Government says it has no duty of care for welfare recipients

Government admits to illegality of robo-debt system, but says it owes no one any duty of care.

centrelink signs

The government claims it does not owe welfare recipients a duty of care over the robo-debt scandal, and denies any recipients caught up in the illegal scheme were placed under duress.

The Coalition admits that some debts were based on false assumptions, and that debts issued using tax office income summaries could “not be validly established” under the law. It is refusing to release to a Senate inquiry the legal advice it received about the legality of the scheme.

Confidential emails between tax office officials were provided to a Senate committee earlier this month. They revealed the Department of Social Services had received legal advice that thousands of debts raised were “not lawful debts” and that Coalition knew its robo-debt scheme was unenforceable up to three years before it said it would abandon the practice.

However, documents obtained by Guardian Australia, reveal that the government says it “should not be required to pay compensation because social security law makes no mention of a need to exercise ‘due or reasonable care’.”

The federal court has already ruled the scheme unlawful. The government has admitted it potentially issued thousands of invalid debts where Centrelink sought repayments from people based solely on income averaging – or the agency’s estimate of a person’s employment earnings.

The government has already admitted that, in some cases, income averaging was not “the same as their actual fortnightly income, and was not necessarily referable to or indicative of their actual income in any fortnight”, and that the “fortnightly income assumption” relied on by Centrelink “was false”.

More than 600,000 debts were issued under the robo-debt scheme. A review is under way to find out how many of these debts were raised after the government said it would abandon the practice.

Still, the Commonwealth claims that, under social security law, it holds no duty of care and that its methods of debt recovery “do not amount to duress”.

This is despite data released by the Department of Human Services (DHS) that shows more than 2030 people have died after receiving a Centrelink debt notice However, DHS does not collect data on cause of death, so it was unable to say how many of those people died as a result of self-harm.

“Any suggestion that the Department of Human Services' debt recovery efforts have contributed to customer deaths is simply not supported by the facts or statistics,” said a DHS spokesperson.

“The department sent more than 900,000 debt letters to individuals during the period 1 July 2016 to 31 October 2018. A total of 2030 of those individuals died during the same period, which represents 0.21 per cent.

“Any number of factors in an individual's life could have contributed to their death … and it would be foolhardy to draw a link to one particular cause without evidence to support such a claim.”

Gordon Legal, the legal team in charge of the current class action against Centrelink, is seeking compensation, potentially with interest, for the distress and inconvenience caused to alleged victims from unlawful debts issued without evidence.

People affected by the robo-debt program were “vulnerable to any unlawful or unreasonable exercise”, and had “insufficient resources, knowledge or capacity to question, challenge or demonstrate the falsity of the valid debt beliefs”, says the law firm

The government recovered money from debt recipients under “duress” and should have foreseen that issuing and enforcing debts would “cause significant concern, stress, anxiety and stigma” and could cause “financial hardship”, the statement of claim says.

Do you think the government owes welfare recipients a duty of care? Should it be accountable for the duress these unlawful debt notices may have caused?

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COMMENTS

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Retiring Well
18th Feb 2020
10:49am
If your taxable income is greater than what you told Centrelink then you deserve to be prosecuted.

I don't know one person on welfare that is completely honest. Welfare cheating seems to be the national pastime these days.
Tanker
18th Feb 2020
10:52am
Cheating on Taxes is the National Sport and it is harder to cheat on Welfare claims.
Joy Anne
18th Feb 2020
10:58am
Not all are cheating. Most are honest. I think that the ones that cheat should be prosecuted but then again Centrelink need to ensure all details are correct and not tell the recipents thst they have to prove. They do have a duty of care and hope some people SUE them for wrongful robodebt.
Mariner
18th Feb 2020
10:59am
Only really started when income and asset testing came in. You could stop most of that happening if you gave all oldies a pension, tax it and all other income combined, cash in hand would probably not be interesting any longer, unnecessary upgrades of owner homes would decline; and most importantly of all, all the asset and income testers (robo-debt creators) could be employed elsewhere.
tango18
18th Feb 2020
11:19am
I'm sorry you must have so many dishonest friends. I'm on the age pension and have never cheated and I don't see any way I could either. I don't personally know of any cheats on the full age pension, but from things said, I suspect a couple who are on a part pension are not completely honest. So maybe taking away the assets test would help these people be honest. But then again, they might try to fiddle their tax, as so many people seem to think it's OK to cheat on taxes.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
11:34am
The biggest cheats in this country are all those Billionaires and corporations not paying tax.

They donate to political parties to keep the legal loopholes open. They contribute to corruption amongst politicians.

Close the legal loopholes and all donations to political parties. They are immoral and criminal.
Sen.Cit.90
18th Feb 2020
11:47am
I simply endorse the comments of tango 18, that I read above.
sainter
18th Feb 2020
12:09pm
Totally agree with you Jackie,there seems to be this rubbish spread by this Govt that people on welfare are cheating,yet the biggest cheats of all are the coprts that pay little or no tax and everything fine,this Govt are the most anti welfare Govt when it comes to the ordinary every day citizen.
sainter
18th Feb 2020
12:09pm
Totally agree with you Jackie,there seems to be this rubbish spread by this Govt that people on welfare are cheating,yet the biggest cheats of all are the coprts that pay little or no tax and everything fine,this Govt are the most anti welfare Govt when it comes to the ordinary every day citizen.
marls
18th Feb 2020
12:27pm
Retiring well
That’s not how the system works it’s about reporting your earnings fortnight as required by Centrelink but as in the case of my daughter you end up with a full time job of during that financial year of course your group certification will be higher but your reporting fortnight was correct my daughter was asked to provide pay slips seven years later it was not possible as her workplace closed down she’s been told she will get her money back from Centrelink maybe in a few years time
KSS
18th Feb 2020
12:52pm
Maris, that is precisely the reason why everyone is expected to retain 7 years financial records. Even the ATO can go back 7 years and ask you to provide records to substantiate touor tax return for example. Had your daughter done so, there would have been no issue with the former employer going out of business.

It's all too easy to blame everyone else, but there is also such a thing as personal responsibility, something sadly lacking in these days of victimhood and entitlement.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
1:52pm
2 of the biggest moronic comments from RW. People report fortnightly income, not taxable income, to Centrelink. The 2nd comment is just a provocative lie from a dishonest person.

jackie's comments are spot on. the Govt needs to go after the big corporations and the rich who are avoiding paying reasonable taxes, without apologies. It is very simple to implement Minimum Taxes all must pay based only on Gross Income and local verifiable expenses.
BOTH Labor & Liberal party candidates need to be thrown out by the electors till they do this.
HGDEE2020
18th Feb 2020
5:07pm
KSS - victimhood & entitlement you say.... maybe you need to know the facts instead of jumping to name calling.. yes the 7 year rule for finances is what everyone should do. I was caught up in the Robodebt debacle & there was no one else to blame but whoever was managing the Robodebt process. I was working as a casual at the ATO. so yes I am very familiar with the 7 years for financial records. When I got my debt notice, I knew I had reported my income correctly. Another thing, the media fails to explain is that Centrelink must have been instructed to NOT to explain how over the phone how the debt was calculated. that only happened much later. I had to ask for my centrelink account records, then I could see how it was calculated. I called them & explained my casual employment & my reporting was correct. no one listened or cared, I was told the debt was correct as the payment summary dates were from 1 July to 30 June. To me the dates were correct as I was employed on & off throughout that period & my contract covered that period. I was then told I would have to get a correct payment summary. So Centrelink staff were telling me the ATO did not know how to complete a payment summary. luckily I was still working with the ATO & was able to print out every payslip for that year, even the ones that were NIL as I was not working for weeks or months sometimes. who kept payslips for 7 years? & that is how a lot people could not prove the robodebt was incorrect. Centrelink did not accept any explanation until they got the payslips. It was a stressful for several months until the debt was reviewed. I got no apology, just to say my account,the debt, was cleared. I then asked for a copy of my account & it actually says debt repaid. so even the way that was recorded is incorrect. it looked like I did owe the money & paid it. I was fortunate, even though I was one of the first to get caught up with the Robodebt, I eventually worked out how I could prove my innocence, with documents, & it is something I should never had to do. I wonder how being labelled "a fraudster" & 'guilty' would sit with you & others commenting here.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:14pm
I take it RW that you apply that to all those forced to give an estimate before they are paid for work?
cupoftea
18th Feb 2020
9:22pm
I will do what ever I can to rort the system
Rae
19th Feb 2020
7:50am
The pay slips may not even be correct these days. Isn't it wonderful we have arrived in a time where the Treasury, RBA, banks, ATO, Centrelink and payroll offices across the country can't get the maths right even with computers to help with calculations.
Retiring Well
23rd Feb 2020
11:18am
I had a job as an internal auditor many years ago now and they made me redundant and appointed outside auditors. My redundancy pay worked out incorrectly in my favour but never picked up. I didn't say anything because they had just taken away the job of the person who would have picked it up.
Tanker
18th Feb 2020
10:50am
Disgraceful behaviour by the government and an abdication of their responsibilities.
They have the audacity to be shortly introducing a so called Integrity Bill into Parliament aimed at Trade Union behaviour while they themselves don't know the meaning of Integrity.
Joy Anne
18th Feb 2020
10:58am
Total agree they have no integrity.
ray @ Bondi
18th Feb 2020
1:20pm
here here, you are 100% correct, multinationals and politcians rort the system for every cent.
Farside
18th Feb 2020
2:54pm
What does and does not constitute disgraceful behaviour by a pollie is a judgement call but for most voters is not a blot that prevents his or her reelection. The next election will once again show that audacity and lack of integrity are also not barriers to being elected. I'm not sure what exactly are the abdicated responsibilities but I guess they are not hangable offences.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
3:38pm
What else can you expect from a government that let the country burn, and then, as the fires were closing down, said they'd obtain the water bombers recommended two years ago, and even then only after pressure from yours truly in seeking to set up a private fundraiser to buy and operate these aircraft, and after I set out to recruit Andrew Constance.

These politician people live in Fantasyland - and with their comfy seat warming at $4-5K plus all found a week - how the hell would they know or care about the peasantry?

They should all exist on a salary equal to unemployment benefit and refund of certified costs.
Patriot
18th Feb 2020
10:51am
That's Corporate Australia - registered with the USofA Securities commission for you.

Why have they cancelled the Commonwealth of Australia - the one that adhered to the Australian Commonwealth Constitution 1901.

Is it time to get ANGRY yet???
Joy Anne
18th Feb 2020
10:59am
Definitely yes
rtrish
18th Feb 2020
11:47am
Absolutely yes. I did not think it could get any worse - apart from putting everyone on the INDUE card. But our government saying they have no duty of care to its citizens? That’s shocking.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:18pm
Kinda reminds of Scotty and the comment about firefighters - the one so easily misread....

"Do you think volunteer fire fighters should be paid for their time off work?"

"They're there because they want to be..."

Never make a half-statement, Scotty - it makes you look more of an idiot than usual.

I also wrote to him about a medal for the firefighters etc... I'm not in line for one since I only did relief to burnout victims work. Don't want it anyway... it's for those who sweated on the front lines.

18th Feb 2020
10:54am
Just typical of this verminous Lieberal-NAZIonal Coalition. They don't give two hoots about welfare recipients, and the only duty of care they have is towards their rich mates and big business. How were we so stupid as to vote these bastards into government?
Joy Anne
18th Feb 2020
11:00am
Totally agree. I did not vote for them. We have no choice whilst preferences are continued.
Argus
18th Feb 2020
11:49am
I gather the Ïntellego" has no reference to intelligence because obviously if you would prefer to have a bunch of Commies/Socialists like the current Labor mob running the Country then its obvious where your brain is located.
Lookfar
18th Feb 2020
12:33pm
Everybody and every legal organisation in Australia has a duty of care, (The Law of Torts, = A has a duty to B, to take care) - the Australian legal system is based on the English legal system, ie the Law of Torts, - it is THE one thing that distinguishes Aristocratic Government (Rule by Kings) from Democratic Govenment, (rule by the People).
The only thing that can extinguish Duty of Care, is a specific act of parliament passed by a legal act of Government on a specific isue, and, because it concerns the Constitution, must have a referendum "a general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision."
To my knowledge, there has never been a referendum that extinguishes duty of care for all members of parliament for no particular reason that has passed, - or even attempted to be passed.
Anyone with knowledge to the contrary?
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:20pm
I'm glad you said' legal act of Government', Lookfar... now then - what about some of those other pieces of legislation, policy and regulation that failed the test of Rule of Law requirements?

That's why I put together a dissertation on the very real differences between legislation, law and Law... think it through... then there is regulation and policy .....

ALL must abide by the Rule of Law...... or they fall at the first hurdle... their first post becomes their last post...
ex PS
20th Feb 2020
9:07am
Hmm, a choice between commie socialists and nazi fascists.
Well the nazi fascists have made a total cock up of the job.
Maybe time to give the commie socialists a go.
You can name call and make up stories if future gloom and doom all you like, none of it makes much difference to the present reality
Only losers continue to vote for losers well after they have proven their corruption and incompetence.
It seems the only criteria some voters have is the colour of a pollies tie.
tisme
18th Feb 2020
10:54am
making false accusations isn't illegal ?? the laws are soft on criminals cos the laws are made by crooks im a carer im not on welfare i work bloody hard for the 3.00 an hour they pay me i see slavery isn't illegal either

18th Feb 2020
10:57am
"Do you think the government owes welfare recipients a duty of care? Should it be accountable for the duress these unlawful debt notices may have caused?"

Yes and YES!!!
Retiring Well
18th Feb 2020
11:33am
No No No
Lookfar
18th Feb 2020
12:45pm
yes Intelligo, although, strictly speaking people on the pension are not welfare recipients because there was set up, in - what? 1912? a system that took app. 7% from everybodies' wages to support them in their old age.
That 7% is still being removed from everybodies' wages although the Govt seems to spend it as if it was General Revenue, then try to not pay pensions, an act of budgetary deceit or perhaps better described as banditry? that if it were properly researched by a Royal Commission with proper legal powers, would end tomorrow.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
12:46pm
Agree, intellego, YES and YES. No Govt should exist if they don't feel the duty of care.
That is a stupid defence, and all power to Gordon Legal to push this case to the maximum at the High Court level.

ALL people who died, and those with their health affected (confirmed by a simple letter from their GPs), should be compensated by the Govt so that such lack of care is never shown again by any Govt in future.
Viking
18th Feb 2020
1:53pm
Retiring Well. Sorry but you are wrong! Whatever way you look at it the public servants working at Centrelink have a duty of care to ensure that public funds are correctly and appropriately expended and accounted for. They thus have a duty of care to ensure that welfare recipients are initially not overpaid at the expense of the public purse while also burdening recipients with debt. Where.overpayment is detected, Centerlink has a duty of care to the government and recipients to ensure recovery in a fair and equitable manner.
Farside
18th Feb 2020
3:05pm
@Viking, the public servants have a responsibility to perform their jobs however that does not constitute a duty of care to Centrelink recipients. They must exercise due diligence to ensure public monies are accurately paid and do everything to recover overpayments. The kicker is the phrase "in a fair and equitable manner", just as "on just terms" was pivotal in The Castle.
Viking
18th Feb 2020
7:59pm
Farside, I belive Centrelink refers to its recipients as 'clients.' The definition of a client is a person or body who seeks professional advice and a person to whom an organisation is responsible. Providing advice incurs a a legal duty of care. It is likely that a court would find on either definition that Centrelink has a duty of care.
Centrelink is a Commonwealth government agency. No less than (some would say no more than) the Prime Minister himself says "the prime responsibility of the Government is to protect all Australians." Protecting all Australians infers a duty of care.
Farside
19th Feb 2020
12:25am
Viking, it is always a possibility the courts might eventually rule Centrelink owes a duty of care. I suspect however that any such ruling is unlikely to extend to holding public service employees have been negligent, and thereby providing an actionable cause.

As for the protecting all Australians inferring a duty of care, I have it in writing from two ministers that families of ADF members are not owed a duty of care while being transferred between postings.
Viking
19th Feb 2020
11:37am
Farside, that figures, the LNP would not have sent our forces to three unwinnable, unjustified wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan (four if you include the Korean war unwon) if it thought it had a duty of care to our troops. If you want us to engage in an unwinnable war or find an external enemy (Reds under the beds, terrorism, refugees created by our own action in Middle East etc) to divert attention from internal problems, vote LNP.
Farside
19th Feb 2020
3:34pm
Viking, the minister said they had a duty of care to members during transfers, just not their families. War times are different and all bets are off courtesy of the Defence Act as Eddy mentioned elsewhere in this discussion.
ex PS
20th Feb 2020
9:28am
Government Departments are obliged to act on behalf of the government and to uphold the Policies put forward by that government.
The government sets the rules and legislates to ensure these Departments act in a way that reflects the Governments stategies.
The government Minister is suposed fo oversee the operations of his Departments to ensure that government priorities are met.
If an organ grinder teaches his monkey to steal, or that monkey isn't controlled and bites someone, do you blame the monkey, or the organ grinder?
If you deal with the public, you have aduty of care to ensure fair and impartial service. If you are a government, you have a duty of care to ensure that your employees have the right processes and resources to do so.
I was in the Public Service for twenty years, my Department started to fall apart when the government introduced a system of affording clients gold,silver or bronze service depending on the type of service required. Before that all clients were equally important. This innitiative was not driven by the Department Head, it came from the government.
The purpose was not to provide more efficient service, it was a way of cutting service times and ultimatley cutting staff.
Karen
23rd Feb 2020
12:37am
Yes, yes, yes. Pension paid for is pension earned.
deepred
18th Feb 2020
10:57am
I think its reasonable for anyone receiving other taxpayers' money (it's not the Government's money) to provide some reasonable evidence they're eligible to receive whatever welfare they're receiving.
Mariner
18th Feb 2020
11:09am
Some of us still do not call the pension welfare, rather a reward for a 45-50 year hard slog. People who have looked after their families and built up a modest nest egg should be entitled to be a little better off than the person having wasted every penny. People should not be forced into cheating behaviour. Getting rid of that stupid deeming would be a start - might bring it back when we are getting a decent return on the money again. Just got a note from the bank that we will be getting 1.25% for a 6 month investment. Credit card still says 21% (always paid in full mind you!)
Tanker
18th Feb 2020
11:09am
That is totally missing the point that this issue is about the Robodebt scandal not about people deliberately defrauding welfare payments.
Tanker
18th Feb 2020
11:09am
That is totally missing the point that this issue is about the Robodebt scandal not about people deliberately defrauding welfare payments.
older&wiser
18th Feb 2020
11:29am
Deepred - you are missing a vital point.
It's not just up to people to provide valid evidence to receive any Welfare payment.

It is also the government's (read that Centrelink, Department of Human Services, who ever) responsibility to calculate any payments correctly. I have personally experienced this twice in the past 4 years.

First - my elderly aunt and uncle lived across the road from me - they practically raised me, so were more parents to me. When my uncle became too incapacitated, he moved to a nursing home. My aunt - being in her early 80's, and wouldn't even know how to turn on a computer - had me as her nominated contact person to deal with nearly everything...Centrelink, power and phone provider, etc. I won't say I am an expert but having worked in senior administration and accounting for most of my life, I did know my way around all the forms provided. Otherwise we would go to our CL office, luckily only 1.5kms away.
When my uncle subsequently passed away, my aunt was in tears to receive a letter stating she owed CL $2,865. Trying to find out why, and what for, was a nightmare. It really is like getting blood out of a stone. I spent hours on this, but luckily I had kept every single little paperwork we had, plus a full record of phone calls.
In the end, the so called debt was cancelled, only after I was able to answer every single one of their accusations and comments, but it was a grueling, tedious and time consuming job. That should NOT have happened. What we DID find that when my uncle went to the nursing home, they both then went on the single person's aged pension. For some reason - someone somewhere had not ticked the right box, or entered the wrong date. It was only when a helpful neighbor who happened to be a solicitor wrote and stated we were taking this to the Administrative Appeals Board, was the matter dropped.

Second - was with me personally. The very week I went onto the Aged Pension, I was offered a part time job, 2 days a week. I spent considerable time going into the CL office to advise them of this, and to say I would be working F/T the first week for training. A few weeks later I noticed I had not received my part pension - no contact from them. So again, off to deal CL office (thank god it was nearby!) It soon became apparent that the first time sheet (hours/wages earned) I lodged on line through the MyGov - for 1 week F/T and 2 days worked - they took this whole TOTAL wage as my normal weekly wage!
This was not MY error - this was THEIR error, but I was treated like a criminal and they tried to do everything to drag it out, constantly saying my matter needed to be re-assessed. It took just on 13 weeks to sort it out, before they amended it, and paid me a backpay - which was hugely underpaid. Again, they did not have to provide me with a breakdown of this back payment. What I went through was so bad - I chose to chuck in my job (that I wanted) as I simply could not trust CL to get it right, and not hit me with a robodebt in X years.

I don't know anyone who has been in trouble for deliberately giving CL false information, but I sure know plenty of people who have had nothing but trouble with CL stuffing up their correct entitlements.
Eddy
18th Feb 2020
2:01pm
Agree Deepred, but it depends what you call 'reasonable evidence'. Presumably when 'they' applied for 'taxpayers' assistance they did provide 'reasonable evidence' and the assistance was granted. The problem appears to be that CentreLink, which uses fortnightly income, data matched with the tax office who use annual income. Like comparing apples with oranges, does not work. It appears CentreLink did not exercise duty of care with RoboDebt.
The question is does the government have a 'duty of care' to those with which it deals, I certainly believe so. I understand that 'duty of care' is part of common law, if an act does not specifically exclude duty of care then duty of care applies under that common law. As far as I am aware only one act specifically excludes 'duty of care' and that is the Defence Act which excludes the government from duty of care to sailors, soldiers and airmen on active service. Therefore a member of the Navy, Army or Air Force cannot sue the government for injuries sustained in wartime or war-like events.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:29pm
"Therefore a member of the Navy, Army or Air Force cannot sue the government for injuries sustained in wartime or war-like events. "

Indeed - and that makes claims sometimes difficult.... let me place a proposition to you :-

Perhaps governments does not have a duty of care absolute to protect from injury in those situations - such a thing is impossible given the nature of the work... but it does have a duty of care to ensure full and proper dealing with claims arising from those events under the rules... including training accidents such as happened to a young troop I know in a parachute demonstration accident, and another SAS trooper on a HALO practice jump who hit the ground hard and busted both legs badly .... there is no excuse for delaying and impeding those kinds of claims, budgets be damned.

Another issue is a duty of care to not frivolously place their troops in harm's way, via unfounded declarations of hostilities, and by ensuring that those who oversee these things are the very best.
Eddy
18th Feb 2020
11:38pm
Houdini, I did not say no compensation is payable for injuries received while in service, I wrote that the government has no duty of care for the military. Nowadays the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act provides compensation payments. I myself receive fortnightly compensation payments under the predecessor to MRCA, the Veterans Entitlement Act. The big difference between VEA and MRCA is the MRCA also covers volunteer organisations like Red Cross and Salvation Army and entertainers in war zones. In the circumstances you describe a serving member would receive free medical care and unlimited sick leave. At the cessation of their service, would be entitled to make a claim. Most people I know who received VEA or MRCA had their claims processed quickly and backdated to their claim date.
Anonymous
19th Feb 2020
8:36pm
I know, Eddy - I wasn't challenging your basic position - just suggesting that there are many ways of government and its bodies... one is delay.

I know several who have had difficulty in \ claims for non-active service injuries.
Karen
23rd Feb 2020
12:38am
deepred, you are wishing to ask your grandparents how they justify receiving a pension?

Only I ask here... you answer?
tango18
18th Feb 2020
11:12am
If this Government thinks it doesn't have a duty of care to ALL Australians, then it's time we replaced them with a Government that does!!
Arvo
18th Feb 2020
11:55am
That's what Labor and Shorten believed would happen at last election, it didn't!!
Argus
18th Feb 2020
11:57am
And what do you propose, replace them with Labor/Greens. That would be a brilliant move if you wanted the country to end up the same as Venezuela.
Farside
18th Feb 2020
3:11pm
had an election less than a year ago, so not replacing them anytime soon.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
3:41pm
It's not Labor's economic management that is untrustworthy - it is their social management that we all know will bring us to disaster - especially when their leaders addresses a meeting as 'Comrades'.....
Rae
19th Feb 2020
8:01am
It's a bitch of a choice, corporate fascists and privateers and thieves of public funds in one corner and comrades in the other corner.

Possibly time to not trust or be dependent on either Party.
Farside
19th Feb 2020
3:43pm
Rae, sadly voting choices have been reduced to a Morton's Fork
Arvo
23rd Feb 2020
4:00pm
Rae- " corporate fascists and privateers and thieves of public funds in one corner and comrades in the other corner"
Let's amend the latter part to, "self-serving, corrupt comrades of public funds in the other corner".
ollie
18th Feb 2020
11:13am
What do they do about the victims who have taken their lives another kick in the guts for the most vulnerable by a government who does not care about democracy or all Australians
KSS
18th Feb 2020
1:04pm
ollie, where is the evvidence that even a single person took their own life directly and solely as a result of receiving a Robodebt letter?

2030 people are reported to have died during the Robodebt era but there is no evidence presented why or how. This is just sensationalist inuendo by lawyers with a vested interest.
ollie
18th Feb 2020
2:27pm
So kss you believe that none of the 2030 took their own lives because of Robodept if only one of these people died because of anxiety and stress caused by this unlawful and criminal act then it is one too many you obviously dont know much about people suffering mental health people have taken their lives for a lot less than robodept. On a current affair last year a woman lost her son after one of these letters she told of the anxiety he suffered try telling her that robodebt had nothing to do with it
KSS
18th Feb 2020
2:58pm
ollie you have absolutely no idea what I think. I am asking for the evidence, not inuendo from those with vested interests or reporters with a bent for the sensational.
Sundays
18th Feb 2020
4:35pm
Well KSS, I’d like to know whether you think the Government via Centrelink has a Duty of Care to those unfairly targeted in the Robodebt affair. That is the real question because the stress they were subjected to would have been enormous
ollie
18th Feb 2020
4:44pm
KSS A woman losing her son and seeing what he went through is enough proof for most people. I cant understand people like you who are sticking up for a mob that broke the law to rip people off its called extortion THEY BROKE THE LAW they unlawfully and knowingly stole money from the vulnerable.
KSS
18th Feb 2020
7:45pm
ollie I am not sticking up for anyone or anything. I am simply asking for evidence not anecdotes or opinion of the assertion that 2030 committed suicide purely as a result of a letter from Centrelink as is being implied in the article. Not an unreasonable request. Obviously you cannot provide same.
ex PS
20th Feb 2020
9:47am
KSS, why the unreasonable hangup about evidence. After all we have just had a Coal Addiction pollie tell us that Climate Change had nothing to do with bush fires, he seemed quite satisfied that their was no need to have evidence to back his statement up.
I know that if I drop something in my
kitchen it will fall downwards untill it hits the floor or a bench. This falling is caused by gravity, I have no evidence of this other than at some stage somebody, probably a teacher, told me it was so.
There are some things that require solid evidence such as the probity of directing funds in the way of grants to taxpayers. Other things such as the impact of putting vulnerable people under stress by introducing invasive illegal debt recovery strategies into their lives is self evident.
It has become apparent that this incompetent, unethical government will stop at nothing in order to give the appearance that they have achieved their false surpluss, if a few vulnerable citizens have to suffer in the process, so be it.
Farside
23rd Feb 2020
6:16pm
KSS is right to ask for evidence ... cause and correlation are quite different. Fact is people die for any number of reasons and at different stages of their lives. It is scarcely surprising that some people who received notices would die.

How did they die? It was reported that nearly a third of the 2030 deaths - 663 people - were classified as "vulnerable", which means they already had complex needs like mental illness, drug use or were victims of domestic violence. Is there evidence or coronial finding that receipt of the notice or subsequent action was responsible for the death?
ollie
18th Feb 2020
11:19am
I dont know a government that is completely honest but i will say that this current mob is more corrupt that most and yes if you rip off a system then you should be prosecuted but the law is you are innocent until proven guilty or at least that is how it used to work
ollie
18th Feb 2020
11:19am
I dont know a government that is completely honest but i will say that this current mob is more corrupt that most and yes if you rip off a system then you should be prosecuted but the law is you are innocent until proven guilty or at least that is how it used to work
johnp
18th Feb 2020
11:22am
The government only gives a duty of care to themselves; i.e. the politicians and no-one else !! Both the LNP and Labor are like the nazis. The LNP got in power thu lying, cheating, bullying and conniving. Labor lost cos they are like the bumbling guards in hogans heroes - were unable to explain their policies clearly !!
Mariner
18th Feb 2020
3:18pm
LNP and ALP are NOT like the Nazis: the Nazis have an election and then no more after they won. Same for the Commos. At least we can go and vote them out in this country. Never compare the totalitarian states with Australia unless you have been.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:30pm
Alike in spirit, Mariner.... alike in spirit...
johnp
20th Feb 2020
9:56am
Anonymous is right !!
tiggr55
18th Feb 2020
11:26am
what the government seems to forget is they are supposed to be looking after the well-being of the community not their own self interests or big business lobby groups
Horace Cope
18th Feb 2020
11:30am
My understanding of the robo-debt attempts to recover allegedly overpaid recipients is that a letter was sent to those alleged recipients asking for details of income over a certain period in dispute. There were no demands for refunds of overpayment in the first instance but a request for people to justify why they should not have to make a refund for overpayment. This request was, in a lot of cases, difficult to comply with as pay slips and other documents were not readily available. The demand letters were issued if an alleged overpayment could not be successfully challenged or if the original letter was ignored.

I believe that the methods used by Centrelink were wrong as it assumed guilt and it should have been up to Centrelink to prove fraud rather than the alleged recipients to prove innocence against a badly flawed system. As regards mentioning the deaths of 0.21% of those involved and even hinting at self harm is, at best, mischievous and, at worst, libellous. This suggestion is exactly the same as what robo-debt did, assumed an incorrect hypothesis.
Retiring Well
18th Feb 2020
11:36am
If you didn't do as Centrelink requested then Centrelink had every right to assume that it was correct and you owed the money. That is how business works. You are sent an invoice you can either pay or dispute. You don't just ignore it like those Robodebt people who got bills did.
Lookfar
18th Feb 2020
1:09pm
Horace , your first bit was correct, but the total washing of hands about semi infirm, as some are, is not humane nor appropriate in our modern age.
That it did cause deaths is quite probable, it was always likely, so the method entered into was likely to cause deaths, and to people who did in no way deserve it.
You may be correct that that was not illegal at face value, but at face value it was cruel and wrong.
That a Government department whose responsibility is to share the wealth of the working people of Australia with the aged, - who have mostly already paid tenfold, probably does constitute a duty of care, for them to so do.
That they acted in such a way as to cause great distress and probably even deaths, is a delinquency of the duty of care and they should be held personally and severally responsible, and their case brought to a court of law and guilt or innocence and appropriate punishment decided by the Court.
Farside
18th Feb 2020
3:15pm
good luck getting any service from an employee if they can be held personally (i.e. severally) responsible before a court for simply performing their job.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:33pm
RW... Farside .. you are missing the point about demands placed unreasonably... a government body is NOT a business and nor should it be allowed to operate as a cowboy business.

I've still got my pay details from years back and my tax returns on file... they haven't come after me ... yet... they'll be waiting until I lose those things... then along will come some zombie claim over seven years old...
ex PS
21st Feb 2020
8:09pm
Retiring Well, in what universe does a Business get to send out invoices to people who they suspect may owe them money and hope to be paid?
This is fraud, actually people have been imprisoned for send bogus invoices to government departments in the hope that they will get paid because no one is checking.
You are right, what is right for business is right for government. If they break the law they should be made to pay for it.
Arvo
23rd Feb 2020
4:08pm
'Unlawful' is conduct prohibited by law, an 'offence' is also conduct prohibited by law but at a more serious or higher level. There is a fundamental procedural difference – unlawful acts are pursued by the person or entity who is aggrieved, and illegal acts are pursued by the police in order to punish the perpetrator
Bundabergian
18th Feb 2020
11:47am
How dare they say they have no duty of care. We (or at least someone) put them in place and pay them very handsomely to do just that!

What is wrong with this country? ....walks away shaking her head....
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:34pm
Put them out of place - I've once again been asked to stand for election.... locally at this time, but the aim of this group is to start at the bottom and stop the rot into local councils first, then move up.
ollie
18th Feb 2020
11:57am
Retiring well you are misinformed you obviously live in a million dollar house and have no compassion for the most vulnerable lets face it people on the welfare system have got nothing and not all people on welfare want to be there people lose their jobs or cant get a job and its up to a government to look after them not make life harder for them. And yes people have taken their own lives because of this unlawful practice because we have a government that thinks democracy and the law does not apply to them this is not propaganda this is fact
KSS
18th Feb 2020
1:07pm
"And yes people have taken their own lives because of this unlawful practice ".

Other than your opinion ollie, where is the evidence that this is so?
ollie
18th Feb 2020
11:57am
Retiring well you are misinformed you obviously live in a million dollar house and have no compassion for the most vulnerable lets face it people on the welfare system have got nothing and not all people on welfare want to be there people lose their jobs or cant get a job and its up to a government to look after them not make life harder for them. And yes people have taken their own lives because of this unlawful practice because we have a government that thinks democracy and the law does not apply to them this is not propaganda this is fact

18th Feb 2020
12:40pm
2 of the biggest moronic comments from RW. People report fortnightly income, not taxable income, to Centrelink. The 2nd comment is just a provocative lie from a dishonest person.

jackie's comments are spot on. the Govt needs top go after the big corporations and the rich avoiding paying reasonable taxes, without apologies. BOTH Labor & Liberal party candidates need to be thrown out by the electors till they do this.
Chris B T
18th Feb 2020
12:40pm
Why would Anyone Vote a Government In That It Admits to Not Having A Duty Of Care.
Regardless of Which Department, how many other Areas does this apply to.
There is One That comes to mind, Corporations not Paying Their Tax's.
Selling off Our Assets Cheaply, not collecting Sufficient Royalties from mining, oil, LNG etc.
4b2
18th Feb 2020
12:42pm
The government should be held just as accountable for issuing false claims to welfare recipients as welfare recipients making false claims. I see another senate report not being released, must contain more rorts and embarrassing facts for the government.
Maybe they can ask their black shirts to investigate this one to find noting wrong here.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:37pm
I posted elsewhere that following several incidents, including the refusal to investigate Bruce Pascoe's claims to being Aboriginal on a flimsy excuse - that the AFP are directly under political command. Indeed they are looking like Blackshirts more every day - yet I'm sure they feel they are doing a magnificent job on behalf of the community - that's what the SS thought, too.

Watch the film Nuremburg - the one with Alec Baldwin and about the Nuremburg trials - and see the position put forward by Goering. Oddly - he once, when confronted over having a Jew as his butler, retorted, "I will decide who is a Jew and who is not here!
4b2
18th Feb 2020
12:42pm
The government should be held just as accountable for issuing false claims to welfare recipients as welfare recipients making false claims. I see another senate report not being released, must contain more rorts and embarrassing facts for the government.
Maybe they can ask their black shirts to investigate this one to find noting wrong here.
thommo
18th Feb 2020
12:46pm
The government is now showing its true colours. When they win an election, they say they will govern fairly for EVERYONE. The govt has now said that claim is a load of bullshit… But we knew that anyway, just look at their Robodebt scam, Newstart cruelty, the sports rorts scandal (which is blatant corruption), and MORRISONS complete lack of empathy with bushfire victims, just to name a few.
The sooner Morrison (the charlatan) is kicked out of office.
Lookfar
18th Feb 2020
1:15pm
Yes thommo, I wonder how many people who voted for the current Government knew they were voting for bushfires, - certainly Mr Morrison claims they so knew.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:40pm
Once again today - it appalls me that ANY government would consider it meet to hand out as much as $75,000 to cover six month's lost income, to someone taking time off to have a family, on the basis that 'the bills don't stop', but that same government seems to think that someone suddenly thrown out of work can get by on $250 a week, even though 'the bills don't stop'.

Bizarre lack of reasoning for purely political ends - and very foolish and short-sighted ends too.
Baby Huey
18th Feb 2020
1:04pm
So the government shysters has put forward it, the federal government, does not have a duty of care for its citizens who have been wronged by its deliberate illegal actions. This, in my view can be compared to the attitude of Hiltler, Stalin, and others of their ilk.
This puts truth to the saying all governments, their politicians, and their public servants are corrupt only that some are more corrupt than others.
PlanB
18th Feb 2020
1:26pm
DArn right Baby Huey --with your comparisons
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:42pm
Very good, Baby - "the people are those of our class - not the peasants, who are as cattle in the fields" ...
PlanB
18th Feb 2020
1:13pm
I am honest and always have been, it is the Government that is the dishonest uncaring lot of absolute bludgers.
It's about time the GG stood up and sacked this lot!
Mariner
18th Feb 2020
3:35pm
And do another Whitlam scenario, PlanB? Who you going to put in instead? Albo or maybe Adam Ant or Greta Sunburn? We need someone to replace this lot with first before sacking them.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:42pm
So true, Mariner - we need a real party to choose ...
PlanB
20th Feb 2020
12:06pm
Well I really could not agree more with you both but THIS lot has to be sacked for sure -- they are a B---- disgrace
Muttonbird
18th Feb 2020
1:21pm
I don't know the legal definition of "duty of care" but I would think that if government employees break the law they should be prosecuted. Apparently "just following orders" did not go down well as an excuse in one infamous regime, so why should it exonerate the guilty in ours?
PlanB
18th Feb 2020
1:24pm
I would think that if EMPLOYEES did what they were told to do it would be on the heads of the ones that did the telling.
Lookfar
18th Feb 2020
2:01pm
Hi Muttonbird, I posted it at the top, but whether it will stay there..
A has a duty to B to take care, the base of our legal system, the Law of Torts.
Over the years, often occurring situations of A not taking care of B, - eg. A murdering B, A taking B's money/wife/children/house etc. etc. get amalgamated into general regulations, normally coveredby an act of Parliament, for ease of administration, so that when A murders B it is a given lack of care and the details and veracity and the punishments are left to the Local, district, etc. Court of Law.
This whole conception is known as The Rule Of Law.
That the rich and the criminal class both take exception to the Rule of Law is a given, because the Rule of Law is based on the Commonality, or the Dignity, of Man (Man now including WoMan) and the rich and the criminal feel in their private egotism that they are above, (or below) (or both:) us human beings.
That is the sickness of aristocracy, a disease that keeps trying to creep back and destroy society, - which it has, - hundreds of times in the past, and will again, if we let it.
I can't remember who it was that said, "the Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilence" - although I am sure if I entered that on Google I would know in some fraction of a second, but it doesn't matter who said it, it is self obvious.
Sorry Muttonbird if that sounds a bit like a lecture, that wasn't my intention, but that Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilence, is the real spirit of Anzac, that is what we march for every year, that is what we must look fiercely at our politicians and bureaucratic departments, the rich corporations and their supporters, with, - Eternal Vigilence, or we will die slaves.
Muttonbird
18th Feb 2020
4:35pm
Thanks Lookfar but it's all a bit complicated for me with no legal background. I get it about the eternal vigilance though - something we Aussies seem to be pretty sadly lacking in the "she'll be right" platitude.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:43pm
"Ve Vere Chust Vollowing ORDNUNG!"

"Yes - and I am ordering that you be hung.... next case..."
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:45pm
PlanB - you know the 'rule' about an illegal order....... do it and make your formal complaint later... if you're game... damned if you do and damned if you don't.
ozrog
18th Feb 2020
1:27pm
Some of the comments on here are terrible and so rude. People don't cheat they repoet whay centrelink tell them to. Its not their fault if they are misinformed or as is the case robo debt was wrong in its calculations and has been ruled illegal by a judge.
RosePerth
18th Feb 2020
1:46pm
Rather than these people being "cheats", most of them were/are employed on a casual basis and had to estimate their income in advance. Centrelink estimated many of their incomes without any check to see that their (Centrelink's) estimates were correct. I receive a part age pension and work permanent part time. My income doesn't vary from week to week and I provided Centrelink with my pay slip. I only have to provide them with another one if my pay changes so I'm lucky. I do feel for those who did nothing wrong but received a robo-debt though.
Wake Up
18th Feb 2020
1:47pm
OMG so this is what our system of Government has come to. Time to change the system
Mariner
18th Feb 2020
3:44pm
A lot of people on this site, it seems, would like a commie govt. Tax industry out of existence, starting with the mines. Wonder who is going to pay your pensions? Sure I still drink beer and $21 per carton goes in tax. The smokers are helping big time and the authorities pay big dollars in advertising against smoking. I know quite a few smokers who gladly would take a cut in the pension if the ciggies were cheaper, like $10 a pack. Bernie Sanders might get the USA communist and then we can follow. Problem is: Sites like this one would be closed down after the election. Think about it!
Muttonbird
18th Feb 2020
4:26pm
Hi Mariner, I think the idea of taxing specific industries is to (a) help change people's priorities - you know, to give up smoking etc because it's bad for their health and (b) help pay for what economists call "negative externalities" eg lung cancer etc which costs the public health system a lot of money. Some people like to poke fun at this and call it a "nanny tax" - but it is more than just trying to influence the individual - it benefits society as a whole. Some people also like to say "there is no such thing as society", but I think "no man (or woman) is an island" is a more realistic take on life.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:46pm
I'll drink to both of those comments..... anyone answer that thing on YLC about 'brain fog'.....
travelman
18th Feb 2020
1:57pm
This says it all about our Coalition government, never before has this nation been subjected to a lot ignorant, arrogant, incompetent and inept halfwits. Respect!! A piece of dog dung is worth more respect than the Prime Minister and all his ministers are worth. The quicker we get rid of this mob of idiots the better and we will be, better served under a Labour Government no matter how bad you think they are. I hear Scott Morrison bleat on about the mandate he claims to have. Well, 'scotty' you have only one mandate and it is govern this nation with honesty, integrity, decency and with sound economic policies for all the nation - Prime Minister you have totally failed in every part of it, you despicable little man. One might think I am angry - you can believe I am. Have a revolution? - put my name at the top to join.
Tricky
18th Feb 2020
2:00pm
With SCOMO and this LNP government behaving unlawfully, dishonestly and fraudulently as role models how else would you expect society to behave.

Having said this there is only a small percentage of of people in society that are dishonest compared to a large percentage of politicians.

The politicians take an oath of office to God, Queen and Country! Are they with-drawing from this oath?
Life experience
18th Feb 2020
2:01pm
Gee. I know of lots of cheaters.
I know of a couple who both claim the dole. She claims rent allowance but lives with him. He claims carers allowance for his mum And the guy earns a lot of money but deposits his pay in his brothers account. They are pulling in lots of money from govt.
I also know a guy that was offered extra work. Refused as he gets the dole. And free dentistry etc. he only works 2 half days and refuses any more offered
There are lots of cheaters out there believe me. And they are getting away with it.
ozrog
18th Feb 2020
2:16pm
Stop moaning about cheaters. Dob them in if you care so much.
Mariner
18th Feb 2020
3:24pm
We cannot be bothered reporting neighbors, it does not get you much. You give your name to the system and then it leaks and before long you have a shotgun blast thru the window.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:47pm
That you, Old Geezer? Yes - there are avenues to dob in a cheat.

Go hard or go home...
Muttonbird
18th Feb 2020
2:36pm
So as long as this unlawful scheme didn't cause anyone to kill themselves, the govt is off the hook as far as any accountability is concerned? Sounds pretty dodgy to me.
Lookfar
18th Feb 2020
2:48pm
Muttonbird, I answered your emaill, why you not answer mine to you? - did I offend you?
Lookfar.
Muttonbird
18th Feb 2020
2:50pm
It is actually beyond me how the govt can reasonably argue that they have no duty of care to welfare recipients. It's outrageous.
Muttonbird
18th Feb 2020
4:02pm
Sorry Lookfar - I see now that in order to reply to a reply, we have to use the "reply" link on the original comment!
GOW
18th Feb 2020
2:36pm
WHAT? This is a joke right? Happy April Fools Day in FEBRUARY?! The Government HAS a duty of care to ALL citizens of this country, I don't care how they have bended the legislations and laws. It is FACT the Government has a duty of care to all. If they are not there to protect and care for the citizens of this country....then they should not be voted for next election. This government is so...........I haven't got the printed words to describe.
johnp
18th Feb 2020
2:41pm
Anyone know who is the correct contact for the class action suit ??
Farside
18th Feb 2020
2:42pm
the government argues that it does not owe a duty of care to the families of serving ADF members when relocating from one post to another. It's hard to argue that the government owes a higher duty of care to welfare recipients as a result of mismatching reported and actual income.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:48pm
So they put 'em on a HercieBird and it crashes? No duty of care/liability/responsibility?
Farside
18th Feb 2020
6:39pm
Government may be responsible for a Herc crash but it has no duty of care. From the desk of the minister there is “no eligibility under military compensation legislation for dependants who have suffered injury while travelling with their family during a transfer in posting.”
mancub1967
18th Feb 2020
2:43pm
Why are people even making remarks on this, there is only one answer, we employ them to serve us, to protect us, if they cannot do that then call an election and let a government in that is truly for the people, I for one will not condemn people who may have got there returns wrong, considering all the corruption that is rife in government and corporations I think this would be more important that chasing poor people who can ill afford to pay any money back. As a nation we have lost our way, no longer the lucky country, just a mob of sheep being led by corrupt lying arrogant individuals.
Farside
18th Feb 2020
3:21pm
the majority would argue that in a democratic election a government "that is truly for the people" was indeed elected last May. Just ask ScoMo.
mancub1967
18th Feb 2020
2:43pm
Why are people even making remarks on this, there is only one answer, we employ them to serve us, to protect us, if they cannot do that then call an election and let a government in that is truly for the people, I for one will not condemn people who may have got there returns wrong, considering all the corruption that is rife in government and corporations I think this would be more important that chasing poor people who can ill afford to pay any money back. As a nation we have lost our way, no longer the lucky country, just a mob of sheep being led by corrupt lying arrogant individuals.
Lookfar
18th Feb 2020
2:53pm
mancub, the answer to your question is, - 2 party system, - whilever there is a Party system, you can't have responsible individuals getting elected because of the Party system, - ya gotta toe the party line or OUT.
Rather than just complaining, how about some new ideas as to how we could go about things?
Baby Huey
18th Feb 2020
2:49pm
Muttonbird, the excuse you are refering to is called the "Nuremberg Defense". Centrelink will use the defence for artocities against Australian citizens.
Muttonbird
18th Feb 2020
3:59pm
But it didn't work for the Nazis, as far as I'm aware.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:49pm
No, it didn't, Muttonbird...
Mac
18th Feb 2020
2:54pm
Yes to both questions.

False claims certainly put undue stress on innocent people who worked hard, against immense and various hurdles put in place by Centrelink, to clear their name.

Such arrogance and lack of empathy that has been displayed by the government and department in this and other matters is disgraceful for a nation that was supposed to have based on the ethic of a "fair go".

18th Feb 2020
3:33pm
Wot? An agency of a government elected and appointed to serve the people has no duty of care to those people? So the same can be a0pplied to a court of law, a detention centre, a prison, a police force, any government body at all?

Oh, well - I suppose that's what follows on from a vacuous decision of the High Court that somehow a non-citizen who claims to be Aboriginal can be a citizen without being a citizen....

I see there is yet another case of a deportation pending being challenged on the basis that the offender - a Kiwi, is now claiming Indigenous status.

As for colonel C'Link - this now means that any Offshorite who claims Aboriginal connection can claim a pension or social security and so forth without let, and in future, asylum applicants need only 'connect' with an Indigenous group to be automatic citizens, so the 'people smugglers' will now be able to buy and sell Aboriginal Certificates of Citizenship bought from local tribes for a few slabs etc.

These 'courts' really know how to kick over a bucket of worms, don't they?

One Law For All - Or No Law At All!

Anyway - we don't have 'welfare' in the social security sphere - we may have it in PPL and childcare and such - but not in social security. It's frankly appalling that any 'government' would consider a PPL handout of up to $75,000 over six months for one person so as to 'not see them suffer due to lost income' - but any person suddenly falling unemployed will receive a pittance that will take years to accumulate to $75,000 - but their bills don't go away.

Talk about out of balance and out of contact....

Anyway - hang Fat Hank from a lamp post in Cambra ...
Mariner
18th Feb 2020
3:48pm
Trebor - old Hank is only a cog in the wheel of the system. You are a bit harsh with him, he's not that bad, like to listen to him explaining things on the wireless from time to time.
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:53pm
He sold his soul to the devil at a crossroads at midnight for his thirty pieces of silver ..... can't get any worse than that - his justification (while we're on the subject) for his stance is that he is following orders and he can justify it with various concepts - that's called being an Intellectual Nazi..... you run into them sometimes... they can justify the most heinous things by referring to various things and they make it sound good as they escort people into the gas chambers...

"This stuff is good for you - got it from the highest recommended scientists.. clear your lungs in no time and kill any bugs in your system permanently, while resolving all your problems for life!!."
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:54pm
Besides - hanging a fat man is good theatre - gets the message cross....
Anonymous
18th Feb 2020
5:55pm
Oh, all right you Grinch - we won't hang him.. **fumes**
Hairy
18th Feb 2020
3:34pm
Yes regardless of what poliies say they have a duty of care to the people they serve,every human being has a duty of care towards his fellow man ,if this is not the case then god help the world.
Hairy
18th Feb 2020
3:36pm
Jackie your spot on .
GrayComputing
18th Feb 2020
4:06pm
NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
What our founding fathers said in parliament in 1908:
Quote:_____

We wish to honour the sentiments of the legislators who introduced the Age Pension in Parliament in 1908. When it became law, it was commended with the following words: “… it removes the idea of old-age pensions from any suggestion of a charitable allowance. An old man, who has done his duty as a citizen for 25 years (is) as much entitled to a pension as a commander-in-chief or a chief justice.”
End Quote: _____

The pension was a reward for service. It should still be considered in this light. It is not a handout.

Therefore, a pension is not welfare.

But modern politicians have stuffed it up completely

18th Feb 2020
4:14pm
As for the deaths created - why not treat them the same was as RobberDebt treated people?

You have seven days to prove you did not cause the death of this person, after which you will be hunted down and hanged for murder.
BillF2
18th Feb 2020
4:25pm
When a government behaves like a gang of thugs and tries to illegally extort money based on false claims, and then claims it has no 'duty of care', one has to ask the question 'why do we need government?' If government does not work for the citizens of its own country, then it has lost all legitimacy. It is just another bikie gang in expensive suits. If a government cannot act honestly and justly, then it no longer deserves to continue. But, then again, this is Australia. What else do we expect?
Curious
18th Feb 2020
4:58pm
False invoicing is a criminal offense at all levels of Federal and State law. Whether robot-debt collection falls into false invoicing depends on the intention of the scheme by which it is constructed and delivered. According to YLC, the calculation of the debt was based on the wrong assumption of the Tax Office income summary rather than the real or actual income.

If the authority admits that the alleged debts cannot be proven beyond doubts, the collection of debts, themselves, are not only illegal but inviting suspicion of extorting money under the false pretense. If this case can be proven, no one is above the law of this land. If the collection of these debts continues after the announcement of the abandonment of the practice, the intention is very obvious.

As to the government said that there is no duty of care under the Social Security Law, this duty of care is enshrined in our votes in electing a good government for our nation every three years, including robust accountability and transparency, as well as probity. For anyone who says otherwise, it will not only a political suicide but a horrific reflection of the democratic system we have. We have learned a lot from our recent mega-bushfire, flood, and Conoravirus outbreak. Please, don't make worse than it should be.
SuziJ
18th Feb 2020
5:50pm
Certainly the Government has a 'duty of care' to its most vulnerable.

As for these robodebts they should be repaid to the individual NOW with interest and a letter of apology be sent to each individual with the option of the payment being made into their bank account rather than by cheque.

It's a very harsh government that does not want to apologise to the clients for a massive mistake they instigated themselves. It was approved by both sides of parliament, so it's not only the LNP that need to be cesured, it's Labor, too.
ex PS
19th Feb 2020
10:55pm
As I remember the Labor Party asked for further information, the government accused them of protecting rorters, it seems there actually were rorters, but they were politicians not wellfare recipients.
cupoftea
18th Feb 2020
9:10pm
In my next life I will be a politician or public servant and lie and get away with it oh sorry or a cricketer
Mariner
18th Feb 2020
10:05pm
Why not a white looking Aboriginal with special rights? You claim land rights and all kinds of things denied to other born Aussies. THAT is the lurk of the future. If that comment gets me banned then we might as well say: Good Night to freedom.
ex PS
19th Feb 2020
11:00pm
The government has a duty of care to every citizen it is supposed to represent.
If it doesn't want that responsibilty it should stand aside and let someone who does take over.
How about we accept the duty of care and get rid of these innefectual losers.
Tarabelle
20th Feb 2020
2:10pm
When this site is dealing with political matters, it is very easy to see the political leanings of the writers. They would all be welcomed in GetUp
Curious
20th Feb 2020
4:39pm
@Tarabelle. Not necessary but who else will stand-up for baby-boomers, underpaid, neglected, abused, blamed for intergeneration inequality and selfishness, and above all abandoned because we have too much in our name. What a joke!
ex PS
21st Feb 2020
10:57pm
Even the rigjt wing ones?
Franzl
20th Feb 2020
5:36pm
When I immigrated some 60 years ago, I enquired about the pension system and was told that this is part of the taxation. This means that part of the income tax I have paid was set aside for age pension purposes which is NOT CHARITY ! My country of birth collects a social service insurance fee in addition to the tax. Are we here now faced with a situation where not only big Companies steel wages, but the government has their hand in the till also ?
PlanB
21st Feb 2020
11:30am
Darn right thats how it worked when I was in the work force too -- so like you said, Franzl the OAP is NOT welfare
johnp
22nd Feb 2020
10:13am
Yep, govt stole the capital that was in the retirement fund about 50 years ago and spent it on themselves (the politicians)
Farside
23rd Feb 2020
9:00pm
Do yourself a favour and read Rob Watts book "The Foundations of the National Welfare State". The NWF and related contributions did not constitute a social service insurance scheme and no money was stolen.

It's almost 60 years since Menzies folded the NWF contributions into general revenue and more than 30 years since Lynch transferred the Trust Account balance to the CRF where it was spent. You have had decades to get used to the new reality so if you really are interested in pension reform then it's time to get behind the beat of a different drum that has a chance of getting across the line.

Good luck with the futile argument over whether the pension is welfare but few are listening and even fewer are concerned enough to do something about it, especially among the post-boomer generations.


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