Written by Debbie McTaggart

54 Comments

Total Comments: 54
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    Of course they do! But my main worry with Centrelink is all the errors they make that disrupt innocent people lives and CENTRELINK expect the client to produce “all the paperwork” etc. to fix the problem their systems of operation cause! My 92 year old mother who has been on her pension for years and years just recently had to prove who she was because they got her name mixed up with someone else’s and she lost her pension and other benefits until my brother went into the local office with the papers (as her POA) to fix the problem! And that’s just one of many stuff ups they have made that I could name. We need an enquiry into Centrelink and a complete overhaul of this system that just is one big headache to everyone. I feel sorry for all those Centrelink workers on the other end of the phone, I bet more than half of them are waiting to find a more rewarding career. That’s my rant for the day:)

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      When I applied for the age pension I signed a piece of paper agreeing to C/L being able
      to check my accounts. Do not really see anything sinister in it. Had no trouble with the agency so far apart from having my card cancelled for being 3 days too long abroad; I did tell them before I left.

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      Just another example, gow, why Centrelink needs to NOT exist in the lives of Retirees especially as they get older.
      It is absolutely the time (with a Retirement Incomes Review to be started soon by the Treasurer) for all Retirees to hammer the politicians to scrap the Broken Age Pension system and implement Universal Age Pension (for all with NO tests, other than Age 65 yrs and Residency say 15 years) which can be easily paid out automatically by computer systems from the ATO at minimal cost compared to the massive Centrelink admin costs.

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      so pleased I have no interaction with them. It sound horrendous…how do elderly people get on with all the paperwork, change of circumstances etc etc.

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      agree with GeorgeM Universal Age Pension as gets rid of most of the centrelink bureaucratic back and forth processes like checking and interviewing people all the time. and govt will still get their tax largesse from the wealthier retirees via the tax system.
      We cant have the pollies missing out can we on all their obscene salaries,travel perks for life etc ??
      Scomo and the other pollies recent large increase in salary was inexplicable, he doesnt have much to spend it on; what with most daily incidentals being paid for, like meal allowances,travel etc etc.

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    AGREE, AGREE, AGREE, an enquiry into them would be wonderful to watch on the telly.
    I wont even start to list the fiascoes Iv’e had with them!

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      The proposed Retirement Incomes Review could instead be a Royal Commission into the treatment of Retirees Incomes, with special focus on Centrelink with their Robo-Debt system, massive failures to provide prompt service, Deeming Rates, punishing Assets Test, etc, etc!

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    Banks report interest paid to the ATO as a matter of routine.
    ATO shares data with Centrelink.

    If you’re getting the interest you must have the capital.

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      Superannuation funds also report to Centrelink both the capital and any pension payment. You can’t hide income. Also transactions over $10,000 must be reported by banks to AUSTRAC who share with Centrelink and others.

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      …there has to be some sort of check! I am sure many of us know of someone who rorts the system.

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      Sundays – the $10,000 and over transactions are only cash over the counter transactions not say a withdrawal from one account and placed in another account.

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    if your doing the right thing then you shouldn’t have to worry about anything

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      True you shouldn’t have to worry but recent history has shown that Centrelink has made errors. This probably is related to cutbacks made by the Government to Centrelink funding to the point that contractors were hired to ease some of the workload of the Centrelink employees. This apparently hasn’t worked out too well as the contractors did have the knowledge to be able to do the job properly. Also since they were not Government employees and subject to the Government’s employment conditions on privacy one wonders about them having access to all our personal data.

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      True you shouldn’t have to worry but recent history has shown that Centrelink has made errors. This probably is related to cutbacks made by the Government to Centrelink funding to the point that contractors were hired to ease some of the workload of the Centrelink employees. This apparently hasn’t worked out too well as the contractors did have the knowledge to be able to do the job properly. Also since they were not Government employees and subject to the Government’s employment conditions on privacy one wonders about them having access to all our personal data.

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      That’s a dumb comment, miss marple, considering the massive failures by Centrelink services including their nasty, one-sided and defective Robo-Debt system implementation which assumed people are guilty until proved innocent.

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      And your comment is very rude and unnecessary, GeorgeM.

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      Agree GeorgeM. Even when people have done the right thing centrlink won’t

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      Not at all, Triss, my response was in proportion to the comment which was ignorant and insensitive to the many people wrongly victimised. I explained it as well.

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      About time the pollies did “the right thing” and recognise their obscene salaries and benefits will cause problems down the track as people get more and more pissed off !!

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    I had , what I consider a strange expereience , when I made a withdrawal for the cost of my wife joining some friends on a holiday Interstate a few years ago . I casually mentioned to the Bank Teller young Lady that I make this higher than usual withdrawal to pay for the wife,s holiday . She immediately replied , we have to report this to Centrelink because all overseas trips must be reported to them by us . I could not believe it at the time and said to her , you do not seriously expect someone to go on an overseas trip with the comparatively small amount I am withdrawing for a 7 day holiday Interstate . Obviously she was not the brightest and was nonplussed . So now we know what may go on behind the scenes and we should not know about .
    Also at another time , when I confirmed my Bank balance with Centrelink , I gained the impression they already knew it .
    Maybe not all Banks are providing this info readily to them and it would be interesting to hear from others about a similar experience .

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      Sorry that’s just rubbish – the Bank Teller, the most junior member of the branch would not know the facts, she’s getting confused with something else.

      Banks DO NOT report transaction between accounts or Bank Cheques issued, the only reported transactions are those that are CASH over the counter – it’s reported to AUSTRAC who keeps track of cash transactions for illegal activities like money laundering. The can can also report any suspect transactions like someone coming in everyday depositing $5,000 even though it’s under the $10,000 limit it’s regular and may be seen as suspect.

      Banks also report overseas electronic transfers of any amount as a matter of course.

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      @Oldman Roo

      I don’t doubt you (Olman Roo) for a moment.

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    “Centrelink will issue an Account Payable letter explaining how much is owed, why it’s owed, when it’s due and how it can be repaid” I thought centrelink basically didn’t need to explain why, just issue a robodebt and demand payment even if the debt wasn’t real.

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    I got this message in my MyGov postbox today
    Hi,

    The way you get your payment summary information is changing.

    Your end-of-year payment summary information, now called an income statement, will be available through myGov for you or your tax agent.

    It’s important to wait until your employer marks your information as tax ready before your tax return is lodged. Most employers have until 31 July to do this, and we’ll send a message to your myGov Inbox when it is tax ready.

    If you lodge your tax return before your income statement is tax ready, you may need to lodge an amendment. In some cases, additional tax and interest may be payable.

    If you have more than one job, your other employers may still need to provide you with a payment summary. Make sure all income is included when lodging your tax return.

    This change is because many employers are now required to report pay and super information direct to us each pay day. All employers will eventually report this way.

    Regards,

    Commissioner of Taxation

    This will enable Robodebt to actually get real figures for their calculations

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      That’s clearly from ATO, not Centrelink. Robodebt is operated by Centrelink, not ATO.

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      That is from the ATO and not from CentreLink and anybody who is registered with MyGov and linked to the ATO will get that notice. Even a 30 year old brickie who is working full time as long as he is registered with MyGov with the ATO linked account.

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      George, Robodebt compared income reported by you to Centrelink with income reported to the ATO by your employer/s. The reason this did not work is because the ATO only had your annual income and Centrelink’s Robodebt averaged that over the year as equal fortnightly payments. With the ATO now having your wages reported each pay and providing that information to Robodebt, Robodebt will get close to working.

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      Thanks, Theo, for the clarification, however the letter did not say that or make any such promise for the future.
      Until they get RoboDebt completely right (within say .05% accuracy), the RoboDebt system must be suspended – as the Senate recommended.

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    Centrelink has already said that as part of Robo-Debt recovery that they can and will Gafnishee bank accounts.they havealso taken peoples Tax Returns.and have the power to stop people leaving the country.

    Rob101

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    Just to clarify, you need to advise Centrelink within 14 days if your assets vary by $1000 or more.

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      I thought it was $2000 or more?

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      grumpy – is $1000. Which is just ridiculous. A few years ago, I sold my horse float, so had to advise them. Few months later, sold big car. Then bought smaller car, plus also helped pay for my daughters car. Next time I need to do this, I won’t bother, it is just so stupidly low. It is nothing to take out $1000 to pay bills. Is just so time wasting for both CL and people.

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      In March I paid our health insurance premium for the full year so saving the 5% or so price increase, was $5237. Never reported that as it was clearly marked in the account statement where the money went to. Maybe taking the amount out in cash might be reportable, never took that amount out. My debit card limit is high for purchases but goes only to $1000 per day for cash.

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      My paperwork here says $2000! A mate went to see them after getting $2300 on the horses and was told to go away as next week he might turn up to report the loss of $3000 again. They told him they were not interested in gambling wins only recurring incomes and windfalls like big lottery wins etc.

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      agree with sunnyoz. many bills are now over $1000 like council rates, health insure etc

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    It’s taxpayers’ money, for which I’m grateful. I’m quite happy for them to check and see if I really need it.

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