15th Sep 2017

Government admits to 20,000 incorrect robo-debt notices

FONT SIZE: A+ A-
Govt admits to incorrect debt notices
Leon Della Bosca

The Turnbull Government has admitted that almost 20,000 debt-recovery notices it issued via the Centrelink robo-debt program were either way off or wrong.

The Department of Human Services Minister, Alan Tudge, revealed that the use of the robo-debt recovery scheme up to March 2017 had resulted in 19,980 incorrect debt notices. Of these, 12,524 recipients owed less and 7456 owed nothing.

These notices have since been adjusted or rescinded. However, the number of incorrect debt letters is expected to grow, as the ones reported so far only represent instances where recipients have challenged the amounts owed.

The Human Services spokesperson for Labor, Linda Burney, says the figures are "absolutely shocking".



"This is the Government finally telling the truth and finally admitting that they sent out 20,000 letters to people accusing them of owing money that they did not owe," said Ms Burney.

"It is just an outrage that so many people were accused. It is incompetence that so many people were accused of owing money that they did not owe."

However, the Government says that the system is working, even though the Commonwealth Ombudsman deems otherwise.

Acting Ombudsman Richard Glenn found that the program had a "profoundly negative impact on the lives of thousands of Australians". He also said that 20 per cent of recipients sent a debt notice who then requested further information found that they owed nothing.

Labor has again called on the Government to suspend the program until it acts on the 21 recommendations handed down from the Senate committee. The Senate review also said the process should be immediately stopped.

What do you think of the robo-debt program? Have you received a dodgy debt letter?

Related articles:
Centrelink still threatening clients
Robo-debt program to be expanded
Ombudsman slams robo-debt scheme





COMMENTS

To make a comment, please register or login
Jezemeg8
15th Sep 2017
10:12am
This doesn't surprise me at all. My daughter received a notice that she owed Centrelink $11,000. She immediately rang the number provided and was told that they could find no record of that debt but instead she owed $3,000, but couldn't provide her the details of the debt or when it happened. She was simply told it was 'probably' a late submission of an income form 'somewhere around 2014!' She persisted and tried to get them to be more specific with several more calls to the same number, until finally the Centrelink employee to whom she spoke on the final call admitted there was no debt at all, and to ignore the communications!!! Just goes to show, it pays to persist when one receives such a debt notice!
Hawkeye
15th Sep 2017
10:28am
If I sent out thousands of threatening messages to people telling them they owe me money, in the hope that some of them would pay it without question, I WOULD BE PILLORIED AS A SCAMMER.

It is simply our corrupt LNP govrnment performing their own dirty little version of the Nigerian email scam.
Polly Esther
15th Sep 2017
11:49am
yes but, at least they admit it. There's honesty for you :-))
Tib
15th Sep 2017
12:01pm
Well said that's exactly what it is.
Tib
15th Sep 2017
12:03pm
Yes Polly Esther they admit it because they don't care what we think.
Hawkeye
15th Sep 2017
12:20pm
Polly(tician?) Esther,

Using your logic, if all the scammers and criminals (and by my definition that includes politicians) admitted they are scammers and criminals, then that would make them honest citizens.

In which fairyland do you reside?
inextratime
15th Sep 2017
12:36pm
I think Polly was being sarcastic...!!
Jezemeg8
15th Sep 2017
12:44pm
Yes I agree, Polly was indeed being sarcastic
Polly Esther
15th Sep 2017
2:22pm
Hawky, you have no sense of humour at all you poor thing.
Try to have a nice day :-))
Hawkeye
15th Sep 2017
4:33pm
Naaaaahhhh
I was just being a bit sarcastic back again, including the reference fairyland, which I thought somebody might have picked up on with reference to our upcoming multi-million dollar plebiscite.
TREBOR
15th Sep 2017
4:55pm
Damn - does that mean I'm going to be out-gunned by the pranksters on here? I was trying for top slot in the mischievous corporation..

Be careful - some here are very literal and do not understand subtlety... not pointing any fingers....
George
15th Sep 2017
11:08am
It is disgusting that this program was not immediately suspended when it was found to be defective, and all responsible staff who rolled this out sacked! They should also release statistics of how many people's health was adversely affected by such nasty letters!
jackie
15th Sep 2017
2:55pm
This is just another revenue raising means by this Government. Centrelink and the Taxation Department are linked so if these people really owed money I am sure the tax man would have pulled them up over it. This is what happens to a Government that won't make its elitist friends pay their proper taxes. They have to extract revenue from the honest.
Rainey
15th Sep 2017
11:09am
Guess OG and others who nastily claimed the scheme was great and only dishonest people were receiving notices have finally been proved WRONG. This admission is too little, too late. It's disgusting that the scheme is not being discontinued in the face of evidence of extensive error. How much more hurt and fear will it cause before it's finally discontinued or the faults properly remedied.
Wstaton
15th Sep 2017
12:30pm
Plus the cost (and it probably wasn't cheap) to put this disgusting system into place.
TREBOR
15th Sep 2017
4:56pm
Paging OG.. OG - you are being paged - please come to the front desk or raise a hand so our itinerant servitor with the phone can find you....
Not a Bludger
15th Sep 2017
11:11am
Much ado about nothing- just more of the permanently outraged.

Full marks to Centrelink for requiring those who get free money (aka my taxes at work) to justify eligibility for the $'s received.

As with any check system, some will be found to be OK - but it should be noted that many, many more were found to have overclaimed and rorted the system.

No complaints, though, from those who were found to have been underpaid and received more.

This form of review should be a permanent and expanded part of the system.
Jezemeg8
15th Sep 2017
11:17am
I'm sorry you feel that way, but not everyone who received 'debt' notices were receiving Centrelink benefits. My daughter and her husband run a successful building company, neither have been unemployed, neither have received Centrelink Benefits for any reason. As my post indicates, when my daughter received the so called demand to repay her debt she rang them, and was told they had no record of that debt but she owed a lesser amount. When she persisted, asking just what that debt was, she was told it was 'probably from a late tax return fee back 'around' 2014' no specifics nothing.
She continued to call them until finally 3 weeks after receiving the demand to pay, she was told there was no debt at all!!!
So "Not a Bludger' these debt notices have nothing at all to do with those who receive Centrelink Benefits nor are those who complain among the 'permanently outraged'...
TREBOR
15th Sep 2017
4:57pm
Government admits to error and you say the whole thing was just a bunch of whingers and malcontents carrying on?

I recall having veiled accusations cast at my good self over this nonsense - when I had absolutely nothing to fear from any government agency etc.... and never have. My intent was clearly to point out injustice and wrongdoing.... sorry 'bout that....
TREBOR
15th Sep 2017
5:17pm
BTW - it is not 'free money' and YOUR tax money - it is EVERYONE'S tax money including those who are in receipt, and most on pension have contributed mightily to the till for a lifetime....

Do get a grip on the tax system. EVERYBODY pays taxes every day in some way, so don't get confused over income tax.... just play your share and everybody will be happy.

I just bought two cases of beer online (top pick up) - they sent me not a receipt but a TAX invoice.... get with it here.
Rainey
16th Sep 2017
2:52am
Excuse me, Not a Bludger, but who audits your use of roads, hospitals, and schools to ensure you are paying a fair tax in relation to the benefit received? Do you receive tax breaks for contributions to superannuation? Who verifies that the taxpayer funding of YOUR retirement is fair and equitable. If you had fallen on hard times, would you have expected to be paid a pension or unemployment benefits in accordance with the entitlements dictated by the laws of the land? Who checked to see if you had paid enough tax to be fairly entitled to those benefits?

Have you ever employed anyone? Did you make a profit from doing so? If you ever ran a business, you almost certainly paid people less than they produced and profited from doing so. Who audited their lifetime productivity and income to ensure they received fair reward for their contribution to society? Who checked that your payment of tax fairly compensated for the benefit of being able to hire people for less than their worth? Who audits to ensure volunteer and community workers are fairly rewarded for their contribution to society? Who checks the benefits you reap from the fact that people volunteer services to the community? Who checks the benefit you get from people serving in the military and police force and emergency services to ensure you pay enough tax to justify your access to those benefits?

I'm disgusted by these ''holier than though'' egotists who rant about how ''their tax dollars'' are spent, but ignore the fact that the major part of national expenditure goes to the more privileged, while the major contribution to society comes from the less well off. We have hundreds of thousands working for nothing to promote social and community health. THAT'S PAYING TAX, BIG TIME! We have hundreds of thousands working in crappy jobs and being paid far less than they are worth so others can get rich - and the beneficiaries are claiming huge taxpayer-funded contributions to their retirement fund via superannuation tax concessions that simply aren't available to those underpaid workers.

Yes, there are Centrelink cheats. I know one personally - and she cheats big time! But she'll NEVER be caught out. Far too clever for that. Some, happily, are caught and penalized, and they deserve it. But a program that persecutes tens of thousands of innocent people with incorrect debt notices is inexcusable. And bear in mind that Centrelink rules are complex and communication with Centrelink is often extremely difficult. Centrelink workers often get it wrong. It's very easy to make a mistake that leads to overpayment, or to not notice an overpayment resulting from a Centrelink mistake. (The latter happened to me decades ago and when I tried to repay the overpayment, idiots at Centrelink claimed I had miscalculated and their calculation was correct. It took two years to rectify issue. But when they UNDERPAID me for two years, it was NEVER remedied).

Get over your ego, Not a Bludger. If you are not a pensioner, there's a very strong chance you got more than your fair share of benefit from the taxpayer one way or another. That would mean that you ARE a BLUDGER. Just an arrogant and egotistical one - like most of the well-off bludgers in our society.
Hawkeye
17th Sep 2017
2:59am
Well said Rainey.
When someone feels the need to call themselves "Not a Bludger" or similar, it is my experience that the opposite is generally true.
maelcolium
15th Sep 2017
11:22am
This is fertile ground for a class action against the Government for damages including personal suffering.
Tib
15th Sep 2017
11:42am
Sue them then sack them.
TREBOR
15th Sep 2017
4:58pm
Sack them then sue them when they don't get your money to pay their legal eagles with any more.
Tib
15th Sep 2017
5:27pm
Good point Trebor.
ozqueen
15th Sep 2017
11:24am
I got sent out a notice and had to prove that I had not received an income for the 3 months I had been on Centrelink. This was 6 years after receiving the payments and after I had paid back 3 payments of my own volition as soon as I started receiving my super pension and was back paid for the 6 weeks. Luckily I had worked for a government department and it was relatively easy to access payment records. It took $10 to print the paperwork, 1 visit to the Centrelink office (oh joy!) and 45 minutes on the phone to someone who did not appear to understand English (though it was obviously his first language). I was told they would contact me with a final decision. That was about 5 months ago and I still have not been contacted.
Apparently they based the whole thing on yearly income figures from the ITO. They merely divided the total income by 52 and came to the conclusion I had been earning that weekly amount for the whole year. What I'm most concerned by is the fact that I was given a few weeks to answer the allegations but they still haven't finalized the complaint. The stress involved was also of concern and I pity anyone suffering from heart problems or high blood pressure like I was at the time. Have no idea what others do if they cannot access records given the time that would have elapsed.
Wstaton
15th Sep 2017
12:35pm
Wow! They could have just phoned ATO and asked how much you earned in the year then mentally divided it by 12. Instead they needed a multi-million system to do it and they would still have been wrong.
Stof
15th Sep 2017
11:30am
Don't worry about "not a bludger"...He is a troll and writes this nonsense just to get comments like mine. He is a bludger. He bludges my time!
Jezemeg8
15th Sep 2017
11:32am
Thank you Stof, I suspected as much, probably votes for the LNP too
Not a Bludger
15th Sep 2017
2:38pm
O Lordy me - moan, moan, moan.
Tib
15th Sep 2017
2:50pm
Well said Stof just a mean spirited old sod with nothing better to do.
Rainey
16th Sep 2017
2:56am
Probably a BLUDGER, actually. Like so many well-off egotists who ignore the fact that they reap far more benefit from taxpayers than their tax payments merit. But they are quick to condemn those who reap benefit in one particular form, while condoning any level of theft by those who receive benefit in other ways.
Tib
15th Sep 2017
11:40am
Time to sack this government not only are they incompetent but they're heartless mongrels as well.
Jezemeg8
15th Sep 2017
11:44am
I think the assumption they are working from that as politicians regularly defraud the public, then ordinary people are doing likewise.
Jezemeg8
15th Sep 2017
11:47am
Sorry I'll rephrase the above post, the assumption they make is that as it's not unknown for politicians to rort the system so therefore we 'ordinary citizens' must be doing likewise!
Tib
15th Sep 2017
12:08pm
Yes I'll just have a few free helicopter rides to clear my head while I think about that, after all I need a break from my overseas trips. Pollies need someone to pay for all their perks might as well be pensioners and the unemployed.
TREBOR
15th Sep 2017
12:11pm
Bad tactics - this should have been released at 11 pm tonight......
Old Man
15th Sep 2017
12:34pm
According to Centrelink statistics, there are 3,062,400 in receipt of a pension and a further 660,000 on Newstart. A simple calculation shows that the 20,000 (with more to come) who have received letters in error represent 0.053% of those receiving assistance. In statistical terms this is considered a blip. This article is another beat-up with just enough information to make the story appear worthwhile.
inextratime
15th Sep 2017
12:45pm
An attempt to trivialise the matter OM ? Using a % statistic to suggest that the article is a beat up and that the 20,000 people who received letters in error is a 'blip' is the kind of thinking that indicates a complete lack of sensitivity and one of the reasons this government will loose the next election.
Jezemeg8
15th Sep 2017
12:48pm
The problem is Old Man that not everyone that is receiving these debt notices has ever or is currently receiving Centrelink benefits of any type.

As with my daughter and son-in-law, they couldn't even tell them when the debt occurred or indeed agree on the amount!!! "Probably a late tax return around 2014" is not specification (well not to us mere mortals anyway, it might be for politicians etc)...In the end they could do nothing else but dismiss it, and the employee who did use that commonsense in all likelihood would have ceased to be employed too! After all commonsense is not a quality that is required in public service!
Old Man
15th Sep 2017
12:51pm
Well inextratime, you can call it trivialising but I choose to call it realism. By the way, the "government" didn't make the mistake, the public servants working for the government did. Whenever the government changes, the same public servants will still be there making the same mistakes.
Old Man
15th Sep 2017
12:55pm
I've read all of your posts Jezemeg8 and to boil them down, a mistake was made that caused your daughter a portion of her time to sort out the mistake, no money, just a portion of her time. I don't agree with your outrageous suggestion that her problem caused as member of the public service to lose his/her job.
Jezemeg8
15th Sep 2017
12:56pm
Old Man, I didn't say Government, I said Centrelink who are a law onto themselves.
Wstaton
15th Sep 2017
12:56pm
Typical. Old man It is the number off people that were sent the letters compared to those that were incorrect that should be used.

It is like you saying that there are 10 million wage earners and
20,000 are being ripped off by employers so we should ignore it because it is only .2 % of the total.

By the way your calculation is wrong.
Jezemeg8
15th Sep 2017
1:06pm
Old Man as a person whose father worked in the public service, and who lost his job when he used commonsense instead of following 'policy' I speak from experience. I also know of several public servants these days who've had similar experiences.

As far as my daughter, spending 3 weeks making phone calls (and paying to stay on the line sometimes for hours before she could talk to someone who claimed to be human), did cost her financially thank you, because it was time that she should have been spending on their business!!

So your assertion that it cost her nothing is WRONG! Plus if she'd not have persevered but immediately paid the initial $11,000+ that was demanded it would have cost her very much more.
TREBOR
15th Sep 2017
5:02pm
Unfortunately, OM, it's not a blip to those wrongfully included... it's terrifying and stressful for them....

Remember the charge at Beersheba? Only lost twenty or so men - not so good if you were one of that twenty or so....
Old Man
15th Sep 2017
5:24pm
I agree TREBOR, I emphasise with those who have been unfairly targetted but I was trying to put the matter into perspective. As far as I am aware, none of those who erroneously received letters claiming wrongdoing has had to pay out any of their hard-earned. Sure, they may have been inconvenienced but the bigger picture is that those who have broken the law, albeit accidentally, should be required to repay the funds obtained illegally.

By the way TREBOR, the 12th Light Horse Regiment lost 20 good men but they were a division of the 4th Light Horse Brigade and the total losses was 39. I had the good fortune to spend some time with a Sergeant of the gallant 12th many years back and I have since spent some time reading as many accounts as I can find.
TREBOR
15th Sep 2017
6:52pm
I read a book about it - it seems the British mainly infantry in the surrounding hills suffered a lot more.. a little bit of dash turned the tables, though.

Amazing really... great performance.
inextratime
15th Sep 2017
8:07pm
So OM even though the public servants are recruited and paid by the government and act under the directive of the government minister responsible for the public servants, its not the governments fault ! Try telling Boeing that if one of their planes blows up because of a design fault its not their fault its the welder who works for them. No wonder the countries in a mess and its all the workers fault.
Hawkeye
15th Sep 2017
9:24pm
OM, I think you must have failed your 6th class arithmetic test.

Where I come from (and using your figures)
20000/3062400x100%=0.653%
which is a very significant error rate in a situation such as this.

And 20,000 people subjected to such unwarranted bullying is a significant error in any situation.

These 20,000 people are not just statistics OM.
They are real flesh and blood people with real fears and feelings.
And every single one of them has a right to be treated with dignity as an individual, especially by representatives of their elected government.
Beeman
15th Sep 2017
12:48pm
It seems as though the whole system of age pension is too complicated. Why not revert to the original system if everybody being entitled after a certain age and reducing the staff to a handful just to enter new recipients into the system and eliminating those leaving. This would probably save more money.
Unfortunately that would increase the unemployment figures which is what the pollies fear most
Wstaton
15th Sep 2017
12:59pm
yes that what some of some of the Scandinavian countries do. Everyone get a pension irregardless of their status.
Raphael
15th Sep 2017
1:11pm
Why are so many whingers and lefties blaming the government for something useless public servants )who mostly vote labor) did
Jezemeg8
15th Sep 2017
1:13pm
because our PM Malcolm Turnbull was the one who put the whole thing in motion then left it to Centrelink to do the dirty work.
Raphael
15th Sep 2017
1:23pm
Rubbish
Raphael
15th Sep 2017
1:39pm
Whoever came up with the idea to do data checks and issue those notices should be commended
The implementation was poor
Heads should roll in centerlink . Typical incompetent public servants cant manage a simple system
Implementation without first ensuring risk factors were addressed
Tib
15th Sep 2017
2:57pm
Yes Raphael we all blame your mate Mal. Good luck with trying to blame someone else.
Raphael
15th Sep 2017
3:06pm
As usual Tib - nothing constructive to offer
Just leftie liberal
Government bashing
Roby
15th Sep 2017
3:35pm
There plenty of whingers on this websight who are all on welfare in other words bludgers or lifes failures. If you pay your own way you have no problem s
Tib
15th Sep 2017
3:41pm
As usual Raphael blaming other people for your mate Mal's decisions. This time you are blaming public servants. Any excuse will do for the crazy right.
Raphael
15th Sep 2017
3:41pm
Agree Roby
If everyone was like you,Oz would be the wealthiest and most respected nation on this planet
We should be setting an example to your kids . Instead judging from what we read here , some of these people have no doubt passed on the bludging mentality to their future generations
ozqueen
15th Sep 2017
5:02pm
People are blaming the government because they are the ones who create the system that wastes time and resources chasing people that a simple phone call - or a decent software system - would be able to eliminate. That would give them more time to chase the real cheats.
I was on Newstart for all of 3 months - half of which I paid back when I received my super pension that was backdated. So they effectively chased me for 6 weeks pay. Maybe if they started with long term "clients" they'd get better results.
TREBOR
15th Sep 2017
5:09pm
Cross checking between ATO and Centrelink etc has been in place for ages.. the problem here seems to have come about through the very poor programming of an automated system - by contractors... and that problem would seem to be that the calculations were taken over a twelve month period and then arbitrarily divided by 52 to arrive at a figure of 'entitlement' to Social Security.

Unfortunately that simply does not work when someone is on Unemployment or whatever for a part of the year and then finds work, since the average is blown out of the water.

Many of us saw that as the problem way back at the beginning, and it was a case of garbage programming in = garbage out.

Blame the contractors for utter stupidity - but I cannot but hold a certain suspicions that this bad programming was allowed to go past by the government and Centrelink honchoes in the hope of getting some to pay back what they did not owe, and thus laying the groundwork for that ridiculous 'right wing' idea that unemployment benefits, pensions and such should only be viewed as a loan.

Beware of freaks bearing grift..... and never lose sight of the simple reality that most such things are a try-out to see how far they can go before they start the next step towards their planned goal.

FDR said it - "In politics nothing happens by accident - if it happens at all, it was planned that way."

Thus we need only to look further forward down the path indicated to find the end-game.....
Rae
16th Sep 2017
1:12pm
No it's your wonderful private corporation contractors stuffing up over and over and being paid far to much.

Huge fines built into these contracts would possible encourage better outcomes for the tax payer.
ex PS
17th Sep 2017
3:13pm
Public Servants act on policy decisions, they do not make them, if a Public Servant acts in an adverse way to the public, it is because they have been instructed to do so by the government. Anyone who blames Public Servants for this type of activity is either ignorant or a government lackey.
floss
15th Sep 2017
1:19pm
What will Sludge and his polly mates do when they get old.I would like to be around.A comment from the mob that think the Libs can do no wrong would be interesting.I will not name them as we all know who they are. Perhaps a serving of humble pie may on the menu washed down with a good port and a cigar.
floss
15th Sep 2017
4:05pm
Roby the people in our street that are on a part pension are fine people and have worked hard all their life,they have paid their taxes and done the all right things and I would judge them to be much better Australians than you and Raphael,as you pair are very hard to like.
Roby
15th Sep 2017
4:20pm
They should have worked harder floss and paid there own way they are failures.
Raphael
15th Sep 2017
4:24pm
Floss
That's not nice what you say about me and Roby

I am talking about the centerlink debt issue and say it is the fault of the incompetent public servants in charge of the project who failed
Collecting debt from those who rorted the system is good policy and good governance
How can you fault the intention of this government
TREBOR
15th Sep 2017
5:13pm
I thought it was a very nice comment from floss... in view of the facts evident here.

Nobody faults the INTENTION - it is their actual operation that counts. I've long said that I am well aware that politicians etc are often nice people who care enough to want to change things for the positive etc - but I always respond by saying I judge them by the outcomes of their actions - not by their personal manner in public.

In most cases there is a huge disparity between their public image and the way they actually think, based on their outcomes...... which are clearly sociopathic and even psychopathic at times.
Tib
15th Sep 2017
5:15pm
Don't worry about these pair floss. Raphael and Roby are just a just a couple out of your typical right wing basket of deplorables.
Raphael
15th Sep 2017
7:19pm
"Basket of deplorables"

Again all you guys do is girl insults at those who speak the truth
You're selfish and only want handouts
you abuse those that that want this country led by thise who will implement good polices that are economically sustainable
Rainey
16th Sep 2017
3:05am
What a vile statement, Roby! You disgust me. I agree that some pensioners should have worked harder or saved harder, but vast numbers encountered hardship through no fault of their own. Victims of accidents didn't ask for disability that stopped them working. Some sick people brought on illness by lifestyle, but many were just unlucky in the gene lottery or suffered neglect or abuse I childhood that resulted I long term health issues. Those born with low intelligence deserve sympathy - not abuse! The educationally deprived earned a far more generous aged pension than they will ever receive - having sacrificed their physical and/or mental health labouring in dangerous, unhealthy, boring and frustrating jobs for minimum wages for decades.

Your cruelty and heartlessness makes you far, far worse than any Centrelink cheat. If I had my way, people who make statements like yours would be stripped of everything they own and forced to experience the hardship they condemn others for suffering.
Rainey
16th Sep 2017
1:56pm
Raphael, I fault the government for not stopping the program when it was exposed that inept public servants were stuffing up and causing hurt. Collecting debt from those who rort the system IS good policy, but allowing inept public servants to harass innocent people is BAD policy. And ultimately the buck stops at the top. You can't blame the employees if management isn't doing it's job.

The selfish people here are those who complain about people wanting fair pensions paid in accordance with law and ethical social rules. Pensions are NOT handouts. And everybody wants the country led by those who will implement good policy that is economically sustainable. The problem is that the LNP is NOT implementing good policy and is NOT implementing policy that is economically sustainable. It is persecuting the poor to give handouts to the rich. Just look at the question of university funding. Can't find $2.8 billion for quality higher education to drive future growth and innovation and ensure people are qualified for jobs. $65 billion for tax cuts for companies that already pay far too little? No problem at all!

Why are you not protesting the government's failure to address tax avoidance? Oh no! Just attack those who have no way of hitting back. Leave the selfish handout seeking well-to-do alone or they'll make vile threats of retaliation.

It's very clear who is selfish, and it isn't pensioners.
ex PS
17th Sep 2017
3:24pm
Roby, Raphael, I have lived and worked in the real world, doubt if you have. In the real world, how hard you work has very little to do with how you face retirement. The privileged have easy access to education and usually fall into jobs they don'y deserve through contacts through mummy and daddy. Those who don't have those contacts have to actually work for a living and no matter how hard they work have little chance of getting ahead, they find that the plumb jobs go to Pauline or Paul Pompemsby get the good positions because daddy went to school with the bosses daddy.
In this country hard work is not necessarily rewarded you can work hard all your life with no reward at the end of the day.
To say that if you have to live on an OAG, it is because you have not worked hard enough is the statement of a know nothing cretin.
There are many people out there who are retired comfortably that have never done a decent days work in their entire lives.
Rainey
18th Sep 2017
3:31am
Spot on, ex PS, but the elite will never admit that they don't EARN their comfort. They have to lie to themselves about who works and who earns and who deserves in order to justify the cruel and unfair society they have created and continue to support. They simply couldn't live with their guilt if they had to face reality.
TREBOR
21st Sep 2017
1:26am
Rainey - they wouldn't understand their guilt - they earned their way, don't you know? All those bludgers just wasted their life on piss and pokies....
BillF2
15th Sep 2017
4:27pm
Regardless of whether it is issued by a government or a private company, the 'robo-debt' letter, if not accurate to the last detail, amounts to fraud or blackmail, and falls into the same category as all other financial scams. Consequently, the person, or persons, responsible should be subject to the same legal penalties and hauled before the courts to answer for their crimes.
Raphael
15th Sep 2017
5:05pm
No it doesn't
Companies send statemenrs of accounts to IRS customers all the time
Customer checks it and may disputes tne amount owing by:
1. Providing evidence of Payment or
2. Disputing the charge in the first place and requesting proof of debt
Tib
15th Sep 2017
5:20pm
Yes Bill F2 the Liberal party are nothing but a bunch of thieving mongrels, and no amount of BS from Raphael will change that. The Australian public can see that that's why they are out at the next election.
heemskerk99
15th Sep 2017
6:33pm
seeing all the comments of trebor, labor mick must be on holidays and as usual allowed tremor, his second in command, to take over these columns for the labor party.
TREBOR
15th Sep 2017
6:56pm
My dear fellow - the Brigade of Guards and The Regiment specifically do not acknowledge any superiors - and if it did - you would certainly not be among them...

Mick and I have nothing to do with one another... often our views coincide.... but then - views often do that, since not everyone is a robot and most are somewhere in the middle ground between left and right and have a variety of views on different subjects.
Raphael
15th Sep 2017
7:16pm
Middle ground ? Hahahah
Rabid lefty socialists who support those who will drive this country bankrupt with their loonie economically disastrous Policies
Hawkeye
16th Sep 2017
12:20am
Raphael, you are a narcissistic little piece of work, aren't you.

And yes, companies do send out accounts all the time. However, if these accounts are not truthful and accurate, whether by design or by incompetence, they are fraudulent.
Hawkeye
16th Sep 2017
12:34am
And heemskerk99,
Why do all you far right Nazi's see Mick as a Labor man, when his mantra has always been to vote for Independents.

Is it that you are so one-eyed that you assume anyone who might disagree with your views must automatically support your Labor enemy?

I bet you now see me as a Labor stoolie, when I am actually a swinging voter. Trouble is, after the blatant lies and corruption of the Tony Abbott era, I doubt that I will ever vote LNP again.
ex PS
17th Sep 2017
3:31pm
If letters such as these were sent out by a private enterprise company there would be charges of false pretenses considered, why should the government be allowed to get away with it. Sending out invoices for goods not received is fraud.
Hawkeye, it is a well known strategy of the right and the Coaladdiction Party to label all opposition as left wing.
I have often been called a lefty because I call out the government for doing a bad job, even though I have a history of railing against both of the so called major parties. Not that i would see being called a lefty as a bad thing, it is just inaccurate.
Raphael
18th Sep 2017
12:24am
Ex PS
It's the governments role to enact good policy and IRS the independent public sectors job to ensure its implementation
You don't blame government for a poor judges perfeomance
Why do you then blame government for a uselwss public servant in charge of centerlink for poor implementation
The government should sack the idiots in the public sector on on lucrative taxpayer funded jobs who couldn't implement a simple straightforward and sound policy initiative
ex PS
18th Sep 2017
9:27am
Raphael, you show a distinct lack of knowledge of how the Public Service works. Department Heads are installed by governments and are chosen because they reflect the values and attitudes of that government , this is why they are all on contract and do not have permanent tenure. It is also why most department heads do not have jobs once a new government takes office.
In one thing you are right, the government enacts policy, the Public Servant acts on that policy, and that is what has happened here, the government would have been appraised of and would have approved the action taken by this department.
Are you saying that the boss is not responsible for the actions of their staff? If this is so the boss should not be the boss for very long, and that is exactly what is going to happen, too many promises and very little delivery from this mob of incompetents.
Rainey
19th Sep 2017
9:08am
So the government hired idiots and failed to sack them when their stupidity caused major problems, but it's not the Government's fault? That makes no sense at all, Raphael! It's like saying a business owner isn't to blame if his staff cheat customers. Of course he is. He hired them. He can sack them. He's 100% responsible for their performance. And the relevant Government minister is 100% responsible for the performance of staff who ''couldn't implement a simple straightforward and sound policy initiative''. And the PM is 100% responsible for not sacking the Minister.

But it wasn't a ''simple straightforward and sound policy'' was it? The methodology was seriously flawed - using annual income /12 instead of the income for the period in question. So it's the Government's fault AND it's the government's fault.
TREBOR
21st Sep 2017
1:32am
Your point has been borne out even by this 'government of the privileged', in the way they have made Head Office responsible for the actions of employees and franchisees.

Socialists all, that Liberal lot.....

They talk a different game and fudge the edges as much as they can - but the reality is that they know as well as you and I that without a responsible society that delivers a fair chance to workers and keeps its promises to retirees, there is no reliable economic activity.

Privatised roads and such are a glitch that is sucking too much OUT of the economy and returning too little and certainly returns nothing of genuine economic activity and growth .. people can, did, and could still get to work via the old road network ... one day soon even the 'right' will understand that.
ex PS
21st Sep 2017
9:34am
The government hires people to do their dirty work all the time, Toe Cutters" are often sent in to perform unpopular tasks such as cutting staff levels or implementing destructive policy. These people are hired and paid well above their pay grade with the knowledge that at the end of the day, they will be sacrificed in order for the government to save face.
These people are told to hang on to the bitter end, and in this way they deflect the heat away from the government. When it gets too hot the government will give the nod, the department head will move on and the government will say " Look we fixed the problem", people will have forgotten that it was the government that started the problem in the first place.
inextratime
19th Sep 2017
4:40pm
Raphael

Your logic is complete tosh. A football coach can tell his team to play a certain way, check them, correct them, educate them , punish them and guess what happens if they don't perform ? He gets sacked. But its not his fault !! Oh my goodness. If its not the governments fault these things happen then why do we pay them so much money ?? Why have politicians at all if they are not responsible for their departments ? Reminds me of the Naval officer in charge of a British frigate that ran aground near Norfolk Island a few years back. He was ashore at the time it happened. Guess who got court martialled ?
Rainey
20th Sep 2017
8:17am
I remember that. I also recall a fiasco in a country town some time back when the electricity authority (then the County Council) failed to connect power to someone who had paid a hefty fee to have lines run to his property and waited many months. The electrical engineer in charge said ''Not my fault. I only run this show. I'm not responsible for any stuff-ups.'' No doubt Raphael would support LNP politicians to make the same absurd claim.
TREBOR
21st Sep 2017
1:35am
Rafe is a zombie - nothing upstairs.... just ignore him. Most likely some jobless kid out for a stir and herh-herh-ing about how he canes those stupid oldies...

Herh-herh....
ex PS
21st Sep 2017
9:37am
I'd love a job where I was the boss but I could blame everybody else for my bad decisions, but I couldn't lower myself to get involved in politics.
Maybe Raphael should get his Mum to check his comments before he sends them out. She can do it while he is at school, or working at Maccas.


Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

  • Receive our daily enewsletter
  • Enter competitions
  • Comment on articles

you might also be interested in...

Is Centrelink checking your bank account?

Does Centrelink have the power to check your bank account? The answer may surprise you.

Income test limits for pensions

The CPI rise in pension payments is also reflected by an increase in the amount of income you can receive before you lose your pension completely.

Utility bills are on the rise

YOURLifeChoices shows how to reduce your power costs and make your life that little bit easier.

Increased asset test limits

Asset limits have been reviewed and increased in line with recent CPI pension increases.

Guide to Centrelink

YOURLifeChoices answer your questions on the Age Pension, Starting retirement and using Centrelink Online Services.