, it is hard for us to understand why they keep doing more to expose themselves. Like Salim Mehajer, having that laverish wedding on the street and receiving complaints. He probably thought he deserves the recognition, while the rest of us suspect corruptions been taking place.

  • +3

    WOW STEREOTYPING MUCH; must feel nice up their on your horse, looking down on anyone who needs help to just survive.. as many have mentioned there are so many people born into poverty and born into govt housing & assistance with no way out of that cycle… And in regards to jobs last thing I read said there's now 100 applications per job atm

  • Yes. Especially to those rorting the system.

    Single parent families who aren't actually single.

    People choosing to not even bother looking for work because they're too comfortable getting paid to do nothing

    etc. etc.

    • +2

      No one is not bothering to look for work, you're required to look for a certain number of jobs a fortnight and have meetings regularly. If you haven't looked for enough jobs you get kicked off.

      • Yeah, they're looking for work and writing down the jobs they've applied for to still be unemployed for months/years on end. As long as you've filled out the minimum requirements for looking for work and attended a job agency / centrelink meeting. You'll be right to continue getting paid.

        So in theory, filling out job applications is their job.

        • +3

          Trust me when I say that that life is very unpleasant, and all the people you see and the courses they put you on are horrible. No one would want to live like that on purpose, everyone would much rather have good full time work, they just have issues or social problems that make it hard for them to get a job. There are ones that don't want to work, but that's because of what I've said before - the only work they can get is part time or casual and minimum wage, plus not very fulfilling work. So with the cuts to their payments they'd be getting like $5/hr. A good job seems completely out of reach and a fantasy, something other people get but not them. If they could press a magic button and have a good full time job that they knew they'd be good at, trust me they would press it immediately. It isn't fun to be constantly humiliated and rejected and live on crumbs.

          • -1

            @Quantumcat: Define good job?

            There is plenty of work out there if you're willing to do it. If you're on the dole, you can't be picky. We have a good minimum wage in Australia.

            The bigger issue is, why would someone want to go get a job when they know they can get $200-$300 a week sitting on their ass? Most people on the dole have been on it for 1+ years, they're the ones that need to be pushed to work. There are many people in this category along with the category you are referring to.

            • +3

              @Danstar: Unskilled work is incredibly competitive - there's not "plenty of work out there if you're willing to do it".

              A good job would be something semi professional, instead of say a temporary job hauling rubbish at a construction site.

              If you haven't been there, you can't say what it is like on that end

              • @Quantumcat: I have been there and I also know how many jobs are out there because where I work now, their is always jobs in the field, but the issue isn't the work. It's the workers.
                A lot of people want a free ride.

          • +1


            So with the cuts to their payments they'd be getting like $5/hr

            That's the issue. My friend gets $333/week excluding the covid supplement.

            If he worked 20 hours a week at minimum wage, he would be getting $729.80 if his centrelink didn't get cut.

            A full-time worker's minimum wage is $753.80. So what incentive would there be to work full time?

            • @ozhunter: You're forgetting that with a UBI everyone gets it - so if it was 330 a week the full time worker would be getting 1080 a week. The more you work the more you get. No disincentive.

              • @Quantumcat: I thought we were talking about not cutting centrelink for jobseekers or scrapping it altogether.

                UBI would be great. So would free education, free healthcare for everything, maybe even a free car every other year. It's just not sustainable. It's not like no other country has tried it before.

                The more you work the more you get.

                That's capitalism… I agree it's a good system.

                No disincentive.

                No incentive either. Making jobseeker recipients volunteer at a charity is a good incentive and it doesn't stop them from losing their welfare. They also help out society. No need for UBI.

                • @ozhunter: I might be getting conversations mixed together

                • +1

                  @ozhunter: Its not volunteering if your ability to eat is attached to it. You are speaking in defense of 'Work for the Dole' essentially, a program which pays a lot of spring up NGOs a lot of money to detain dole recipients 3 days a week. Also if its work then its payed, the organizations receiving the labor are not paying for it and the dole is not a wage. Worse if it is actual work worth doing these 'volunteer' positions eliminate market work.

                  Its the same issue with prison labor, you generate far more perverse incentives paying middle men to have cornered members of the public jump through hoops for their subsistence. Means testing creates more problems and wastes more money in the end.

            • @ozhunter:

              A full-time worker's minimum wage is $753.80. So what incentive would there be to work full time?

              Maybe some ambition to eventually earn above minimum wage? You gotta start somewhere.

              When I started my first job on $4.38ph I certainly wasn't planning to stay there forever.

              • @trapper: Doubt giving more money to those without jobs would make you more ambitious. If anything, it would do the opposite. Take a ~20% pay cut for ~50% reduction in work hours.

                • @ozhunter:

                  Doubt giving more money to those without jobs would make you more ambitious. If anything, it would do the opposite.


          • +3

            @Quantumcat: I was on benefits for over a year. I was doing casual work, but it was very inconsistent and so I relied on Centrelink benefits for when I didn't work or didn't work enough. Apparently I didn't have to meet the requirements when I worked full time for a fortnight or 2 and received no benefits, but essentially I had to anyway.

            I looked for more jobs than expected because I desperately wanted a job and to be off Centrelink benefits. I was told I had to come in to look for work on the job network's computers for an hour every couple of days which was actually pointless because their computers and internet were so slow that I couldn't do anything, so this was on top of actually applying for jobs. Then they decided I didn't fall into a category that needed to do that so they dropped that requirement after a while.

            I was doing a university degree online, but they wouldn't count it as an activity, 6-8 units per year. It was hard staying motivated and my grades dropped and I got a couple of Cs when I had been getting D/HDs previously while working full time. I managed to finish it though. They later told me it should have counted, I think now they're back to not counting them.

            I was living in a regional area and there were not a whole lot of jobs around, but moving would have been too expensive. I applied for anything I was qualified for, I got some interviews, but I'm terrible at interviews due to anxiety. I had mentioned this to my job network, but they didn't actually want to assist with real problems like interview support. I applied for hundreds of jobs in the industry I was trained in but most of them are not genuine jobs.

            One month there were just no more jobs I hadn't applied for that were within 90mins that I could do and I couldn't meet my minimum job search requirements. I ended up applying for jobs in the city around 2 - 2.5 hours travel each way from where I lived. I got two interviews from a few jobs I applied for. One was a bullshit sales job where they took everyone, the base pay was a long way below minimum wage but I was concerned I may have to take it because I was on Centrelink and it had been offered, I had hoped it being outside 90mins from home would get me out of it. The other one was through a recruitment agency where they told me because of how badly the interview had gone they didn't think I was right for the job I applied for, but they had an admin role with the same company that I might be right for.

            I was working as a temp full time hours and travelling 5 hours return each day. Because it was a temp position I didn't want to cancel my payment with Centrelink, I wasn't receiving anything from them. The job network were continually telling me I HAD to come into the office and sign paperwork and I HAD to give them all of my employer's details (this is so they can claim they got you the job so they get kickbacks). I gave them vague details about my employment and repeatedly explained that I'd have to take most of a day off work to come into their office and it wasn't feasible, while they insisted it was necessary. After a number of weeks (none of which I received benefits in and I haven't since) they finally figured out they could just email what they wanted me to sign.

            I am so grateful to the agency who gave me a chance. It was a temp position, just for a few weeks, but they kept me on as a temp until a permanent position came up and because of the amazing people I was being interviewed by I was able to actually answer interview questions and they already knew they wanted to hire me because they'd seen me work, so I got a permanent position.

            I travelled 2.5 hours each way for that job while I saved up the money to move closer. It's been about 3 years since I got that job.

            Since then I have received one of the stupid robodebts because they can't count and I started receiving benefits in September and unsurprisingly my income didn't match what I'd reported because I was working for over two months before I started receiving benefits that year. I was receiving more before I signed up for benefits, when my hours were reduced I signed up for benefits to supplement my income. They've spread that income across the period I was receiving benefits. They claim that's not income averaging so they won't even refund it with the debts they are refunding now. For the entire time I've been working I've been trying to sort it out with them, but it takes them 6 months to a year to review any evidence. I had to pay it while I tried to get evidence. They claimed it was only 1 employer, then when I provided evidence for that one they claimed it was a different employer (that no longer exists), I finally managed to get that evidence but I expect I won't hear back for a long time. I try calling but they won't do anything, they just tell me someone will get back to me.

            On a scale of 1-10, how likely would I be to recommend this service to a friend? Negative infinity.

            TLDR: It's unpleasant being on Centrelink benefits and it doesn't end when you're not receiving benefits anymore.

            • +1

              @Miss B: Thank you for sharing. I think if people hear enough if these experiences they might hopefully start to feel differently, that people receiving benefits are real people not dole bludgers, and Centrelink is absolutely horrible and there's no way anyone would want to be on benefits if they had the choice not to be. My experience was similar with the trying to do uni and work casually while juggling Centrelink, the job agency always wanted me to come in at difficult times when I needed to be in a lecture or tutorial or be working. They would never let me reschedule and kept cancelling my payment when I couldn't make it due to trying to study or work! Like why punish me for what you are supposedly trying to help me do?! And the "courses" they made you do were such crap. Like "teaching" you to wear clean clothes to am interview. I mean I'm trying to get a professional job here guys I'm not homeless trying to get a streetsweeper job. I felt really mad when I got a job on my own back with no thanks to them and they get a bonus when all they did was try to hinder me as hard as they could. That's not even mentioning how difficult it was to get the payment in the first place. I feel really sure that staff at Centrelink offices must get paid a bonus for every client that they can make eventually give up before they receive anything.

        • +1

          My friend/acquaintance says it took him 10 minutes each month and they don't even check up on him. Number of job applications has been reduced from the normal 20 required per month.

  • +9

    Shift the focus to companies and organizations getting handouts, tax cuts, or are evading tax.
    The $70k that woman took is nothing in comparison.

    • +2

      Wealthy people too who tax evade or exploit loopholes

    • Not paying tax is different to getting welfare money.

    • You could just start with wage theft

  • +2

    I know under the Gillard government access to disability was made much harder, to the point where many genuinely disabled people get denied all of the time now (I am part of chronic illness communities). So I would say not. And then as mentioned above this case is pretty exceptional and ended in prosecution. There's only so much you can do to police fraud unfortunately, before the cost outweighs the actual cost of the payment - and then we start talking about Universal Basic Income to get rid of the gianormous cost of implementing social secuirty in the first place.

  • +10

    You do make it very hard to have a constructive conversation with so much use of negative emotive language.

    It seems to me that you already have a VERY hard and fast opinion which you are unwilling to reconsider.

    Perhaps one day you will be in need and find out first hand just how humiliating dealing with Centrelink truly is and all the stigma that is associated with poverty

  • +13

    No. I had never relied on Centrelink and had no idea about it until I became a widower with a 2 year old. I was eligible for the single parent pension, yes, dads can get it if needed. I am fairly educated and reasonable sort of person and it is tough enough to access as it is. Through this experience I met a fair few other single parent pensioners, no one was rooting or living the high life, not even any drugs. We’re were all just trying to provide for our kids and live as best we could. Most were trying to study or improve themselves so when the kids were older they could get better jobs, pay more tax etc…

    The money was barely adequate (grateful for it though!), no way any incentive to have more kids. I got myself through uni and was home for my daughter during her formative years, could not have done that without Centrelink. I would have had to shove her in some sort of cheap childcare and earn minimum wage and probably getting subsidies for the rest of my life. All the other single parents are in the same boat, good jobs, no Centrelink.

    I would rather have a very small percentage rort the system and allow the vast majority to get on with their lives and not be vilified for having kids and no partner.

    What I get frustrated by is hearing about companies such as Foxtel being given tens of millions for no real reason. It’s a great diversion by the government, vilify the poorest while handing out to the most wealthy. And most people fall for it.

    • +8

      I would rather have a very small percentage rort the system and allow the vast majority to get on with their lives…

      THIS. 100%. This should be the premise of a social welfare system. Do you build a system designed for the less-than half of one percent who will defraud it? Or the other 99.5 percent who need a genuinely accessible social safety net?

      However many welfare fraudsters there are, as you say, Bookworm, corporate welfare is the real boondoggle.

      • This should be the premise of a social welfare system.

        I hear you, but I disagree. Every dollar that is spent fraudently, is a dollar you cannot spend on those who actually need it.

        Half a percent is a very large number. Out of the almost 50 billion spent (might be different, it was a quick google search - I thought the number was closer to 30bil), half a percent is nearly 250 million. That's a lot of money that can be better spent fixing real issues than lining pockets of those who aren't entitled to it.

        Fortunately, fraud isn't anywhere near as widespread as half a percent. From memory, it's closer to half a percent.

        It may be tedious, but it's not that hard to get on unemployment.

        To catch fraudsters, there (well, before the pandemic more of them were in place than are now) are systems in place to help detect fraud. Is it perfect? No. Are we going to fail to catch some? Sure. It's not as widespread as people believe.

        The other side of it. It makes no sense to spend more on the fraud prevention than you'd save. It depends on whether you include the peripherial programs, but the amount spent on fraud detection methods/programs is stupidly high.

        I'm specifically talking about unemployment, not disability.

        • +1

          Not quite sure which part you’re disagreeing with but yes, where there are transfers of money, there will always be fraud. But it’s important to keep it in perspective. That half of one percent (figure is taken from the parliamentary library from a paper from 2011 iirc) isn’t only the ‘10 Maseratis and five investment property’ fraudsters, it’s people who mistakenly tick a box or people who inadvertently submit incorrect information. If that half of one percent is the price of a social safety net, then so be it. If that amount of fraud can be reduced, so be it.

  • +20

    Just the very fact that we are discussing "Is Centrelink Giving out Money Too Easily These Days? Do We Need Tighter Laws to Prevent Centrelink Fraud?" means that we have fallen for the classic distraction. I haven't read a lot of the discussion so apologies if someone has already mentioned this but news and governments bring your attention to others in the community getting more then their fair share of welfare payments is nothing more then the magician pointing at the hat whilst he puts gold coins in his pocket.

    Stop worrying if your fellow man has somehow got more then he should have and worry more about if large corporations are paying tax (1), government party donors are not getting land sold to them cheaply, rezoned or selling it to governments for 10x it's actual value (2) or banks and casino's are profiting from child exploitation and drug sales via money laundering (3). These are just a few simple examples, I could fill pages and pages of them.


    I'm guessing that welfare rorts are well less then the rorts that are being performed by white collar crooks, sometimes legally. The great con is trying to convince us that we should be upset at our neighbour who is just trying to survive and not the people pocketing millions at the top end of town. Typically those on welfare rorts tend to spend it straight away further distributing the wealth whilst those grafting government money and corporations tend to invest it so it never gets back into the economy.

    • +3

      you're right. the recent Barilaro saga that friendlyjordies is talking about is proof of this too.

    • +1

      ^this. all of what you said^

    • +2

      Exactly, I'm not advocating for welfare fraud but if we're talking like 12k a year on Centrelink vs millions of dollars of tax evasion. It's the least of our worries.

    • +1

      Most of these people who talk about dole bludgers rorting the system are already too well off to wory about the issues you mention. They just need people to put down so they target people who need social assistance

    • No, it is not one or the other. That is also a classic distraction.

      The govt should go after all kinds of scammers - welfare scammers and corporate scammers.

  • +6

    It’s dangerous to want to punish the vulnerable because of the crimes of others. Classic neoliberal crap.

    • Classic neoliberal crap.

      Liberal? Really? Unless you are referring to Big L Liberal. 'Punishing the vulnerable' is Conservatism 101…

      • +1

        Neoliberalism is closer to conservative. I believe its different to liberal from what i have read

        • Okay, I did not know that. I just guessed that Neoliberalism meant new liberal. You live and learn…

  • +4

    A civilised caring society states that the single person happily pays taxes for the family across the street to send their children to school… but why should I pay for "private education"… or sending Cormann around the world in an all expenses free plane 14 person eutourage…

    This govt are singlehandedly destroying our economy by archaic US lead Cold War mentality… but I might be getting of track here… so to answer your question, I would say No.

  • +2

    I know someone who lives overseas and flies around the world constantly (possibly laundering cash for parent's business). He was born into immense wealth, and the family has $10M+ in properties in Brisbane / Gold Coast. He receives payments from Centerlink, and even has a health concession card. With COVID he hasn't flown into Australia yet this year.

    • +2

      What payment is he on? There are portability rules that ensure people are only paid only while in Australia and there are system checks that notify when a person leaves Australia. You can anonymously tip CL off if you are concerned they are receiving a payment they're not entitled to.

      • +2

        Absolutely. They used to fly to BNE for a few weeks then disappear for a few months multiple times a year. I think the fact that there is a brand new Maserati parked in the garage that gets used maybe 3 months max a year should disqualify them from any sort of welfare. I'm not sure what they're on but they're 100% have a concession card card so must have a minimal declared income / assets.

        • +1

          If they're over the age of 22, theyre classified as independent and won't be assessed for income and assets of the parents. So maybe they dont have income and can still receive payments that way.

          • +2

            @ruddiger7: Yes they're over 22. I'm not even remotely familiar with what payments/rules centerlink has. But yes I'd say a lot of it is under his parent's names or other family members for him to qualify for certain things. I guess centerlink can't judge you if you turn up in the carpark in a 2019 Maserati. Actually I've even seen a McLaren parked in a centerlink carpark before.

            • +1

              @eek: Maybe everything is in someone else's name

    • +6

      Centerlink is linked to the Australian passport system. When you travel on your passport overseas, it suspends your centerlink payments and reinstates them when you return.

      It didn't always work that way, but that's the way it's supposed to work and has been for a little while.

      Some people who have dual passports can fly out on the passport from another country. I don't believe that will trigger the payment suspension.

  • "Judge Wraight said Castles had also been jailed for 18 months in 2009 for Centrelink fraud."

    "He said she signed the form falsely claiming her relationship had ended in November 2010 while she was still behind bars for her first stint."


  • +8

    Centrelink is a complete and utter nightmare to deal with.

    I’m tired of these bullshit comments who want to make it harder than it is.

    People died by suicide because of the illegal robodebt.

    Centrelink puts people lives in the hands of private job agencies who have the power to cut their payment and make their lives a living misery or worse.

    Centrelink fraud is much smaller than people are lead to believe by the government but hey let’s make people who are struggling life more difficult by having more red tape.

    • It's a complete nightmare because the amount of people on it compared to the employees

      Along with many other reasons

      And if you want to talk about mental health related to C'Link. I think we should also look at mental health related deaths in relation to Covid19 handling in Victoria.

      • +5

        Thank you for making my point. Since the pandemic start all I’ve heard hear is how the mental health of some is more important than others. This is a Centrelink thread. I was talking about years of Centrelink caused mental health issues but hey those people don’t matter.

        • The difference with Centrelink and a pandemic is; the majority of people on the unemployment benefit have the opportunity to get a job. But choose not to. If more people got a job, the more easier it would be for Centrelink to function and more money into the Governments coffers as lower unemployment = more people in jobs = more tax money to put it very simply

          • +5

            @Danstar: That’s a simplistic view. Centrelink doesn’t function because of years of severe budget cuts in all areas not just job seekers. Centrelink isn’t just for job seekers.

            Furthermore Australia doesn’t have full employment and never will. There isn’t a job for everyone. Australia also has one of the highest insecure workforce’s in the world.

            Wages have stagnated as well. Lack of wage growth and lower wages don’t increase taxes. Not to mention that tax cuts for higher income earners that recently passed. I’m not going to begrudge people paying a little less tax but that money won’t stimulate the economy.

            • @barghunt1:

              Centrelink isn’t just for job seekers.

              That's why I specifically stated about the unemployed, and not those on other types of Centrelink payments

              • @Danstar: I think it’s sad your so focused on demonising a certain category of Centrelink recipients. Life and Centrelink are more complicated.

                • @barghunt1: For the ones that it is I agree with you. I’m talking about the lazy ones who choose to be on Centrelink because it’s easier for them

      • +3

        Suicide rate didn't increase as per Vic coroner.

  • +1

    lmao it'll just make it harder for jobseekers or whatever its called. I know someone from my old high school. Attends uni so all is good right? He spends the youth allowance centrelink money on drugs. How do you tighten the money he gets? Who do they restrict and how? Snapchat flexes everyday but I just unfriend, block and ignore.

  • +6

    Have you TRIED to apply for payments recently? It's like squeezing blood from a stone just to continue to live way, way WAY below the poverty line.

    • +5

      That’s the way the government wants it though.

      We have an idea of what suicides were caused by robodebt but I sometimes wonder what suicides were caused by centrelink and mutual obligations. It’s very sad to demonise people this way.

  • Nah - I reckon the rules should be relaxed for younger people since youth employment is so high. I remember being broke AF in my early 20s (18-22 yrs old) because no one was hiring & you could only be considered for JobSeeker payment if you are considered 'independent' (that is, be 22+ yrs old & or otherwise your parents income is means-tested). I think the whole system sucks because its hard to apply for the payment and hard to stay on in it when all you want (as a 20 yr old uni student) is a helping hand.

  • +4

    I came here for the sanctimonious comments.
    Thanks Tracy Grimshaw..

  • +3

    I believe a society should be judged on how we treat our most vulnerable/weakest in our society.

    In saying that i believe fraud running rampant ruins the system not only for the tax payer but most significantly for the people that need support the most.

    We should dedicate more resources to going after fraud to protect the fundamental ideals the system is created for.

    I personally have come across many divorced people, living together, claiming single parents payments with 5+ kids - it is ridiculous.

    This needs to be stopped. We don't work our asses off to fund people that want the easy life. Most importantly, less money is going where it needs to.

    • We should dedicate more resources to going after fraud to protect the fundamental ideals the system is created for.

      Depending on your point of view, we're already spending more on preventing fraud than the fraud itself would have cost.

      I personally have come across many divorced people, living together, claiming single parents payments with 5+ kids - it is ridiculous.

      I don't know the legality of it. If it's legal, let them be. If it's not, let a tonne of bricks fall down upon them. I have a saying at work… do the right thing and I will go in and fight for you… but if you do the wrong thing, I'm going to be driving the bus that runs over you.

      This needs to be stopped. We don't work our asses off to fund people that want the easy life. Most importantly, less money is going where it needs to.

      For those who aren't breaking the law, it's not as easy a life as people most people believe it is. Those who do better than most are those who have worked hard (or inheritance) and set themselves up earlier in life. Those who strain the most are those who are in debt or have high expenses.

  • +4

    What hurts me more is the people intentionally leaving their jobs just because govt started the jobseeker/keeper payments. There was a mere $300 difference between working an non-working class.
    Coming from a different country, I believe Australian govt is there to support when you are in need, as a citizen, it's your responsibility to be self-dependent as much as you can.
    I hear a good number of stories from my accountant friend who are stating that many people out there want to work the minimum hours to ensure they can get these benefits from the govt.
    Not to forget those leechers who formed a Facebook group not wanting to pay rents as they lost jobs due to Covid.
    If you come from any third world countries, you'll know how it is to pay for your own hospitalisation; it just wipes off your wealth even if you had to stay on a ventilator in hospital for 5 days.

    • +2

      What hurts me more is the people intentionally leaving their jobs just because govt started the jobseeker/keeper payments. There was a mere $300 difference between working an non-working class.

      What I find sad, there were people who would have been earning more on jobseeker/jobkeeper than they would have been in their paying job.

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