13th Jan 2017
Reports reveal Government knew about flawed system
Reports reveal Government knew about flawed system

Reports have revealed that the Government knew its Centrelink automated debt recovery system was flawed, yet a leaked Centrelink memo reveals that Centrelink management has ordered staff to not to intervene and refer customers online.

Initial Department of Human Services analysis of the data-matching system during its testing phase found a 15 per cent discrepancy rate of notices being delivered to people who do not actually owe any debts.

Even with this knowledge, Centrelink management has been ordered to tell staff not to deal with disputes personally but, rather, refer them back to its online portal.

The leaked Centrelink memo states that staff "should refer customers online to undertake the intervention" and "must not process activities in relation to the Online Compliance Intervention".

Staff have also been ordered to “not cancel the activity under any circumstances."

This seems to fly in the face of Human Services Minister Alan Tudge's statement that anyone who believes they’ve received an incorrect statement can visit a Centrelink office for assistance within 10 minutes.

When Mr Tudge was asked about these claims he said: "We do have self-terminals in the Centrelink office and there are people there who can help people be able to get online with that process."

The same memo does, however, suggest that vulnerable customers can be helped under ‘extenuating circumstances’.

The data-matching system has been under fire all week. One Centrelink employee has gone on record, albeit anonymously, to say that staff weren’t notified of the automated debt-recovery program before it was launched in July 2016. The first time anyone knew about the new system was when a customer walked in with an incorrect letter telling them they owed Centrelink money.

Staff are concerned about ‘extremely anxious, fearful, confused and frustrated’ customers who have requested help after receiving similar notifications.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman is currently investigating claims of recipients receiving incorrect debt notices and Labor has also called on the National Audit Office to investigate.

Mr Tudge continues to deny any fault in the system.

But one Centrelink staff member thinks the system is not only flawed, but is also sceptical that it can be fixed.

"It is as if Centrelink has simply decided that their prized data-matching program is now too hard, too time consuming and too costly," said the employee.

"So let's outsource it to the customer — they will be so overwhelmed that they will give up."

Do you think it’s time the Government suspends its debt-recovery program until it works properly? What do you think about Centrelink staff having to refer disputes back to the flawed online system? Should complaints be handled in person, or would you be okay do sort it out yourself?

Read more at The Guardian

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    COMMENTS

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    Brisand
    13th Jan 2017
    10:27am
    How about a class action against Centerlink for Fraudulently demanding money with menaces.
    Kaz
    13th Jan 2017
    10:47am
    Good thought...
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    12:34pm
    If you have been seen a warning letter about a possible debt and given time to respond then if you fail to respond in that time then a follow up letter demanding money is not demanding money with menaces.
    tactful
    13th Jan 2017
    12:53pm
    Brisand & Kaz
    If you do not let Centrelink know about changes to your circumstances it is your fault you have a debt.
    When the debt is raised, you get a letter giving you 28 days to respond, then another letter goes out giving you a further 14 days. So now you have had 32 days to get your arse into gear, query the actual raising of the debt and making arrangement to repay the debt (even if you appeal the decision to raise the debt). If the debt is overturned then any money you have repaid is given back, no big deal there.
    However, if you put your head in the sand and do nothing when the debt is raised, make no arrangement to repay, I feel the Government has a responsibility to get the money back from you and I do not care how they do that, it is not your money.
    Putting Centrelink debts into perspective for every dollar owed to the Government in Centrelink Debts, there is a short fall for Medicare, health services, education, armed services etc.
    Both your attitudes imply that you are both OK with people taking money that is not theirs, you actually agree that breaking the law, committing fraud and theft are all OK if the money is from the Government.
    Your attitude makes me chuck, you are just disgusting criminals, who applaud criminal behaviour.
    Rae
    13th Jan 2017
    1:06pm
    Tactful. You are correct in beliefs that fraud should be stemmed. However I wonder how many people thought they had sorted out the problem with a corrupted computer system. If you deal only with a computer all sorts of problems could arise.

    It is not okay that the welfare system is out of control. It is not okay that the politicians are rooting their allowances for personal gain instead of taxpayer business.

    It is also not okay that numerous businesses cannot carry out the contracts they agreed to either or pay their taxes.

    The whole mess needs sorting out.
    Misty
    13th Jan 2017
    1:17pm
    Tactful, where does it say in either of the comments from Brisand and Kaz anything that warrants your attack on them?, I cannot see anything that they have written that could possibly allow you to read into it what you have responded too. It is a known fact that many people have received letters that they should not have received and as far as I can gather this is what Brisand and Kaz were commenting on. I think they deserve an apology don't you?.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    1:32pm
    Thanks for your contribution, OG - it seems nobody else is talking to you any more, so this is my courtesy call.
    marls
    13th Jan 2017
    3:33pm
    Old geezer
    Have you tried to ring Centrelink you are waiting for hrs
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    3:56pm
    All sorted in under half an hour so I shouted the young fellow a burger at the golden arches when I took him home. Thanks Jenny for your time today.
    Rae
    13th Jan 2017
    4:10pm
    Please let people know where this very efficient Centrelink office is OG. It might be worth the trip for some having problems in overpopulated areas.
    Eddy
    13th Jan 2017
    4:22pm
    I am coming to the conclusion that Old Geezer is sailing under false colours. I suspect he/she is a Liberal Party staffer who, as part of their job, is to get on forums, like YourLifeChoices, and ridicule other respondents who dare to contradict the official Government line.
    I may be wrong of course, with the anonymity of the internet there is no way of knowing who is who. I come to this conclusion from her/his constant pro-government line, without any empathy for those doing it tough (which I am glad to say does not include myself), her/his ridiculous claims of how well off she/he is with a very modest retirement lump sum, and her/his constant denigration of those who are in receipt of social security payments (disclosure: my wife receives $124 per fortnight from Centrelink for being the full time carer of her frail aged mother).
    This being my considered conclusion, I am going to totally disregard any further posts put up by Old Geezer.
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    4:53pm
    I'll do the same with your posts Eddy.

    By the way I pay tax not receive a welfare handout. Not even a HCC. Yep that's right I pay full price plus some for everything.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    6:14pm
    So --- errr --- what WAS this 'big problem' that required an hour to fix, OG? What office did you go to? How many people were there?
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    6:16pm
    Bet you picked up kid payments, family benefits, and plenty of available tax deductions along the way..... every entitlement that was available .... nobody escapes the lash here, OG - so there is no room for high and mighty stances in your old age over paying tax or not or receiving any Entitlement.
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    6:18pm
    Unfortunately I never fitted any of the criteria for any of these.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    7:49pm
    Ah - you were living in Faroffistan for most of your life....
    Rosret
    13th Jan 2017
    8:07pm
    Oh yes. This is so unbelievably cruel. I wish I wasn't hearing this from our society and the country where I thought people cared.
    Why - there is no personal gain for any of these people. They will still get their guaranteed salaries.
    Perhaps they did it because they knew it was going to cause havoc and this way there would be a massive electronic paper trail of erroneous claims.
    OlderandWiser
    16th Jan 2017
    8:54am
    OG is an accountant, a gardener/landscaper, charity worker, consultant, has only $400,000 in retirement savings but earns 15% on his investments (and believes that's the normal return rate everyone achieves), has children (including a special needs child), lies very frugally (not even celebrating Christmas) but takes his whole family on a cruise (his shout) every year, and he has NEVER benefited from family benefits or tax deductions.

    LIAR LIAR LIAR! He really must think us all stupid! Sorry, OG, but your very long nose continues to grow. You have given yourself away with your wild contradictions and illogical rubbish.
    OlderandWiser
    16th Jan 2017
    8:56am
    Whoops! Typo. Should be LIVES VERY FRUGALLY. He certainly doesn't LIE FRUGALLY. His lies are as extravagant as lies get.
    Old Geezer
    16th Jan 2017
    6:37pm
    You are correct Rainey. I was bought up in a very poor family and have lived that way most of my life. Yes I do have about $400,000 that I use to live on and it's current rate of return per annum is currently doing better than 15%. I set this money aside many years ago so that my family would have something to live on until my other investments paid a decent return. After a few years I realised that I could make a return on this money which was enough to live on and just kept it going. Yes I grow my own vegetables and catch a few rabbits and fish. I used to go to the local market and buy some chickens to fatten up and eat but today it is cheaper to buy them. I still buy all my clothes from op shops and lots of other stuff too.

    Yes I have a disabled child now a grown man who now earns a good wage and has set himself up nicely.

    Yes I recently took the whole family on a cruise because they wanted to take me. I said I would pay as the family have requested that we all enjoy my wealth together while I am still alive rather than after I am gone. I now wonder what they have planned for me next.

    What else would you like to know about my frugal but interesting life?
    OlderandWiser
    16th Jan 2017
    7:43pm
    How exactly you get 15% return in an environment where the average is 5% and most retirees struggle to get even that. And what makes you so vile, arrogant and self-opinionated. Most who grow up poor have empathy, compassion, and human decency.

    BTW. Not too poor if you managed to study accountancy. Obviously you are another of the many who don't understand disadvantage at all!

    13th Jan 2017
    10:33am
    Yet ANOTHER prime example of what Malcolm Turnbull does best - NOTHING!
    HarrysOpinion
    13th Jan 2017
    10:44am
    "Should complaints be handled in person, or would you be okay do sort it out yourself?"- Given that Centrelink staff are not allowed to intervene on 'face to face' basis how can it be okay to sort it out yourself with an apparent flawed computer program system online and how long does it take to sort out issues in regard to a "Debt Letter"? How many innocent people on welfare will suffer from being cut off the pension and as a result be unable to pay rent, be evicted, unable to buy food and afford transport to queue up at Centrelink? How many people unable to survive will turn to crime? - How many will commit suicide?- This government's 'gestapo' approach is inhumane!
    OlderandWiser
    16th Jan 2017
    5:30pm
    Given that vast numbers of those being accused of wrong are UNEMPLOYED BECAUSE THERE ARE NO JOBS FOR THEM IN THIS ECONOMY, wouldn't it be a lot more intelligent to insist complaints are handled in person and boost the number of people working, rather than bullying and cheating by using flawed technology to restrict the amount of unemployment paid to genuine welfare recipients?
    HDRider
    13th Jan 2017
    10:46am
    How dare you write such things about the man that uses National TV to threaten all Centerlink Customers, Mr Jongen will be devastated with this and no doubt go into depression, suffer a serious bout of PTSD and sue for retirement!
    What is needed here is for the older Australian People to stand up and be counted, make a stand against this Government and their ridiculous attitude toward the elderly in particular. Let them know how much voting power the boomers have.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    1:34pm
    Yes - it's a wonderful thing for a public servant to be forced to retire due top mental stress.... used to be 2/3 of current salary indexed for life plus.
    Rae
    13th Jan 2017
    10:49am
    It is time the government sorted out its contracts. The whole idea of privatisation was to make everything cheaper and better. The companies contracted are not succeeding in providing contractual obligations.

    From road works, water supplies, education provision, border security and detainment, prison security, ABS, Centrelink etc. All these services were far better and cheaper when they were run by the public service and employing Australians to do the work.

    Better yet the money stayed here rather than being shipped to who knows where, often free of taxes using overseas labour that takes the money with them when they go home.

    If only the LNP had the guts to stand up to the IPA and business lobbies and tell them the ideology is stuffed then all this could be fixed fairly soon.

    Just about all the contractors have failed in delivery and in my business there is always an out clause for that.

    Then again you have to wonder about the Deal Makers in all this.

    I'm quite concerned about the deals Robb signed and how they will effect my kids and grandkids going int the future. He came in, signed a whole raft of contracts we know nothing about and then disappeared into a Chinese Corporation. Very unsettling indeed.
    libsareliars
    13th Jan 2017
    12:42pm
    Spot on Rae - the LNP have a lot to answer for with all this privatisation - they have sold Australia to the highest bidder.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    1:37pm
    Every cost of living rise, every associated wage rise NEEDED to cope, has been met by a further increase in costs of these 'privatised' utilities. No wonder the country is in terminal decline...

    I suppose that when someone comes up with the idea of resumption of national utilities, they will be labeled a 'Castro' or a 'Nasser' or similar dark Communist.
    Rae
    13th Jan 2017
    7:05pm
    Yes TREBOR and if The China Seas escalates the Chinese ownership of the Grid, ports and strategically positioned property will haunt this government.

    Take a look. From Darwin down they control the supply lines.

    That is why I justify calling the LNP/IPA idiots. If not idiots then they are Traitors.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    7:56pm
    I think Traitors is the correct term.... their only defence could be mental insufficiency.... they can't rely on 'Befehlen ist befehlen' due to the Nuremburg Decision, and they can't rely on saying they weren't there, the Yamashita Decision overturns that....

    Bring on Judge John Deed:-

    "Minister Abboshop.. I find you not guilty of High Treason for reasons of mental insufficiency... you are hereby discharged of the charge of High Treason against Her Majesty the Queen and all Her Dominions......

    However...... due to your proven mental insufficiency I order that you be contained within the confines of Her Majesty's Psychiatric Institution Broadmoor for the term of your natural life or as long as it takes to ensure you are mentally sufficient to handle the real world. Should your condition improve and you be found capable of mounting a defence, I also order that the potential charge of limited Treason be available upon your release from Broadmoor."
    BElle
    13th Jan 2017
    11:37am
    A recent visit to Centrelink was to advise that I had not adjusted my father's accounts "down" and he would therefore have received a pension increase. I was told that "We can't adjust retrospectively". Apparently this only applies in their favour and does not take into consideration that Centrelink may have made the mistakes in the first place.

    No one in Parliament stands up for the Pensioner. Time we formed our own Senate party and stood for "a fair go", which used to be the Australian byword.
    For anyone who feels aggrieved about the current situations with regard to the Government's treatment of pensioners should write directly to their local representative regardless of which party they represent.
    Direct action is the only way we will make any impact.
    Tom Tank
    13th Jan 2017
    11:45am
    If only they subjected politicians expenses, pensions and other benefits to the same degree of scrutiny and penalty.
    I feel sorry for the Centrelink employees having to put up with this after the dramatic staff cuts they have had to put with from this government.
    If they want more money why not chase those tax dodgers who can well afford it.

    13th Jan 2017
    11:55am
    Not exactly the behaviour we would expect from a Bishop.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    2:40pm
    EXACTLY the kind of behaviour we've come to expect.
    BtL
    13th Jan 2017
    11:58am
    Why doesn't the Australian Taxation Office adopt the same approach with politicians' remuneration? Give them an estimate of the income which the ATO estimates they received (including the average amount per politician of the total entitlements paid to all politicians for the previous year) and advise that unless they can prove otherwise within 21 days, they'll receive an assessment based on that remuneration?
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    12:48pm
    ATO already has procedures that must be followed by our pollies for their entitlements.
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2017
    1:23pm
    They must have been misplaced.
    Rae
    13th Jan 2017
    4:16pm
    How can they attend fireworks and polo matches and claim. I've run businesses and never been able to get away with that. First class travel yes but sporting events. Come on now OG. Enough is enough. These people need to tone down the waste of our taxes.
    Captain
    13th Jan 2017
    4:23pm
    Change their entitlements.
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    5:01pm
    If they attend those functions as an official guest in their role as PM etc then yes they are entitlements. If they get free tickets because they are a good bloke ie no official capacity then they are not entitlements.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    6:20pm
    IF..... but IF they arrange a private party, even when invited as the minister - that is private business. I see no reason for any minister to attend fireworks, New Year's Eve parties, and polo matches and regattas - maybe the minister for fireworks or the minister for sport... on an OFFICIAL and soundly-based reason, such as a formal opening...

    It's not open slather just because they're invited.

    It seems we need to pre-approve or reject invitations for these rorters... imagine the tenure of a public servant who knocked back their claims religiously as having no government business component.
    TREBOR
    14th Jan 2017
    9:52am
    Remember Bronnie went down over using a chopper to go to a LIBERAL PARTY FUND-RAISER - Party business is NOT government business, even if you are a Minister.
    floss
    13th Jan 2017
    12:02pm
    WE only get the Government we deserve. keep that in mind at the next election.
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2017
    12:45pm
    How many election promises have you found to be lies after the lying candidate is elected?
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    1:38pm
    Someone elsewhere listed around 100 after the Abbott lead government was installed....
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    1:42pm
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/federal-budget/then-and-now-the-abbott-governments-broken-promises-20140514-zrcfr.html


    "Tony Abbott’s Coalition Government has achieved an astonishing 85 pledges dishonoured and backdowns executed. In 88 weeks. Alan Austin updates the tawdry tally.

    The record of the Abbott Government in policy non-delivery and deception is almost certainly the worst in modern history — anywhere in the world.

    The regime busted the half ton of undertakings overturned last August. Links to all of them are here, here and here. These are the latest:
    85. Government spending

    Prime Minister Abbott specifically promised before the last election that:

    "There will be no new spending under a Coalition government that’s not fully-costed and fully-funded."

    Since then unfunded spending has increased dramatically. This regime will spend more relative to gross domestic product (GDP) than any recent administration, including the notoriously spendthrift Howard government.

    The deficit – which reflects unfunded spending – has doubled since the last election.
    84. Government waste

    Treasurer Joe Hockey promised ad nauseum before the election to eliminate "waste and unnecessary spending".

    As shown here, here and here, waste has increased.
    83. Economic growth

    Coalition leaders were scathing of growth under Labor, despite it being the highest in the developed world through the global financial crisis (GFC).

    Hockey said in 2013:

    “It will be my number one imperative to safeguard the economy against a significant downturn and to turbo charge economic growth and jobs.”

    GDP growth now at 2.5 per cent is lower than during the last three Labor years, post GFC.
    82. Tax burden

    Hockey promised

    “... to reduce the overall tax burden on business and taxpayers, not to increase it.”

    As Crikey’s budget analysis revealed:

    ‘... tax receipts are going up – half a percentage point of GDP this year, up another 0.4 of a point next year, 0.3 the following year, then another 0.4, to levels unseen since the Howard years.’

    81. Small government

    Abbott promised that

    "... each year, government will be a smaller percentage of our economy."

    Last week’s Budget reveals the government sector will be larger in all four years of the forward estimates than in any of the last three Labor years.
    80. Infrastructure

    Tony Abbott in Opposition repeatedly promised

    “... to be an infrastructure prime minister who puts bulldozers on the ground and cranes into our skies.”

    Since his election, public sector engineering construction has fallen alarmingly, to an all-time low, and is set to fall further.
    79. Cost analysis

    Abbott specifically promised in 2013 that no infrastructure project worth more than $100 million would be funded without a "published cost-benefit analysis". Promise clearly broken.
    78. Paid parental leave

    This was the signature policy on which Abbott stood for election. Now abandoned.
    77. Govern for all Australians

    This was a solemn promise oft repeated before and since the last election.

    According to The Inside Story, the Budget papers show the Abbott Government will invest in transport in Labor states

    ‘... $67 per head, compared with $258 per head, almost four times as much, on people living in Liberal-run states.’

    76. Multinational tax dodgers

    Last November, the Government promised to

    ‘... introduce a targeted anti?avoidance provision after detailed consultation with stakeholders.'

    But the December Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook revealed:

    ‘The government will not proceed with a targeted anti-avoidance provision to address certain conduit arrangements involving foreign multinational enterprises.’

    Last week’s Budget promises future action, perhaps in 2016. Until that eventuates, a promise unfulfilled.
    75. Media metadata

    Following the January Charlie Hebdo killings in France, the Abbott Government announced sweeping new security laws, including allowing police to access journalists’ files.

    After vigorous objections, the backflip was effected in March.
    74. Indigenous people in the constitution

    In 2013 Abbott promised:

    “Starting next year, I will work to recognise Indigenous people in the constitution — something that should have been done a century ago ...”

    So far no progress.

    Indigenous writer Amy McQuire says:

    ‘It’s yet another broken promise in a sea of broken promises, and gives weight to the growing tide of Aboriginal anger ...’

    73. Superannuation changes

    Abbott promised on at least 12 separate occasions in 2013 not to make any unexpected adverse, negative or detrimental changes to superannuation.

    As the ABC promise checkers prove, these commitments have all been dishonoured.
    72. Company tax rate

    "We will cut company tax to 28.5 per cent," Joe Hockey said before the last election.

    They pledged to do this from July 1, 2015. Promise broken.
    71. Hospitals

    Abbott in Opposition said:

    “A richer Australia means a better Australia with more resources available to support better schools and hospitals.”

    The 2014 Budget cut $1.8 billion from hospitals over the next four years.
    70. Timing of hospital funding cuts

    On 18 May last year, Abbott said:

    “We’re not talking about next week or next month or even next year; we are talking about changes in three years’ time."

    The next day, he admitted the cuts would take immediate effect.
    69. Defence pay rates

    After refusing pay rises for defence personnel for several months, the Government backed down in March.
    68. Automotive funding

    On taking office, the Government refused assistance to the car industry and cancelled existing support. Then in March – to the dismay of the IPA and other Liberal backers – it threw itself into reverse.
    67. South Australian submarines

    In May 2013, Coalition defence spokesman David Johnston said 12 new submarines would be built in South Australia:

    “We're committed to that.”

    After gaining office, the Abbott Government decided to allow the bulk of Australia's submarine fleet to be built offshore.
    66. Students with disability

    The Coalition promised to match Labor’s commitments in this area.

    That promise, according to workers in the field, has been trashed.
    65. Broadband connection costs

    In 2013 shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that for fibre on demand

    '... the charge is GBP1500 or about $2,250.'

    According to NBN Co more recently, individual costs will vary

    ‘... from few [sic] thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.’

    64. Middle Head development

    The Abbott Government approved a controversial aged care home in Sydney in October 2014, but backflipped after vociferous attacks by broadcaster Alan Jones.

    Some broken promises will be welcomed by many. The next few are pledges which never should have been made in the first place.
    63. Six month wait for the dole

    The last Budget announced the unconscionable burden on unemployed people under 30 of waiting half a year before receiving benefits. Reversed in this budget.
    62. Section 18C

    Abbott promised before the election to repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. In a backflip which gobsmacked many of his supporters, he backtracked last August.
    61. Asset write-offs

    In 2014 the Government axed Labor’s policy of allowing small business to write off equipment purchases against tax, claiming it was a rort.

    In a spectacular Budget backflip, the Coalition has now reinstated and expanded the scheme.
    60. Medicare co-payment

    Throughout 2014, Abbott declared:

    “... we are totally committed to the Medicare co-payment that was announced.”

    The policy was killed in March this year in the Coalition party room.
    59. Burqa ban backflip

    In response to calls from Liberal MPs Cory Bernardi and George Christensen and others, the Government banned women from wearing face coverings last September.

    The decision was reversed days later.
    58. UN green project

    Abbott refused to contribute $200 million to the UN-backed Green Climate Fund until pressure from home and abroad prompted another backflip last December.
    57. Cadbury

    In a bizarre pre-election visit to Tasmania, Abbott promised $16 million to Cadbury to expand its operations.

    This sweet deal has since soured.
    56. University funding

    In a spectacular reverse double backflip with pike, hapless Education Minister Christopher Pyne backed down from his threat to tie funding for scientific research infrastructure to the passage of other higher education reforms.

    The next few are glaring hypocrisies or fractures of implied rather than openly stated promises. All are serious breaches of faith nonetheless.
    55. Remote Aboriginal communities

    Abbott in Opposition repeatedly assured the remote communities of his support for them:

    “Should I become prime minister, I will spend at least a week every year in a remote indigenous community because if these places are good enough for Australians to live in they should be good enough for a prime minister and senior officials to stay in.”

    Then in Government he abandoned many communities, accusing residents of making a “lifestyle choice” by living remotely.

    54. Interest payments on government debt

    Before the election, Hockey decried the interest bill on government debt:

    “The interest cost alone is $13 billion a year. That is $35 million a day in interest.”

    According to Finance Department figures, the interest paid in 2015, after the Abbott Government has expanded the debt substantially, is above $40 million per day.
    53. Advertising waste

    Abbott was scathing in Opposition of spending to publicise government programs.

    He then spent $14.6 million on a failed media campaign to promote his higher education policies.
    52. Interest rates

    Joe Hockey said in 2013:

    “If interest rates come down today, it is because the economy is struggling, not because it's doing well.”

    That was when the rate was cut from 2.75 to 2.5 per cent. Within six months of Hockey taking charge, it fell to 2.25 and was cut again to 2.0 this month.

    Hockey then claimed this was

    “... welcome news on a number of fronts.”

    51. Julie Bishop to Iran

    Before the election, Coalition defence spokesperson Julie Bishop was scathing in her attack on the Gillard Government for sending two senior officials to a global summit in Iran.

    She said it was ‘a mistake’ and ‘farcical’ and would

    ‘... send mixed messages to the regime about the commitment of the Australian government to the sanctions that have been imposed against Iran.'

    In Government, Bishop not only authorised her own delegation to Iran – under unchanged sanction circumstances – but went herself.

    So those are the latest 35, bringing the tally to 85.

    How long, then, til Tony’s Tories top the ton?
    1 to 50

    The first 50 hypocrisies and broken promises are analysed with hotlinks here, here and here.

    They relate to:

    1. There will be no broken promises

    2. Respecting a mandate

    3. Freedom of information

    4. Toowoomba Range bypass plan

    5. Reporting the budget position

    6. The debt ceiling

    7. Reducing the nation’s debt

    8. Returning the budget to surplus

    9. The UN Security Council seat

    10. Foreign minister’s first trip abroad

    11. Relations with the region

    12. National broadband network technology

    13. Stopping the boats

    14. Abbott’s first week with the Yolngu

    15. Open and accountable government

    16. No cuts to pensions

    17. School attendances

    18. No government job for Sophie Mirabella

    19. No deals with the Greens

    20. No cuts to ABC and SBS funding

    21. No subsidies to industries

    22. Monitoring whaling

    23. Increased funds for aid agencies

    24. Entering Indonesia waters

    25. Towing back the boats

    26. No knighthoods for Australia

    27. No public servants to be forced out of work

    28. Incarcerating children offshore

    29. No cuts to education

    30. Raising university fees

    31. No cuts to health

    32. No Medicare locals to be closed

    33. Funding on direct action

    34. Consultancy spending

    35. Aboriginal land rights

    36. No new taxes

    37. State of the economy an excuse for breaking promises

    38. A government of no surprises

    39. Burden will be shared evenly

    40. Families off limits in politics

    41. No tax increases

    42. Landcare funding

    43. Broadband speed

    44. Privatisation: only Medibank Private

    45. No fuel excise increase

    46. Overseas aid to be reduced by $5.4 billion

    47. Superannuation levy increases

    48. Refugees arriving by boat won’t get residency

    49. Emissions targets

    50. Aboriginal front line services


    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/abbotts-budget-backflips-bring-broken-promises-tally-to-85,7722
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    2:42pm
    For anyone confused - the list does not apply to the smh link - to the one below the list. I frequent another forum and their links are easy to spot since they are direct links....
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2017
    3:49pm
    After the 2010 election Greg Hunt said, as Minister for the Environment "I will get rid of all the feral cats within the next two years". It's now seven years later since his "promise" and there are between 2.1 and 6.3 MILLION feral cats in Australia! These pathetic people, the politicians are getting paid BIG BUCKS for lying and doing SOD ALL!
    Rosret
    13th Jan 2017
    8:15pm
    Looney - this is a bureaucratic action that would have happened with either of the political twin parties. The difference now is who will fix it.
    KSS
    13th Jan 2017
    8:37pm
    ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz Trebor!
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    8:44pm
    Don't zzzzzz the messenger - it's not my list - Tony did it.......

    Rosret - neither will 'fix it' - they'll find a short-term stop then continue it and still force people to defend themselves rather than their coming out and giving full details of why, when, where and how they arrived at the conclusion that the person 'owed'.

    Too hard to go back to manual handling - they'd have to reinstate and employ staff, and then re-train them all.... and any business person knows it costs a hell of a lot more to lose your trained people and then get new ones onboard.

    So much for - "Government as a business"... what an utter nonsense. Nothing but a personal Feudal fiefdom for these Entitled clowns.

    Besides - if you actually employed people to provide a service, they'd be paid... God forbid... and small/medium business activity might improve a little....
    leigh308
    13th Jan 2017
    12:04pm
    How about a boomers political party? We can hardly stuff things up worse and nothing less seems to get their attention? And as a bonus until we sort out the their pension bs at least some of us will get a pension increase... :-)
    BrianP
    13th Jan 2017
    12:09pm
    Yes leigh308 I jointly started Australian Voice Party three years ago but it was hijacked. I would support a new party to champion boomers interests and any other vulnerable people.
    tactful
    13th Jan 2017
    2:04pm
    Another Party really!!!!
    I would never vote for anyone over 50 heading into politics for the first time. They are just way too old, have old fashioned ideas and ideals.

    I would much rather have champions like National Seniors take concerns to government. Yes it does work.
    Misty
    13th Jan 2017
    2:18pm
    You must be under 50 then tactful as you obviously haven't been around long enough to judge people or you wouldn't be making such scathing remarks.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    2:20pm
    So you're not over 50,"tactful"? Duly noted........
    Captain
    13th Jan 2017
    4:30pm
    I am over 50, and I and many others probably have ideas, ideals and morals that are worth more than those under 50.

    I do resent your rather untactful comments tactful.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    7:59pm
    Well - I'll be 68 this year and I think I do a fine slice and dice on political issues... I could be wrong....
    KSS
    13th Jan 2017
    8:40pm
    Yes trebor you could very well be wrong.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    8:45pm
    Anything's possible....... just not likely.....
    BrianP
    13th Jan 2017
    12:05pm
    When will YourLifeChoices say if you will start a Petition amongst its members to stop this injustice?
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2017
    12:40pm
    Don't hold your breath.
    Pr
    13th Jan 2017
    12:08pm
    I think the idea was good, nobody should get more than what they deserve. But if the system is not working 100 % than its only going to upset more people.
    Being on the dole or whatever is not nice especially if you want to get out of that situation, then to get a bill suddenly only makes it worse.
    Also the recent greedy rorts by certain politicians is a disgrace and unless the PM is going to do something about it very very soon are the voters going to go elsewhere at the next election.
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    12:19pm
    No system will work 100% and 99% of the reasons it doesn't are human errors not the system.
    Sundays
    13th Jan 2017
    12:55pm
    That's just nonsense OG. Systems have to be configured correctly in the first place. There has to be consultation with the people who know how it should work. There has to be rigorous testing before it goes live. An estimated error rate of 15% is too high. There also has to be a dedicated hotline staffed with people who understand how to help with enquiries. On 7.30 Report last night a young woman had a manually calculated debt of $2800, but then received a system generated debt of $11000 for the same period. The work entailed in getting it checked was extremely time consuming and would have been beyond a lot about of people. Where is the Prime Minister, certainly not demonstrating any leadership qualities!
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    1:27pm
    What was interesting was that that person owed money? So the system worked well to pick it up. Who knows what that debt was originally (my guess $11000) and what calculations were done to reduce that debt down to $2800.

    I used to design and build these systems and it was human error 99% of the time that caused them to fail. Nerds doing things that were not in the manual being smart was a very common one.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    1:45pm
    Oh - no!! Now you used to design and build these systems....
    Misty
    13th Jan 2017
    2:21pm
    TREBOR do you think that maybe the problem?, maybe they are using one of OG'S systems.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    2:45pm
    Got a guy on another forum who, within two days, went from "I'm hoping to have my next published book draft ready some time soon', to "draft is all ready'.... all the while he was hours online on a forum.

    Now I'm a great believer in miracles.... UFOs abound and pigs DO fly....

    It seems that anyone is now a self-made expert and the purest wizard at it ..... maybe it IS one of OG's systems. That would explain his dogged resistance to any change.... the Guv might have it as part of contract that there is a failure recovery cost or something....
    Wstaton
    13th Jan 2017
    2:47pm
    Well Old geezer then if 99% or people errors then this system i way out of sync as it is being said that 15%+ have been found in error.

    Apart from this you may be right that 99% are people errors. By this you are insinuating all this are by the Centrelink recipients. What you forget is that these systems themselves are created by humans contributing to this error rate by their bad input in the sytems software design.

    I have never written software but have spent much of my career investigating why some software give errors. Most of the time I have found it is because of human error in the design whether erroneously or because of the rushed development which seems obvious in this case. lack of input from others also maybe also a cause which also seems to have been lacking when Centerlink staff appeared to be completely unaware that this system was coming on line.

    It is a known fact that no system driven by software is 100% error free. Software developers know (and you should) that they can only test and allow for a small % error rate. This is often seen when people upgrade phone software and the like today when something does not work anymore. (AKA some of the apple recent problems)

    It should be noted that you are incorrect that the system found this person owed $11000 then was reassessed manually to $2800.

    It was the other way round. It was also interesting that the system assessed at exactly $11000. Not $10800 or $11200 exactly at this even thousand figure.
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    4:05pm
    That big round amount makes me think it nothing more than a scam.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    6:21pm
    Question is:- By whom?
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    8:01pm
    Oh - that guy with the books? He also once said he designed a paradigm for the banks to operate loans (or something) way back - I told him there was no need to apologise online....
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    12:09pm
    It is great to see that government is doing something about all the welfare fraud. OK a few honest people may be asked to please explain but a good price to pay to get this all under control.
    Rodent
    13th Jan 2017
    12:18pm
    Hey Old Geezer

    with all your "Centrelink expertise" can you please tell us ALL which groups are the target Audience for this compliance action from this list BELOW

    Why - because I have only seen these two mentioned

    Newstart, Youth Allowance

    ABSTUDY (Living Allowance)
    Age Pension
    Austudy
    Carer Payment
    Disability Support Pension
    Newstart Allowance
    Parenting Payment Partnered
    Parenting Payment Single
    Partner Allowance
    Sickness Allowance
    Special Benefit
    Widow Allowance
    Widow B Pension
    Wife Pension (Partner on Age Pension)
    Wife Pension (Partner on Disability Support Pension)
    Youth Allowance (Other)
    Youth Allowance (Student and Apprentice)
    Idontforget
    13th Jan 2017
    12:24pm
    Its about time this loser was asked to justify his statements, especially about 'all the welfare fraud' And Old Geezer, readers do not wish to have you repeat what some politician has claimed or what was written in some newspaper. Both these sources are notoriously unreliable and in most cases, downright lies..

    Old Geezer, just give us some FACTS, yes FACTS about what you are alleging.
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    12:29pm
    All of them can get audited and sent review letters. However the current whingers on the media appear to be from Austudy, youth allowance and newstart.
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    12:31pm
    I haven't seen any FACTs to discredit me here either.
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    12:40pm
    There is a very easy solution if you get one of these review letters but since my advice is not creditable then I suggest you contact a lawyer or legal aid for advise on what this is.
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2017
    12:48pm
    OG, keep commenting as your are doing a pretty good job of discrediting yourself yourself.
    Idontforget
    13th Jan 2017
    1:02pm
    When asked to come up with some FACTS to substantiate the monotonous tripe that he is spouting out, his silence has been golden.
    Rae
    13th Jan 2017
    1:14pm
    Now if they could just audit the business and political frauds and roots then we taxpayers could get some real money back into the treasury.
    tactful
    13th Jan 2017
    1:23pm
    Rodent, Fast Eddie, Idontforget (you all sound like bludgers and whingers). Here are some FACTS for you to digest.
    If you can use a computer then you have NO REASON TO NOT REPORT CHANGES IN YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES.

    It is all online for your convenience at https://www.humanservices.gov.au/

    The Legislation is at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ssa1991186/

    The administration act is at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ssa1999338/

    The Guide is at http://guides.dss.gov.au/guide-social-security-law

    The Guide to Social Security Law is at http://guides.dss.gov.au/guide-social-security-law/8

    Now you are ALL EMPOWERED to do what is required by LAW.

    Old Geezer is right on the money.

    WELFARE PAYMENTS ARE NOT A RIGHT including AGE PENSION.

    Many, many moons ago people paid a small amount to the government for their old age, this was stopped many, many moons ago, any money paid in went into consolidated revenue.
    I will point out here that this was also done to Military Personal with the DFRDB.

    It is now the responsibility of each individual under Age Pension age to save towards their own retirement and fund this themselves.
    If you have two cars, boats, caravan, holiday property, shares, superannuation and you are assessed as having too much to claim an Age Pension, then suck it up sell off unnecessary assets and live on that money, even try drawing down a living wage from your super.
    Your attitudes that you are owed something is utter rubbish, our taxes, yes I am still a tax payer, do not go to fund just Welfare Payments.
    Misty
    13th Jan 2017
    1:31pm
    Is that you OG writing under the name tactful?, well whoever "tactful" is they should look up the meaning of that word in a dictionary, or Google it, because obviously from the comments and replies here this person does not have a clue what the meaning is.
    Idontforget
    13th Jan 2017
    1:42pm
    Tactful, your assumptions in your opening two lines are patently false. I work eight to ten hours a day, at least six days a week and I pay a considerable amount of income and goods and services tax. I stand up for the vulnerable. If you class this as 'sounding like bludgers and whingers', maybe you should update your dictionary
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    1:56pm
    Tactless - you lost me the moment you sledged other with names like 'bludger'... personal abuse like that should see you removed from here.

    The payments from tax strands for Social Security have never been removed... Pensions etc are a Right.
    Idontforget
    13th Jan 2017
    2:41pm
    I disagree with a line in the lengthy letter by tactful and I believe that most informed people would disagree, also.

    A pension or welfare payment is a RIGHT enshrined in Federal legislation providing a certain criteria is met in relation to assets and income.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    2:53pm
    Yeah, but tactful is under 50, thinks anyone over 50 has old-fashioned ideas and can't fit into politics, used to work collecting debt for Centrelink ... so you can't blame him/her for not wanting to bite the hand that feeds him/her. Goes a long way towards blind acceptance of the Party line on this issue....

    What this all means is that the retirement package system for ALL Australians (along with a few other things such as serial NG and CGT) needs to be resolved as a matter of national urgency. I've posted my proposals several times - apart from a couple of 'ayes', not much apart from the trolls ignoring it since it destroys the Party line again.

    What old fighter for Centrelink wants his/her pension fund provider, safely stashed in the Caymans and insulated from all possible Downfall of Oz and paying no tax here so wonderfully 'profitable' - to be returned to a genuine Soverign Fund for all Australians, and be removed from the sticky hands of politicians and their cronies?

    That could mean they'd go down with the HMAS Australia if our current government(s) keep pulling out the plug and letting the water in... (gasp - shock/horror)...
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    2:56pm
    My error - I spoke of 'retirement package', when I should have been discussing a 'protection package' over life, which would include Unemployment Benefits and other Social Security.

    The problem remains, to me, that what is now Social Security has long out-stripped its boundaries, and it may well be true that 50% of Australians get some form of government payment (that figure does not include tax concessions for certain things - another issue) - in which case the first port of call should rightly be the TOP end of that 50%- and not the bottom.
    Wstaton
    13th Jan 2017
    3:31pm
    From quick calculation on the recipients that Old Geezer reckons are being target and from from DSS data this number is 2,456,009. At $4.5 billion this works out at about $1900 for every one of them.

    Methinks either some individuals are really are ripping or the Government figures are horribly wrong.

    This is from 2016 figures.

    And Old geezer this is factual.
    Misty
    13th Jan 2017
    3:32pm
    TREBOR do you think tactful may still be working for Centrelink or the Govt?, who knows if he is, and spends his time commenting on sites like this, it is no wonder you can never get through on the phone or have such a long wait, hang on, maybe he is the one who designed this flawed system.
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2017
    3:52pm
    tactful, you are a real class act- all lower class.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    6:26pm
    Even $1900 is roughly seven full weeks for every user at unemployment benefit rate.....

    I said long ago that I smelt a rat with these figures. There might be a very few copping their dead mother's pension for a year or so.... but not that many....
    tactful
    13th Jan 2017
    12:58pm
    If Centrelink letters were any more toned down, they would be in the language that is used in Kindergarten.
    I have the belief Centrelink debts should be a barrier to getting any further payments or continue on a payment.
    Apart from Family Tax Benefit debts, most debts happen because those getting paid are not doing the right thing. I didn't understand is not a good enough excuse, if you do not understand it is your responsibility to find out what something means. It is ridiculous to expect a Centrelink staff member to perceive you do not understand.
    Time those on Centrelink Welfare Payment and Family Tax Benefit took responsibility for what the do and do not do in making sure they are being paid the right amount.
    By law it is your responsibility, no one elses, just yours.
    Misty
    13th Jan 2017
    1:26pm
    There you go again tactful, blaming some innocents for the Centrelink stuff up, it is a computer problem apparently not the fault of the recipient, at least in most cases, so please don't put everyone in the same basket.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    1:57pm
    Don't feed the trolls - ignore them.
    Misty
    13th Jan 2017
    2:25pm
    I know TREBOR but I hate to see innocent people who have trouble standing up for themselves, through no fault of their own, abused.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    3:07pm
    I agree... citing that all these people are rorters and thieves is a nonsense - very few fit that category - and as someone said - the lifetime rorters who never work outside the black market are the ones who are the worst.

    The situation cited by tactless above, that all responsibility, by 'law', is on the end user, clearly delineates the falsehood surrounding the idea of 'mutual obligation', and is clearly a self-serving approach to an issue that should, by its definition as social security for a society, be one of a mutually-beneficial contract. That position (mine) clearly shows a need for a more humane and civilised approach to resolution of problems, and the need for a change from the current 'master/servant' approach to social security, and its reversion to a combination of mutually-beneficial Rights.

    (sorry if I sound like an absent-minded professor at times....)
    Rae
    13th Jan 2017
    4:34pm
    There are a few mums around here claiming payments while living with working blokes. They won't get a letter because they don't work. In fact getting a casual or part time job is now actually quite dangerous to your income levels and future wellbeing.
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    4:51pm
    If you want anything done around here it's on a first name basis and cash only. If you want an invoice or pay anyway but cash you will have a very long wait.
    Rae
    13th Jan 2017
    6:52pm
    Yes Og I blame Howard for turning a very good tax system into a game like the Greeks play. Nobody paid their proper share of taxes there. Most houses are unfinished as you pay your tax on completion and you can get anything or anything done if you have the cash.

    Don't get me wrong Greece is a great place, kind people and top, simple fresh food but we are beginning to look like the corruption there.
    BnT
    13th Jan 2017
    1:03pm
    If you are located in a remote, regional area, you may not have easy access to a Centrelink Office and having to deal with matters online requires reliable and consistent internet access which you probably don't have either! If you have to upload a number of documents as "evidence" to support a position, you probably end up using your allotted access as well! Time for some of those in power to get out and about and see what real people have to cope with on a daily basis....and I don't mean from their capital city to the nearest large regional town....get out where there is one local shop that provides a few basics if you are lucky within 200 - 300 kms, with nothing else in town ...then form your policies and your requirements for how the public "must" interact with you and your organisations....

    Years ago, I ran into frustration when we first started getting automatic answering on the phone - you know, press 1 for this , 2 for that etc....because in one instance it took me around in a loop that I could not get past....now we have the same thing with "online"....but just as back then, it is seen as the "be all and the end all" by those who should know better...adopt technology for technology's sake...not because it does a better job....if the system was clearly flawed before it was introduced, why has it been allowed to stay in place....because we don't have the human interface that can handle the task any more?
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    1:22pm
    If the Centrelink system stops working then hit the exit button but when it says do you want to exit click NO. I was shown this by a lady down at Centrelink.

    Folks I'm off now for the afternoon to sort out a problem for a young fellow. I'll let you know how long we waited etc.
    BnT
    13th Jan 2017
    1:41pm
    Thanks OG but its not the Centrelink system that stops working but the whole bloody internet and having no access for up to 3-4 days some times can make acting within required deadlines (32 days someone said) frustrating...especially when you cannot automatically drop everything and travel a complete day just to physically go into a an office....and join a queue.....
    tactful
    13th Jan 2017
    1:57pm
    I am sure you get mail. You got your debt letter? Centrelink does the very best it can within the limitations of budget constraints.

    Internet drops out, yep sometimes happens, too far to go to the local Office, yep sometimes this is true.

    You have 28 days from the date of your debt letter, you tried the internet, so what stops you from writing???

    If you got the debt letter you get mail and you can send mail.

    You are putting up very poor excuses for not taking responsibility for your own actions.

    I agree outages of the internet are a damned nuisance, yet you have other options.

    If your phone is working, ring your local MP, get them to have Centrelink contact you. You also have the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

    Apart from having been employed by Centrelink, I would research this type of stuff and I still do.

    I have lists of who I can email, write to and ring with problems in getting stuff resolved.

    I am taking responsibility for my own life and how and how I interact.

    I reckon I have heard every excuse from my pet died to a family member dying as being a reason for not doing what you should have. Oh I always asked for proof, especially when dealing with family deaths. Just how many grandparents, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters etc can one individual have.

    Those who set out to do the wrong thing taint the thought processes for those who really want to help.

    BnT, have you ever really been in a position when you had no one to turn to? I have seen under 25's in this very position and I can tell you the very best was done to help this young people deal with their tragic situations. Funnily enough, these kids took responsibility for themselves and I just wish the older community would do the same.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    1:59pm
    Poll: Wil OG resolve the matter after waiting:-

    a) 5 minutes

    b) 10 minutes

    c) 15minutes

    d) 20 minutes

    e) None of these

    Time of departure 1.22pm - noted.....
    Bonny
    13th Jan 2017
    2:15pm
    Interesting as you don't seem to have internet problems today.

    Some of the remotest areas in Australia now have some of the best internet coverage. I've got the NBN installed on my country estate whereas people in the towns have just awful internet.

    So all I see is more excuses which will not get the problem sorted. Take responsibility for yourself and stop blaming others.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    2:24pm
    Must be a good day...... 'Bonny' - you got NBN on your 'country estate' but the township got nothing.... OK....say - is that a Unicorn that just went past?
    BnT
    13th Jan 2017
    2:31pm
    I do get mail - eventually.

    I have not had a debt letter as luckily for me, I am not a Centrelink customer. My partner is...but has not received a letter and one is not expected.

    I take full responsibility for my actions and have always done so.

    I have been in a position where I have had no-one to turn to and I sorted things out bit by bit until I was back on my feet without any assiatnce from any one...funnily enough, I could have applied for the dole during this period, but I didn't...and I was part of the older community at the time....

    As my partner says - "assume - makes an ass out of u and me"...don't make assumptions and sweeping generalisations "tactful"!
    BnT
    13th Jan 2017
    2:38pm
    Bonny - emphasis on "some"....and yes I am getting an unusually good run today...whoo hoo.....
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    3:13pm
    I've received no letter and don't expect one - no reason in the wide world.... but I take up the cudgels for those without the ability or opportunity to express the deep snows and icy cold of their discontent in this Winter of my nation....
    inextratime
    13th Jan 2017
    1:21pm
    Old Geezer. Hope you enjoy trying to incite people with your sanctimonious, self righteous and frankly unhelpful diatribe. Give it a break.
    Idontforget
    13th Jan 2017
    1:26pm
    Unfortunately he will resurface, just like an annoying fly.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    2:01pm
    Departed 1.22 pm to 'help a young fellow with a problem at Centrelink' - going to let us peasants know how short a time he waited and how easily it was resolved...

    Then we'll start the hard questions..... but better to ignore such sledgers as OG and 'tactful'....
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    2:25pm
    Add "Bonny" - h/she's got NBN on her 'country estate' and the local township has crap internet....
    Misty
    13th Jan 2017
    2:27pm
    and don't forget Bonny.
    Idontforget
    13th Jan 2017
    2:44pm
    Wish I owned a Country Estate
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    3:16pm
    .. with NBN while the peasants in the village use tom-toms to communicate..... oh, the burdens on those on high.....

    I once read 'Titanic Town', and one scene in it was the Catholic family watching the Orange Boys marching past, with the mother saying how well they dressed etc.. better than our lads etc.... and the father saying :- "More jobs.. more money".....

    It's hard to watch that line of peasants walking past on their way to work in your cotton gin - they smell so abominably and dress so poorly - have they no pride?
    Captain
    13th Jan 2017
    4:59pm
    Please remember that OG is an accountant who helps many people especially younger folk with their Centrelink issues. As such he would access the same Centrelink staff and the issues would be similar.

    Companies such as Aged Pension Solutions who sort out issues for pensioners (at a cost) are usually allocated dedicated Centrelink staff and therefore phones, letters, paperwork are answered quickly. I presume OG is one of those who provide a service for Centrelink customers.

    The everyday customer does get the same service so must wait in the ever growing queue.
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    6:16pm
    No I'm not allocated staff at all but I do admit that I'm known personally by a lot of the staff now.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    6:32pm
    .. and you make appointments and they know you on a first name basis? Dead Farken Easy.... so don't relate your experiences to those forced into contacting this system once in a blue moon and out of the blue.

    That is your lesson for today.
    HarrysOpinion
    13th Jan 2017
    9:19pm
    Old geezer bribes the staff with hamburgers and lifts home. Sounds underhanded...foolishly he may be the 'smoking-gun' for a Centrelink staff member losing his or her job ! (Refer to Geezer comment
    13th Jan 2017 3:56pm)
    Captain
    14th Jan 2017
    12:51pm
    HS, OG is referring to the young person he took to Centrelink for some issues. See comment at .22pm on 13/02.
    Captain
    14th Jan 2017
    12:53pm
    That should read 1. 22pm.
    Brisand
    13th Jan 2017
    1:41pm
    To not Very TACTFUL The comments only apply to people that have received a debt notice that they do NOT owe. If you DO owe a debt then it should be paid. We are talking about a flawed system that is sending debt notices to people that do not owe them. Plus have you tried phoning Centerlink recently.
    Also you will note the Centerlink staff have been instructed not to help!!! and to tell people only to go online.
    Many people that this applies to are not computer literate in the first place.
    Firstly centerlink needs to get the program working properly then send notices to the correct debtors, ( And Pollies)
    HarrysOpinion
    13th Jan 2017
    9:26pm
    I opted for a security code for myGov account to be sent to my mobile phone ...guess how long I have to wait for the code ? Sometimes up to an hour. Great system under this inept Liberal - National Coalition government (NOT!)
    tactful
    13th Jan 2017
    1:43pm
    To Rae and Misty and anyone else who opposes due diligence on the part of Centrelink - you imply by your reactions you applaud and encourage less than truthful behaviour (in short fraud).
    For Centrelink (which is the Statutory Authority charged with delivering Social Security and Family Payments) to know everything, how big do you think the computer would be???
    The actual Legislation puts the onus (responsibility, your job to say) on the claimant (person getting the payment) to provide the correct information about changes to their circumstances.
    Sometimes there is a computer glitch, not an uncommon thing to happen within any industry, claimants will get paid more than they should, this does not alter the fact a debt has happened, this claimant has NOT committed FRAUD, however the debt must be repaid.

    Brisand you call for a class action against Centrelink, so silly of you. A debt is raised, after 28 days it becomes recoverable regardless of the circumstance that is, a system fault or you just didn't provide the correct information.

    I was employed to collect debts in Centrelink, we had trouble keeping up and finding assets to collect the debts that were over $100,000.00. Yes over one hundred thousand dollars, the do-gooders would complain when we wanted to seize assets, like the holiday house that was purchased during the period the debt covered.
    I have had Age Pensioners say they didn't care about getting debts, they would continue to do this and the government could go to hell.
    My attitude is this:
    If you owe money, pay it back. If you owe for your electricity, you organise to repay, guess what debts to the commonwealth are just the bloody same, so make an arrangement to repay your debts.
    Anyone who thinks it is OK to rip off the Welfare system is scum, a criminal in my mind.
    In agreeing and/or implying it is OK to rip off the Welfare system is to condone criminal activity.
    Yes, I get bloody angry at this Öh poor things" attitude, apart from spoon feeding those on welfare it is time they took responsibility for their own actions and paid their debts.
    A little FACT here, if every Welfare, Austudy, Abstudy, Family Tax Benefit A & B were repaid in full. Our hospitals would all be stated of the art, no waiting lists, Medicare would cover much more than it does.
    Now do those of you who actually engage their brains understand the complexity of what and who suffers as a direct result of debts owed to the commonwealth either through Centrelink or ATO or Dept Vet Affairs. Do you GET IT.
    Get a debt repay it - you can still query your debt even if you are repaying same.
    BnT
    13th Jan 2017
    1:47pm
    Perhaps "tactful" was chosen as a reminder of how to behave?
    BnT
    13th Jan 2017
    1:59pm
    I don't think anyone is arguing that a debt owed should not be repaid... and that there are various ways available to repay a debt...

    This furore is about the validity of the debt in the first place; the way in which people are being notified of that debt; the requirements being placed on having to prove that the debt is not valid; the demand in some cases to start paying the debt off before it has been proven as an actual debt; the seemingly different rules that apply ie: retrospectiveness; etc...

    Plus the timing - with politicians travel costs etc hitting the news / and being regulated by themselves....when you look at an incorrect debt from a Centrelink recipient against the family travel business class for a supposed work trip undertaken by a pollie....
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    2:05pm
    Yes - carrying on about a few real rorters is just seeking to muddy the waters over the issue of a falsely set system that 'picks up' 'debt' that is calculated incorrectly, and is then followed by demands for settlement and resolution by the accused, who is then given no opportunity to do so, since nobody is available or willing or instructed to do so.

    I'd suggest to everyone falsely accused that they offer resolution, then appeal, then go to the Admin Appeals Tribunal with all their documents. If that does no good, take it to court.

    By the time this gets going fully, I have no doubt there will be law firms willing to take on a class action.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    2:14pm
    Great advice tactful - you pay the claimed debt and then get it back.... oh, look - is that a Unicorn? If the government cannot provide staff to resolve disputes BEFORE demanding payment - what makes you imagine they'll do so AFTER payment is made? Would you offer someone an interest free loan of indefinite duration, with no guarantee of it getting back to you, and when your personal finances are limited?

    All this nonsense is about - is political posturing and distraction from the real issues of poor government, and is a desperate lunge to appear to be doing something of value to the Australian public, when the truth is they are doing that public a massive dis-service with this petty Fascist style of dealing.
    Misty
    13th Jan 2017
    2:37pm
    Tactful I am deeply offended by your implied allegations that I support fraud, NO WAY HOSE, I just don't like you lumping everyone who received those debt owing letters in the same basket, I was bought up to believe in reserving judgement, innocent util proven guilty but tactful you obviously have a different view, one that is not shared by the majority of people commenting here. I think also from some of your comments here you have worked for Centrelink or some other Govt Agency but this does not give you the right to make disparaging comments about the people who received the Centrelink letters.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    3:23pm
    I've seen nobody advocating turning a blind eye to genuine rorting here - the columns are full of irate people over politicians and their hand-outs to self from the public purse - everyone so far has clearly said that genuine rorters should be rooted out etc, but when a system arbitrarily labels hundreds of thousands of ordinary people as rorters, for an obvious political end, NOBODY should be accepting such a dealing.

    Only a very narrow-minded, perhaps stupid, person would even begin to imply that defending the innocent is somehow advocating a free run for the guilty.

    You one of those 'debt collector' types, tactful? Another wannabe cop.... a rent-a-cop or robo-cop??
    Wstaton
    13th Jan 2017
    3:48pm
    Let get back to the days when you strung people up without due process and then find they were Innocent.
    Rae
    13th Jan 2017
    4:55pm
    Not at all Tactful. I would love to see genuine fraudsters of every description brought to book.

    Including those tax evaders and businesses and pollies claiming tax payer funds. Such as the VET company that walked away with over $200 million and ripped off not only the tax payer but the students.

    There are welfare frauds going on and also many tax dodges not all illegal but certainly immoral when it comes to light that the rules were designed to benefit a select group only.

    Personally I get nothing from this dim wit of a LNP gov and only got $900 from the nutters before.

    I'm voting Independent and for Jackie Lambie because she calls a spade a spade unlike the other lying pollies also fraudulently claiming our hard earned. Although I'm tending towards Shooters, Fishers and Farmers because I like food and there are too many fox eyes around the lambing paddocks after dark these days.

    Besides this lot change legislation like crazy anyway. Mostly to hurt the innocent and protect the rich and corrupt.
    OlderandWiser
    16th Jan 2017
    9:18am
    I've seen some turning a blind eye to rorting that is defrauding the honest taxpayer of billions. RORTING BY INCOMPETENTS WHO CLAIM OVERPAYMENT FOR STUFFING UP AT THEIR JOB AND COSTING US THE EARTH FOR PEOPLE TO FIX THEIR BLUNDERS.

    Why do OG, Bonny and Tactful not condemn THAT RORTING? Oh, because they are part of the system that condones money-making by any means, no matter who it hurts or takes unfair advantage of, just as long as it doesn't involve making a LEGAL AND HONEST claim on a system that PURPORTS to guarantee the health, comfort and well-being of those who suffer disadvantage through no fault of their own.
    Old Geezer
    16th Jan 2017
    6:23pm
    We all know of such rorting Rainey but that has nothing at all to do with the issue of the Centrelink audit.
    OlderandWiser
    16th Jan 2017
    7:48pm
    It's got EVERYTHING to do with the Centrelink audit, OG. Only an idiot would claim that overpaid fat cats implementing a faulty computer system and overpaid programmers creating a faulty computer system have nothing to do with that system! What a stupid comment!
    Bluegum
    13th Jan 2017
    1:56pm
    Many commenters such as Tactful are quite correct in talking about people who rightfully owe money to Centrelink... whether due to an error or fraud.

    However, the issue currently is that Centrelink are using a system that is flawed. That is not calculating income and hence debt correctly and sending debt notices to people who DO NOT actually owe money. Even a 15% incorrect calculation rate as seen in testing is totally unacceptable, let alone a much higer rate as has been reported.

    The comment from Tactful that they should pay it and have it returned in full IF they are proved to be correct is just so naive! Most people in this situation do not have spare cash. Cannot possibly pay an amount of money that could be $100s or even $1000s and then wait... how long? until Centrelink sorts it all out.

    As other people have also commented many people are unable to use the online service and phoning Centrelink can take so much time that most people just do not have.

    The real issue here is that Centrelink should and does demand money back from people who truly owe it... but should NOT be continuing to use an automated system that is so flawed and is causing very innocent people so much trouble and stress. They need to fix the system asap and go back to a more manual way of dealing with fraud until the system is fixed.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    2:07pm
    He used to collect debt for Colonel C'Link, don't ye know? And OG used to arrange the computer systems for this kind of thing...

    Sometimes playing the long game with obvious trolls gives the answers you feel are there..... they reveal a heap when they write stuff....
    Bonny
    13th Jan 2017
    2:17pm
    85% owe money which means it is working very well.
    Misty
    13th Jan 2017
    2:50pm
    What rot Bonny how do you know that 85% owe money when the system used to calculate and send out these letters is flawed?.
    Bonny
    13th Jan 2017
    3:35pm
    How do you know the system is flawed? They are still using it so I very much doubt it.
    Misty
    13th Jan 2017
    6:02pm
    Don't you listen to or watch the news Bonny?, if you did you would know by now that there is a glitch in this particular computer program, this has been confirmed by many, why do you think there is all this outrage if nothing is wrong?.
    Bonny
    14th Jan 2017
    10:31am
    If soneone earnt $100,000 a year as per their tax assessment and were on newstart for 3 months even a manual auditor would like a please explain. I belive this is what you call a fkaw in the robo system. If so then it is not a flaw but simply the way the system was designed.

    Let's get a bit more realisric and say the system is picking up the fortnightly averages from the ATO and say adding 10%. If these averages are above what you can earn before reporting the fact to Centrelink then isn't it a great idea to audit these people? Centerlink have been doing this manually for years.
    TREBOR
    14th Jan 2017
    11:03am
    Centrelink is not auditing, bonny - they are demanding payment of an unproven debt and telling people that their so far unproven debt MIGHT be looked at when they have time, if they can be bothered, since they couldn't be bothered in the first place.

    It's called the insolence of office.

    No such system should be picking up fortnightly averages - Benefits are payable during time of unemployment, not over a full year in association with other income.

    You want to raise a debt? Prove it in court like anyone else - who ever said the government was above the law?
    Old Geezer
    16th Jan 2017
    6:21pm
    Nothing wrong with doing an audit and finding discrepancies between fortnightly averages and income stated. If you have done the right thing you will have no problem with it.
    Bonny
    13th Jan 2017
    2:07pm
    Wow even I am surprised that 85% of those picked up by the automated system actually owe money. That's a lot of money owing. That said I'd have no problem co pkying with their request in a review letter.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    2:16pm
    I seriously find it impossible to believe that hundreds of thousands of people ripped off Centrelink. When this nonsense started I did some calculations that showed the amount per person would be obscenely high to reach $4.6Bn - and there is no way Centrelink would have permitted such a level of rorting.

    The whole thing is a lie made up by a failed government.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    2:29pm
    This might help:-

    https://www.humanservices.gov.au/corporate/statistical-information-and-data/centrelink-payment-statistics

    Give an idea how many total SOCIAL SECURITY recipients there are and then work out the figure of $4.6 BILL-yun dullahs over that number...... see how much is alleged to be owed by each individual.
    Misty
    13th Jan 2017
    2:53pm
    Speak English Bonny please.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    2:37pm
    I'm amazed at how, a certain time after the merde has hit the fan, there is a sudden advent of 'experts', with personal experience with Centrelink collection of debt, past setting up of systems and so forth - who suddenly come out of the woodwork, and tell us all that the government line is the right one, and the Social Security system is not a right and is full of rorters.

    Which one is Lord Haw-Haw and which Dr Goebbels, por favor? Then our resident Country Queen arrives to let us know SHE has NBN at the 'estate', but the peasants in town are on a dreadful connection.... oh, dear.... what will happen if the Empire faulters.....
    floss
    13th Jan 2017
    2:40pm
    Things must be bad at Centrelink even the Kiwis are heading home.
    OlderandWiser
    16th Jan 2017
    9:22am
    A friend moved house last week and the removalists told her they are ''flat strap'' moving thousands of over 65s to New Zealand, because ''Australia is stuffed, and no place for seniors anymore!''
    floss
    13th Jan 2017
    2:45pm
    Thanks Rae you always speak a lot of sense.
    Rae
    13th Jan 2017
    5:01pm
    Thanks looney. I've been blessed with good genes, a lot of luck, a great education my mum worked damn hard to pay for.

    I've also had a lot of experiences.

    Injustice and discrimination against those born less able or into less supportive situations annoy me greatly.

    There is a decided growth in lack of empathy and compassion and it will lead our Society to very bad consequences indeed.
    jonty
    13th Jan 2017
    2:54pm
    At all times you know what Old Geezer says is Extreme Right Wing. I bet he/she takes every handout from the government they can get their hands on, so are probably hypocritical in the extreme.
    So I'll say again OG get stuffed !!
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    7:38pm
    Now, now - fair's fair - I lambast OG for being mean - just destroy those with an odd view with reason and charm..... a fair trial..

    Then we'll hang 'em... a fair hangin'...
    Idontforget
    13th Jan 2017
    2:55pm
    As I said earlier in this forum, providing a certain criteria in relation to income and assets are met, welfare payments and the Aged Pension is a RIGHT that is enshrined in Federal Government Legislation. It is a RIGHT because it simply means that these payments cannot be refused by a Government or anybody else providing the criteria is met.

    I would be very interested to see you comments to substantiate your capitalized earlier comments that welfare and pensions are not a right
    Idontforget
    13th Jan 2017
    2:57pm
    I am referring to tactful in the final two lines.
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    4:08pm
    Tactful is right the OAP is welfare that is paid to people who have no other means of support. It is not an entitlement for anything. NO not even for hard work, taxes paid, number of kids you have or even how many pets you have. It is certainly not a right at all.
    HarrysOpinion
    13th Jan 2017
    4:25pm
    If "welfare" is paid to people who have no other means of support then why do ex-politicians who have a means of support get government welfare pensions? And, you are dead wrong old geezer because it is a Right under the Act to be entitled if so qualified !
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    5:03pm
    Ex pollies get an entitlement under their employment contract.

    OAP is welfare.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    7:39pm
    That's precisely why We, the People, intend to alter their employment contract.... fat too open-ended and one-sided and never once voted on by General Public, let alone Major Dissidents.
    HarrysOpinion
    13th Jan 2017
    9:06pm
    You are dead wrong old geezer OAP is a legislated AGE PENSION system for those who qualify and are entitled to it, it is not welfare.
    Idontforget
    14th Jan 2017
    10:55pm
    Old Geezer, you are a silly old fool. Please take the pills your Doctor prescribed and you would probably lie down and have a sleep
    Old Geezer
    16th Jan 2017
    6:19pm
    My doctor doesn't prescribe me any pills as I'm a healthy OG.

    I'll repeat it again OAP is welfare that is given to those with no other means of support. It is not entitlement as there is nothing you have to do to get it other than reach a certain age and have spent all your money.
    Annick
    13th Jan 2017
    3:21pm
    The system is flawed and contrary to Centrelink's belief not everyone has a computer or even know how to use one, so referring them back to the online system to sort out their supposed debts is ridiculous. Plus when the letters are sent out before Christmas with public holidays and Centrelink staff taking an extra day how can you solve the mistakes. As usual it is don't worry about the low income earners they will wear it. A class action by all those sent incorrect debts recovery letters is warranted. Reasons Causes stress, Wrongful claim, Incorrect details for claim, Claim not rightfully verified.
    Bonny
    13th Jan 2017
    3:33pm
    Getting out of bed woukd cause some people stress especially if it was before midday!
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    7:40pm
    Which Party do those belong to, bonny? They are so insulated from the real world that they are more akin to aliens than humans....
    Bonny
    16th Jan 2017
    10:42pm
    If you can apply for and get welfare why can't Centrelink ask you for extra information about your claim for welfare? It is a reasonable thing yo do. Class action because you ignored tbier review letter? I have never heard anything so stupid.
    Misty
    13th Jan 2017
    3:25pm
    Susan Ley has just resigned from her position as Health Minister, wonder how many more to come?.
    BnT
    13th Jan 2017
    3:43pm
    Let the sun shine in...to quote our illustrious leader.....
    Wstaton
    13th Jan 2017
    4:04pm
    She should get out of Parliament. Oh Oh can't do that it would leave the government without a majority could lead to an election Wonder how this government would fare then.
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    5:53pm
    Statement from Department of Human Services
    General Manager - Hank Jongen

    http://www.hendersonmaxwell.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Centrelink-Statement.pdf

    This seems fair and if anything more than fair to me.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    7:46pm
    All well and good, except that Fat Hank doesn't specify the time period, which seems to be the bone of contention here, and he doesn't state honestly that the letters are phrased in terms of a demand and not a request for clarification.

    Stating that they are required by law to recover does not even suggest that they create circumstances in which they can recover regardless of facts. Law is somewhat different from 'law' or legislation, and often far removed from regulation that rides on the back of Law.

    No Law said Centrelink could create an arbitrary time framework to calculate, outside the well laid down and well traveled once a fortnight - PER fortnight during receipt of Entitlements - not every fortnight over a year and then calculate entitlements in the light of annual income.
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    7:47pm
    That this was done at all shows it was deliberate. Now we need to reveal the full reasons why that was so, and I think there are many clues here.....
    Rosret
    13th Jan 2017
    8:20pm
    OG - if you have been helping people with these erroneous claims then how are you making contact with Centrelink if they have been ordered not to deal with the issue?
    Circum
    13th Jan 2017
    6:24pm
    Maybe OG went to Centrelink office to lodge a medicare claim.
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    6:53pm
    Why wait time doing that when you can do it quickly on line?
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    7:48pm
    C'mon - even brief details with no names etc will do... what WAS this mighty issue?
    CindyLou
    13th Jan 2017
    7:05pm
    As mentioned previously (other thread), there should have been designated staff to deal with this mess.
    I'd be so stressed if I received such a letter. Shameful.
    Amadeoz
    13th Jan 2017
    7:56pm
    where is the Boss? Father Turnbull still asleep, a hangover from the NYE party? Wake up and get to work! The rats are eating at the Foundations that support a honest, decent democratic government. Get the poison out and the traps and eradicate those voracious pests. We do not want a Trump or Abbott!
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2017
    8:52pm
    We'll white-ant them yet.... the lot of them..... until they start to do their job - which is not just sitting around working out how best to deal out the crap to the public and make it look good.... and occasionally putting on a circus of loud disagreement in Parliament like some school debate with few rules...

    Wilkie and Lambie are the only ones I have any time for at the moment - but the rest could always learn....
    Rosret
    13th Jan 2017
    8:01pm
    Wow.
    KSS
    13th Jan 2017
    8:59pm
    Wow indeed!
    TREBOR
    14th Jan 2017
    10:00am
    The truth is out there somewhere - no better way to approach it than by open discussion.......... free exchange of information....

    I believe a consensus can be derived from this discussion here.... and many facts and figures have been unearthed...

    $1900 per Social Security recipient... well - I never - what a nation of rogues..... (BS..BS...BS)....
    OlderandWiser
    16th Jan 2017
    5:27pm
    Trebor, have you observed that all these rogues are actually TAXPAYERS? The flawed Centrelink system isn't targeting anyone who doesn't pay taxes. Bludgers and cash-in-hand-earners are safe. So we are talking about hundreds of thousands of TAXPAYERS ripping of the taxpayer to the tune of $1900 per Social Security recipient. In other words, stealing from themselves. Seriously? Is that really likely?
    Old Geezer
    16th Jan 2017
    6:15pm
    Yes!
    OlderandWiser
    16th Jan 2017
    7:52pm
    Only a mean, nasty, smug arsehole would say ''yes'', OG.

    These people are hard-working, honest taxpayers who fell on hard times and are struggling to rise above their challenges and get back on their feet. They are NOT going to cheat the system that supports them when they are down.

    It's the bludgers and cash-in-hand welfare recipients and the FILTHY RICH TAX CHEATS AND MINIMIZERS who are cheating the system.

    We are losing billions through tax minimization by the rich and you want to persecute honest battlers who MIGHT have over-claimed a miserable $1900 by mistake (but almost certainly didn't and are being falsely accused!)
    Bonny
    17th Jan 2017
    6:54am
    What a lot of rubbish Rainey! Most people would say nothing until they really had to. The 85% owning money supports this.
    Rodent
    14th Jan 2017
    8:28am
    Here is a challenge for OG or Tactful, or anybody else

    How much in $ terms or people numbers or both, does the CL System show currently as outstanding Debt. Either as a total amount, as at a specific date, or at a date broken down into the Categories I posted earlier in my post Jan 13th @ 12.18pm DOES ANYBODY KNOW?
    Bonny
    14th Jan 2017
    10:33am
    Last timw I looked those figures were 2-3 years out of date. So how are they relevant to today?
    TREBOR
    14th Jan 2017
    11:07am
    Yes - one notices how well hidden the real figures are.. ask a simple question of the internet and you get everything else......

    "Current Recipient Numbers Newstart Australia" - you get years old stuff and a learned discourse on the difference between Centrelink figures and ABS calculations ... it seems someone doesn't want the current figures out there......
    Rodent
    14th Jan 2017
    2:22pm
    The only NUMBERS that are close to up to date are the DSS Demographics as at June 2016 these numbers, by category, can be relied on

    Selected payment recipients by rate of payment, June 2016
    Payment type Total

    ABSTUDY (Living Allowance) 8,871
    Age Pension 2,538,161
    Austudy 48,910
    Carer Payment 260,592
    Disability Support Pension 782,891
    Newstart Allowance 732,100
    Parenting Payment Partnered 100,210
    Parenting Payment Single 259,434
    Partner Allowance 3,952
    Sickness Allowance 7,708
    Special Benefit 5,335
    Widow Allowance 18,245
    Widow B Pension 388
    Wife Pension (Partner on Age Pension) 5,818
    Wife Pension (Partner on Disability Support Pension) 5,697
    Youth Allowance (Other) 98,100
    Youth Allowance (Student and Apprentice) 226,515

    Some other Information re numbers is in this Media article quoting DSS/CL

    The number of letters sent out under Centrelink's controversial robo-debt policy has soared past 230,000 as the federal appeals tribunal braces for a flood of disputes.
    Treasury costings have put the price of Centrelink's data-matching and debt recovery at least $93 million, including payments to commercial debt collectors.
    'Not debt letters': Centrelink spokesman Hank Jongen.
    The election policy costings, from mid-2016 also predict the cash-strapped Administrative Appeals Tribunal will have to find more than $3 million to cope with the expected flood of Centrelink clients taking legal action to fight against debts claimed by the welfare agency.
    But there is good news for the millions of Australian families who receive family tax benefits; they are not on Centrelink's debt recovery hit list.
    The Coalition government has vowed to push ahead with the controversial program, that aims to claw back up to $4.5 billion in welfare overpayments in 1.7 million "compliance interventions" in coming years, despite the storm of protest from citizens who say they are being hounded for money they do not owe.
    Costing the policy for the 2016 election, when it was envisaged that only 750,000 "compliance interventions" would take place, Treasury put the cost at $93.6 million.
    "This policy would cost DHS [Department of Human Services] approximately $93.6 million to administer, which includes contractors and ICT requirements," the costing document reads.
    "As specified in the costing request, any additional departmental costs associated with administering this policy is to be met from within the existing resources of DHS.
    The much smaller Administrative Appeals Tribunal, which hears the first rounds of legal disputes between Centrelink and its clients and which finished the past financial year several hundred thousand dollars in the red, is expected to absorb "approximately $3.3 million in total costs to deliver this proposal."
    The tribunal, which received more than 15600 applications for reviews of Centrelink decisions in the 12 months to July 2016, was contacted for comment but did not respond before deadline on Thursday.
    As the federal opposition piled on the pressure on Thursday for the program to be halted, Hank Jongen, spokesman for Centrelink's parent department Human Services, confirmed that more than 232,000 letters had know gone out since the data-matching effort was stepped up in July.
    "From 1 July 2016, 232,000 letters requesting people to confirm or update their information have been issued," Mr Hank Jongen said.
    "This letter is not a debt letter and simply asks them to go online and either confirm or update the information.
    "Since July 2016, 169,000 people have completed the request to confirm or update their information.
    The spokesman also confirmed the vast majority of letter recipients so far had been mostly young people who had claimed either Newstart or Youth Allowance.
    "The compliance measure applies to those income support payments where earned income may affect payment eligibility and rates," Mr Jongen said.
    "This has primarily involved Newstart and Youth Allowance.
    "This compliance activity does not apply to non-income support payments like FTB.
    "The first letter generated by the system advises people there is a difference between the information reported to Centrelink and the information reported to the ATO. "

    Really makes you wonder about all this. From my personal experience dealing with the Govt claims re numbers associated with The Rebalance the Assets Test changes I would question ANY number the govt may supply for this compliance Intervention Process
    TREBOR
    14th Jan 2017
    3:59pm
    Ah - and estimated 1.7 m 'compliance interventions' ... let's look at that number in regard to $4.5 BILL-yun dullahs...... lessee now....

    $4,500,000,000/ 1,700,000 = $2647 EACH . Again that works out at (if on Unemployment Benefit) ....

    2647/258 per week = 10.25 weeks or 3.5 months EVERY compliance intervened person owes Centrelink.

    There must be some amazingly brass-balled cheats out there..... somehow I doubt we are being given the good oil on this issue... you really expect me to believe hat 1.7 MILL-yun people on benefits ripped off Colonel C'Link to the tune of three and a hald months payments each?

    I believe this calculation shows that the paradigm is deeply flawed.
    Bonny
    14th Jan 2017
    4:09pm
    After researching what is really happening Centrelink is being very fair and I would even say more than fair. The majority of people are following the instructions and if they have done the right thing then they have nothing to worry about. Those stressed out can only be for one reason. They haven't done the right thing. Welfare comes with responsabilities and if you can apply for welfare you can also do what is required to satisfy the conditoons under which you get that welfare.

    I for one will ignore all those sob stories in the media.
    Misty
    14th Jan 2017
    5:12pm
    You are missing the point of this discussion Bonny, the Centrelink System is flawed and this should be corrected ASAP, no one has a problem with people having to pay back what has been incorrectly paid to them it is the threatening tone of the letters the people received when they had done nothing wrong, which they never should have received in the first place that this is all about.
    Misty
    14th Jan 2017
    5:13pm
    You are missing the point of this discussion Bonny, the Centrelink System is flawed and this should be corrected ASAP, no one has a problem with people having to pay back what has been incorrectly paid to them it is the threatening tone of the letters the people received when they had done nothing wrong, which they never should have received in the first place that this is all about.
    Bonny
    15th Jan 2017
    4:59pm
    Wow I could see nothing in those letters than was threatening at all. Sounds like people have become too sensitive for tbeir own good if that's the case. If you can apply for welfare then you can do what is required when asked by Centrelink.
    OlderandWiser
    16th Jan 2017
    9:31am
    I have a major problem with a system that is attacking honest people and leaving the dishonest well alone. If they seriously want to target welfare fraud, stop bashing those who try to work and earn when they can and get out there looking at those who just bludge endlessly, or who work strictly cash-in-hand. They are the real cheats. Anyone who lodges a tax return noting earnings is highly unlikely to be deliberately cheating the taxpayer - because THEY ARE TAXPAYERS!
    Old Geezer
    16th Jan 2017
    6:14pm
    Why is Centrelink right 85% of the time then?
    OlderandWiser
    16th Jan 2017
    7:55pm
    Not sure it is, OG, but even so, 15% errors is way too high. Nobody in private enterprise would deem that acceptable.
    Bonny
    17th Jan 2017
    6:52am
    OG is right it has nothing to do with errors at all. It is just a review asking people to check and substanciate their information. The ATO has been doing this for decades. If your earned a lot of money decades ago and didn't declare any interest you were sent a fishing letter where they hoped you woud confess.

    It is very acceptable for Centrelink to do this and I 'd be a lot happier if only 15% owed money as 85% is just shameful.

    14th Jan 2017
    8:55pm
    am I the only one who noted labor mick now sporting a mask, wonder if he grown a beard
    Anonymous
    14th Jan 2017
    9:04pm
    congratulations to trebor who is now in charge of these columns, labor mick has been assassinated, yet micky old boy, might rise again of the ashes
    TREBOR
    15th Jan 2017
    2:24am
    heemie... mah man! I apologise most sincerely for demolishing the trenches of the 'government', by the simple use of some facts and figures!

    Perhaps you would prefer that I go quietly into the darkness, and let my people suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous government abuse?

    When WILL you grow up, my son?

    When you can challenge any figures I, and others, have posted - welcome back. Until then you are nothing but a sledger..

    Grow a life...

    Try dealing with facts and figures - not sledging persons....
    TREBOR
    15th Jan 2017
    2:36am
    I'll give you one guarantee, my son. When the dust settles over this nonsense - something like $4.5m dollars will have been 'recovered' - not $4.5 Bn... and the real cost of chasing this windmill like Don Quixote, as a means of distracting from the disaster that is current Australian government of two parties .... will be somewhere near $200m. That figure would keep 100 pensioners at the current rate, but never let cost get in the way of a political push when you have the hands on the reins. PLENTY of money where that came from! Just take it from the peasants.

    You, and many others, need to look at the REAL bottom line, not just the rhetoric that may or may not suit your personal view of others of whom you have no genuine knowledge or experience.

    Maybe then you might begin to understand what is terribly wrong with this country at this time.
    TREBOR
    15th Jan 2017
    12:24pm
    Mick said last week he was going on holidays. I'm sure he'll be here when he returns.....

    Our style is definitely different....
    Anonymous
    15th Jan 2017
    6:49pm
    trebor don't insult me by calling me your son, I know better thank Christ, may be you think it will give you some credibility of having brains, a feature so sadly missing in your resume', must have gone to your head to be now the labor and union delegate in lifechoises, as for labor mick and your styles being different, you are right, your's is even more laced with stupidities then our labor mick, did no think that was possible, anyhow let us know when the masked ranger will return to these columns and we will have to read more of his so-called adventures in the wild west.
    TREBOR
    16th Jan 2017
    8:29am
    If the cap sits, wear it.

    Your sheer inability to deal with reality is clearly shown in the fact that you wish to label anyone who comes up with figures and reasoning that indicates fault in the current government - is now a Labor or Union absolute blind supporter.

    The fact that you support not one of your vitriolic statements with any fact whatsoever also shows conclusively that you have little to no contact with reality.

    I have no idea when Mick will return, but I'm sure he'll serve you up on toast, just like I do every time.

    That's Trebor with a capital T.... your English is as good as your arguing skills.
    OlderandWiser
    16th Jan 2017
    9:45am
    I wonder how many LNP trolls would deem it okay for the ATO computers to err in the government's favour on 15% of tax returns? Or for the government computers to err in the government's favour on 15% of pay calculations?

    Interesting that nobody seems to be getting letters advising UNDERPAYMENTS.
    Old Geezer
    16th Jan 2017
    6:13pm
    I received a phone call from Centrelink asking me why I hadn't applied for the OAP.
    OlderandWiser
    16th Jan 2017
    7:56pm
    LIAR.
    Bonny
    17th Jan 2017
    6:47am
    How do you know OG isn't telling the truth? You don't because you simply can't accept it. If you were a kid and behaves like that I would tell you tomwash you mouth out with soap. I for one don't like that sort of behaviour from anyone.
    OlderandWiser
    17th Jan 2017
    11:20am
    I know that Centrelink don't have the resources to phone hundreds of thousands of retirees to inquire why they aren't claiming a benefit that the person probably isn't entitled anyway and that the government would rather not pay.

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