Government passes new Centrelink laws that will affect 550,000 Australians

Font Size:

As of July, welfare recipients will need to report their income as it appears on their payslip, rather than having to estimate a figure based on hours worked over a fortnight, after legislation passed the Senate on Thursday.

The changes to Centrelink reporting are expected to save the federal budget $2.1 billion over four years.

Gone are the days of people reporting income to Centrelink by estimating pay amounts based on how many hours worked in a fortnight and rate of pay, taking into account penalty rates.

Under the new system, welfare recipients will be able to enter details on their payslips and their employment and income data can be pre-filled online, the same as occurs with tax returns.

The new system will also be the beginning of single-touch payroll for welfare recipients, where income data from the Australian Taxation Office will be automatically uploaded to the government system so bureaucrats can double check figures.

In theory, this will prevent incorrect debts being issued as occurred with the government’s robo-debt scandal, as payments should become more accurate, preventing people being owed money or paying too much.

After one year, there will be a review of the new system and it will return to the lower house for final approval.

Centrelink will set up an online portal to help people with the change, which is expected to affect about 550,000 Australians.

What do you think of this new system?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.


Big Centrelink changes will affect millions of Australians

Coalition's cost-cutting move could stitch up older Aussies the most.

Centrelink is giving you the wrong information: staff

Centrelink wait times are down, but staff says callers are getting the wrong information.

Winners and losers from Centrelink’s July changes

Centrelink is scrapping one payment, refusing to backdate another: are you affected?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Sign-up to the YourLifeChoices Enewsletter

continue reading


Wellness technique actually makes us selfish, say researchers

Mindfulness has been the new black for much of the past decade. It's a buzzword bandied about to promote self-awareness,...

Health Insurance

Ageing baby boomers are missing out on health cover savings

Most older Australians see their health insurance premiums rise every year but don’t realise these high costs can be for...

Travel News

Vaccination no guarantee of open borders, says health minister

Australia's international border could remain closed even after the vaccination rollout is complete, according to health minister Greg Hunt. As...

Travel & Motoring

Are 'smart' cars creating dumb drivers?

The prevalence of driver aids is increasing all the time, even into lower priced cars. Cameras and sensors can alert...

Age Pension

Services and rebates that can save you hundreds

Last year, I put together a retiree checklist. In 2021, there are some additions. This is a long list and...


Cold feet may be a symptom of a serious health problem

In the winter months, it’s easy to blame cold feet on the weather. But according to WebMD, cold feet may...


The 'risk' of letting your grey hair grow out

At what point do you stop dyeing your hair and allow the grey to grow out? Is it after you...


Five running shoes reviewed

With the cooler weather, autumn and winter are arguably the best seasons to run in Australia, so it might be...