Centrelink debt recovery mess – is Minister Tudge fudging?

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge has defended Centrelink’s debt recovery system.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge has come out in defence of Centrelink's debt recovery system that has attracted serious public backlash over inaccuracies.

Mr Tudge rejected calls to scrap the debt recovery system and insisted that "The system is working and we will continue with that system".

More than 170,000 notices of potential overpayment have been sent since July 2016 after the new automated system found reporting inaccuracies when cross-referencing data from the Australian Tax Office and Centrelink.

The public backlash over the past month has been intense and many Australians have revealed notices of debt they believe to be inaccurate. Mr Tudge, who has only just returned from holidays, was unable to confirm or deny any such instances.

"I'm not aware of individuals who are completely convinced that they don't owe money but have been given a debt notice," he said.

Mr Tudge told reporters that people who have received a debt notice and were looking to discuss the situation could either go to a Centrelink office and see someone "within 10 minutes" or call the Centrelink hotline where the average wait time is "about 12 minutes".  

What was the wait time on your last visit to a Centrelink office or your phone call to the Centrelink hotline? Do you think Minister Tudge actually believes the system is working as intended? Should Minister Tudge sit down with those who have been sent inaccurate debt notices and explain why the notices were sent?

Read more at sbs.com.au
Read more at abc.net.au

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    COMMENTS

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    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    10:12am
    Are his lips moving? He's fudging then....
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    10:14am
    "I'm not aware of individuals who are completely convinced that they don't owe money but have been given a debt notice," he said."

    I take it he doesn't read the papers or watch the news...... too busy holidaying - BTW was that some kind of 'study tour' or another way to be paid for holiday by the taxpayer?
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    1:28pm
    The next lying dog from the Liberal Party. We have seen a succession of them in the past 4 years. T=Many of these people are unashamed liars and cretins who should be serving time for their dishonesty and fraudulent activities against the interests of the people who make up this country. They call that 'politics'!
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    8:06pm
    I seriously think, Mick, that they simply have no idea that political expediency is not the way to go, especially when it includes lies. Like true psychopaths, they truly do not know that what they are doing is wrong, is lies, and hurts people.

    I've had managers like that - so far out of touch with reality that they were genuine psychopaths.
    Radish
    12th Jan 2017
    9:52pm
    If anyone is contemplating retirement in the next 10 years(and after reading all this_) they should be doing their damdest not to be a client of Centrelink.
    buby
    31st Jan 2017
    5:58am
    Mick they all lying dogs, once they are in i'm sure they get worse NOT better>?
    KB
    12th Jan 2017
    10:18am
    Is Tudge for real? 10 minutes to speak to a Centrelink officer.. Seriously deluded
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    12:48pm
    I've always found my local Centrelink staff on the front line job to be courteous and helpful - it seems the problem begin when the frontline is replaced by REMFs on bigger salaries, permanency, and perks, that the problems begin.

    The front line staff can only do what they can do - and sometimes I've had to wait because of limited staff.

    Read somewhere that when Berlin fell to the Russians, the women were more at risk from the line-of-communication troops than from the front-line fighting soldiers. Seems an apt tale here...
    Vibes
    12th Jan 2017
    10:27am
    I think that a Minister blatantly lying the way this one has needs to be sanctioned and SACKED. How dare he abuse his position by treating those who pay his salary as idiots. Turnbull needs to be told to get rid of him at once.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    11:14am
    From what I have experienced with Centrelink I have no doubts about what he is saying is correct.
    in2sunset
    12th Jan 2017
    11:58am
    Then you HAVE not had any experience with Centre link. I do wish your broken record would break, does become boring & insulting. I am trying to sort out an 84 yo friend with a blatant error ( when her husband in nursing home died). Cannot get on to Centrelink by phone. Circumstances are none of your business, but thank GOD I made her keep all paperwork. I have even been to my local (Liberal) member who is now trying to assist as he was appalled at both the error and the threatening tone. Grow up OG, not many people (dare I say very few) are as perfect, self righteous and self centred as you. Boy it must be tiring!!
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    12:16pm
    What a lot of rubbish!
    Old Man
    12th Jan 2017
    12:46pm
    Sorry Vibes, I can't reconcile your thought that he is treating those who pay his salary as idiots. I wasn't aware that those receiving Centrelink payments had tax deducted from the payment.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    12:51pm
    Your education is continuing - EVERYBODY contributes to the tax pile - taxpayers are not simply income tax payees.... we are ALL taxpayers..... and none gets preference for putting in more since they have more already to put in. All our governments are very socialist in that way.

    I see no reason why somebody on a good screw cannot pay more income tax for receiving the lion's share of benefits from this society.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    12:58pm
    That is one good argument, BTW, to cut out tax cuts for serial house investment... if you've got enough already to repeatedly buy into this, you have no genuine need for subsidy.
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    1:34pm
    The reality is that if there had been a few unsubstantiated claims then there would have likely been no problem with the system. Unfortunately for those attacked by this government this appears to be a systematic assault rather than a few mistakes given the large number of 'anomalies'.
    I do not disagree with putting the cleaners through the rorters but I expect the real rorters in our society, the big end of town, to be gone after as well. Clearly THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN and multinationals are going to continue to be assisted to fraudulently avoid paying their taxes by this government and the rich are going to be aided and abetted the same way as they are allowed to send their profits to offshore tax havens set up to avoid taxes.
    We need another election pretty soon to get rid of the bad filth in Canberra. This government is at the top of this pile.
    Rae
    12th Jan 2017
    1:54pm
    Just picked the cat up from the cattery and the son of the owner, who works a regular hours casual job and declares to Centrelink has received a $4000 bill. Nothing in his hours or rate of pay has changed.

    I assume Centrelink has either got his debt wrong or got the amount he was due wrong.

    Either way it is incompetent.

    The crazy sacking of experienced staff and contracting self service centres needs to slow down until they get the tech right and train people to use it.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    2:48pm
    Did they mention the review letter that they would have received before this debt letter?
    Rae
    12th Jan 2017
    5:18pm
    No OG he didn't understand the review letter and hid it from his mother. This is the result of the fabulous education system which spits out kids barely literate. He thought he would get into trouble.

    Of course in that school world someone else sorts it all out for you.

    These people are not as well educated as you or I. Perhaps simpler instructions on that review letter might have solved some of the problems.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    6:53pm
    Rae I have a disabled son that does those things too. However even though it is a real pain at times he does now tell us all the good and bad things in his life. I have had to take a step back and now guide him so that he runs his own life but there are still things he has trouble coping with. He had a girlfriend take over once and it took months to sort out the mess she made for him especially since she had use of his credit card. He still can't manage a phone plan so uses prepaid.

    I wish schools would teach our kids more life skills and less of the useless stuff they do. How many kids would know how to approach a bank and negotiate a loan rather than just take what they offer?
    sunnyOz
    12th Jan 2017
    7:59pm
    What a rude arrogant person you are OG. I too have a very similar example to in2sunset. We have tried for hours to get onto Centrelink, but can never speak to anyone. Living in remote rural Qld, on a stinking 40+ day drover 165 kms each way. Waited 1 hour 45 minutes - only to be handed a card and told to phone a number. They said they were under staffed due to people on holidays. Even though we had full paperwork, they said they couldn't take copies. Trip was a total waste of time and money (I took the day off work - casual, no pay).
    Just get off your high horse. NO-BODY is perfect, whether it be Centrelink, or even you. What upsets us most is that the Govt and Centrelink aren't even interested in THINKING let alone admitting, that they may, just may, have gone about it the wrong way. I know where the rubbish is stinking and it starts with OG.
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    9:33pm
    A friend with a disabled baby stood in the C/Link office queue for 6 hours a day 3 days in a row and couldn't get to see anyone. That was AFTER trying for 6 days to bet through on the phone. Another went to my local office and was told to leave and drive 1 hour to another office because ''we're too busy here''. Probably not the fault of those on the floor, but it's not good enough.
    LiveItUp
    13th Jan 2017
    8:23am
    Rainey that is the definition of madness doing samething over and over and expecting a different outcome. In other words utter rubbish.
    Anonymous
    14th Jan 2017
    9:47pm
    Have you a better idea for a mother who was desperate for financial help that the law says she should receive, when arrogant lazy idiots process applications incorrectly and don't pay what they should?
    buby
    31st Jan 2017
    6:03am
    but you know What Trebor, as long as there are NOT enough jobs, NOT enough will be paying taxes!!! But OH heck they have not worked that out yet. Duh, na they sent all business off shore with their bullshit, but not only that they are not investing in their own ppl, in other words their own oldies. if they did that, and looked after their health and helped them with somewhere decent to live, for those that have nothing. Everything would be honky dorry.
    they are too busy lining their own pockets to worry about anybody else.
    Until that gets sorted. NOthing will work very well.
    OH ps. We really need to stay away from the way the american system is run.
    Or we too will go down the same rotten path as they>
    and look at their homelessness. SO unfair unhumane???
    Not Senile Yet!
    12th Jan 2017
    10:28am
    Sack him!
    He didn't send out a Notice to himself for
    Collecting a Salary to perform a Job that actually does not need doing!
    Stating everything is Fine with Centrelink is an Outrageous LIE!!!!
    BrianP
    12th Jan 2017
    10:34am
    Minister Tudge's comments are blatant lies. The PM is ignoring us.

    Let's get to the heart of the matter. Are you (YourLifeChoices) going to back your members' by organising a petition against this? Answer please.
    Idontforget
    12th Jan 2017
    10:45am
    Please, please, Your life Choices, do what Brian P requests
    Vibes
    12th Jan 2017
    10:47am
    AGREED. Time for Your Life Choices to act -- and act now you must!
    heyyybob
    12th Jan 2017
    11:19am
    Yep. Agree. Said it the other day. Your Life Choices should show (to its readers) 'Intestinal Fortitude' and organise and promote some really big issues and poll and put up petitions etc. You direct your organisation at Older Folk - go the whole hog and rally Grey Power. I assume you do read comments made here on many important (to us) subjects. Here is your chance to make a mark in the journalistic world :)
    Drew
    12th Jan 2017
    11:21am
    Brian,

    We certainly won't be letting this issue go away and have a few plans over the coming weeks to ask some tough questions. Stay tuned!

    The GetUp petition is a great place to start - https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/newstart/fight-unfair-debt-recovery-letters/join-the-campaign-against-government-bullying
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    11:25am
    So you think it is fair Drew that people get all this free money and then complain about being asked to justify their circumstances. If they have done the right thing then they have nothing to worry about. That is not bullying at all.
    Vibes
    12th Jan 2017
    11:38am
    Drew

    "over the coming weeks" is not good enough. Could you action something TODAY please!
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    11:52am
    Agree - Let's do the petition please.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    11:55am
    Why?

    So you can help those who have helped themselves to money they should not have got?
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    12:29pm
    Take a chill pill OG - just because some stuffed-up computer program says they've been overpaid, in no way even suggests they've 'helped themselves' to money or anything of the kind.

    The possible reasons for overpayment can be many, and certainly will not be addressed by a computer program that looks at a whole year income and then determines that somehow means 'overpayment'.

    You are showing your true colours in this issue.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    1:00pm
    More like human errors or worse being discovered and they don't like it.
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    1:36pm
    Good post Brian. GetUp does exactly that and the membership of this organisation keeps growing. YLC would be doing Australia a favour by highlighting the fact that this government is engaged in class warfare against average citizens whilst it is handing out money life confetti to its rich supporters. This is not what democracy looks like!
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    3:19pm
    BrianP, the p.m. Is ignoring EVERYTHING! The guy wouldn't know what day it is!
    john
    12th Jan 2017
    3:55pm
    I agree, this is really serious and needs someone in the government to be forced to take heed and start to change what is happening.
    Why? To the detriment of a service like centrelink do governments think that sacking or lowering staff numbers or palming it out to contractors ever works properly, or saves money , or think that it should even be on a list of money saving plans??
    It never does work or save and it definitely hurts some people badly.
    We need public servants running centrelink lots of them,it is the welfare system we are talking about, not some profit making business, this is a service that needs competent people running it.
    This government this minister have made a grave mistake because most people on welfare or not on welfare see this as an attack on the people, Turnbulls government is failing , failing and failing, where is the GG,
    This government is certainly incompetent at the moment, and this is a disaster getting worse, with ministerial rorts going on left right and centre.
    So Life Choices make a noise!
    musicveg
    12th Jan 2017
    5:24pm
    What about the waste of millions of politicians spending, sign this petition:

    https://www.change.org/p/stop-mps-wasting-taxpayers-money-on-personal-expenses-federal-corruption-watchdog-now
    Rae
    12th Jan 2017
    10:48pm
    You are wrong thereOG. It isn't free money at all. It is supplied by the taxpayer as a safety net. It is not the government's money. The government has no money.
    jackie
    12th Jan 2017
    10:44am
    You have to make an appointment to see someone in Centrelink. If you just walk in you get sent home. Trudge couldn't' have ever walked on the floor to not know that.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    11:12am
    I have walked into Centrelink many times and had issues sorted out on the spot for people. They do an awesome job.
    in2sunset
    12th Jan 2017
    11:59am
    OG, bull. Once again, broken record oh so boring
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    12:30pm
    Not worth responding, in2 - never changes no matter what.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    1:00pm
    Undercover Politician:-

    A disguised Minister walks into a government office, dressed as near tramp-like as possible, and asks for assistance......................

    Sounds a good show to me.... people who wouldn't watch Undercover Boss would watch that for the reality...
    Rae
    12th Jan 2017
    2:03pm
    I'm going to test you out OG by walking into Centrelink a few times with simple but sensible questions to see how long it takes and if correct info can be supplied.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    2:20pm
    I just rang Centrelink and got onto someone in under 5 minutes. They were very helpful and told me they were no busier than normal.
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    3:21pm
    OG, once again you have missed your medication, old boy - the anti-hallucinate one!
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    3:35pm
    Here we go again. If you don't agree you just resort to schoolboy tactics.
    buby
    31st Jan 2017
    6:05am
    well i wished i had that type of experiwence old geezer but i certainly did not.
    Perhaps it depends on who serves you.
    Cause i only went into get a peice of paper, that would say how much i got every fortnight, and i got forgotten about. I thought it was I that was supposed to have dementia, not the 19 yr that forgot about me?
    Rosret
    12th Jan 2017
    10:45am
    If you remove the glasses then Human Services Minister Alan Tudge photo above says it all. " I am concerned, I have stuffed up - if I lie to the public with a sincere look on my face then people will believe me. I can't stop now because we have outsourced the contract to a bunch of IT people will no taxation and welfare knowledge and are now financially obliged to continue."
    Too bad about the suicides and the premature deaths from the stress related demands put upon terminally ill people. Too bad about those people who trusted Centrelink not to make a mistake because they have no idea of what is or isn't payable. (Does anyone???) The IT department obviously don't either.
    Not a Bludger
    12th Jan 2017
    10:54am
    Lordy, Lordy - the moaners and groaners are at it again.

    These people are simply being asked to confirm their eligibility for free money - from my taxes.

    They should be pleased to be able to prove that they are not rorting the system - and, incidently me.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    11:22am
    Well said. I agree.
    TMac
    12th Jan 2017
    11:25am
    Maybe only someone who has something to hide would be dirty on being asked to substantiate their access to taxpayers money. I for one am very supportive of the process.

    With any IT project of this scale you are going to have hiccups and incorrect letters being sent out but you iron these out as you go. When there is so much money involved coming back into the coffers it should be full steam ahead.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    11:29am
    I agree I'd be glad to receive one of those review letters and would be happy to comply with their request. Too many people think it is OK to rip off Centrelink today.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    12:32pm
    .. and their taxes.. NaB.... we all pay taxes every day in every way, so there is no high horse to get on - furthermore all Social Security payments are made from funding set up many years ago.

    I simply do not believe that hundreds of thousands of people 'ripped off' Centrelink.

    Your one-track record is spinning out of control here, OG. Get a life.
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    1:39pm
    Sounds like a few posts from our bad bad government here.
    The facts are that people are being asked to repay what they are entitled to. The claim that they have done something wrong is the assumption of guilt and then you prove you are innocent....exactly how corrupt governments operate!
    kev888
    12th Jan 2017
    10:55am
    sack him put him on the street
    Jackojm
    12th Jan 2017
    11:03am
    I am an accountant and have tried to deal with centrelink on one of these cases even providing bank statements to prove dates of payment is was a burden to staff it was as if the centrelink staff are taking a similar attitude to the minister if we ignore the problem eventually the debt collectors will have a field day, and for god sake don't try and discuss with the debt collectors that is if they speak English, what a nightmare this whole system, the minister is the same as all politicians (out of touch with reality)
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    11:17am
    I too am an accountant and have had no trouble with Centrelink and sorting out cases for others. people need to realise that they need to not ignore those review letters and contact Centrelink to sort it ASAP.

    Debt collectors have a debt to collect and have no interest in whether it is right or wrong.
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    11:57am
    Old Geezer,
    You MUST be on the NLP's payroll though and therefore you have pecuniary interests in this matter!
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    12:33pm
    OG is one of everything depending on which way the wind from Canberra blows....
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    1:06pm
    The only interest I have is in making sure the tax I pay is well spent.
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    1:42pm
    Patriot: Geezer's comments are 95% on this government's policies. I identified this poster as possibly a troll posting propaganda some time ago. There are others.
    It interests me that Geezer now claims to be an accountant. I guess that means he gets to line up at the feeding trough for the first round of tax cuts doled out to the rich. Why does that not surprise me.
    P$cript
    12th Jan 2017
    1:52pm
    Old Goat is an accountant and would be happy to comply with a Centrelink request, your joking.
    After reading your comments you are an account in named only or you a LNP troll and a liar.
    Rae
    12th Jan 2017
    2:20pm
    Get them to start paying a dollar a fortnight. The debt collectors can't touch you if you make regular payments. If everyone paid that $1 it would also stuff up the system a bit more. I for one think the sooner it collapses the better and it will collapse. The infrastructure just isn't there to cater for demand.

    Yes I know OG and you are lucky out there in the country where the millions of new chums aren't.

    OG I too would like my taxes better spent. I object strongly to tax concessions to rich savers holding millions in accumulation accounts.

    That needs to be knocked right out ASAP as it is unfair and unsustainable just like the other legislation changes that have removed entitlements from lower income savers already.

    Wouldn't you think they would have clawed back money from millionaires before hitting up the middle income earners?
    musicveg
    12th Jan 2017
    5:41pm
    Ol Geezer if you want your tax well spent then why are so many politicians wasting it? Sign this petition:

    https://www.change.org/p/stop-mps-wasting-taxpayers-money-on-personal-expenses-federal-corruption-watchdog-now
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    5:59pm
    I'll let the watchdog sort that one out.
    Rosret
    12th Jan 2017
    7:09pm
    Old Geezer, as an accountant you are probably the only one with a sound understanding of Centrelink's shifting benefits. You may well be able to sort out the individual's discrepancies however accountant fees are high and people on Centrelink benefits don't have money for this level of professional advice. If Centrelink is found in error I am sure they won't pick up the tab for incorrectly notifying the individual.
    Probably a better move would be to seek legal aid which I think is free for people on low incomes.
    Strummer
    12th Jan 2017
    11:16am
    Not only is the system broken, it was badly made in the first place.
    Slimmer Cat
    12th Jan 2017
    1:02pm
    "Badly made in the first place".
    Put the blame where it rightly belongs on those who pioneered the robo-debt data matching system and obviously did not sort out any problems or considered there weren't any - Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek from June 2011
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    8:04pm
    Slimmer - that is an ideological statement - if, for example, I moot the idea that a sun deck would be nice at the back of the house, and the new owners build one that intrudes on the neighbour's property and knocks down their fence and their orchard - does that make me responsible?

    I am well known for holding NO brief for any major party, including the Greens, and Hanson is on probation (again).... why blame Labor for the wreck this system is in the final countdown?

    The current mob have had over three years with this.....
    andromeda143
    12th Jan 2017
    11:17am
    I think Tudge deserves a nudge to bring him back to reality.
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    2:09pm
    You mean: "was he Pushed or did he Fall" describing an incident near the edge of a balcony?????

    12th Jan 2017
    11:21am
    Hank Jongen is on TV periodically telling us about all of the Department's ultra fabulous software which cross-references accounts, checks income statements, eats with a knife and fork, validates underwear sizes, etc so this is just like another Qld Health IBM stuff-up or another Talkbull-NBN dropped ball. Tudge "The Fudge" comes across with about as much credibility as "Selfish Susan" Ley, both of whom seem to be following the know-nothing, do-nothing P.M. (the lights are out and, yes, he is at home!).
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    11:27am
    So if you have done the right thing what have you to worry about. Nothing.

    If you haven't then it is no other than your own fault.

    I just can't believe what a media beat up this whole thing is.
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    11:37am
    OG, Ed Zachary!
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    12:35pm
    I am concerned about the erosion of facts, realities, civility, reason, sense and even Rights, caused by the pursuit of governments here - those alleged servants of the people - for as near absolute control over the people they serve as possible - and for their own ends and those of their cronies of any stamp.
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    1:50pm
    Hank Jongen is a total waste of time. He just threatens the crims with being caught when they know is all BS for the cameras.
    Better to actually target certain rorters and/or put out a public request to dob in the rats.....then go through them with a fine tooth comb. Maybe even offer a reward when bad eggs are caught.
    I have no appetite for crime on either end of society but do not condone targeting the poor unfairly when they bastards are handing out OUR money like confetti to those who are already very well off.
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    2:12pm
    A lot more money to be made from Multi National Companies which BLATANTLY "RORT" our tax system and whilst making huge profits in Australia do not pay ONE CENT of tax here!!!
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    3:18pm
    You know you have a corrupt government when they know the game and look the other way and at the same time come after poor people and citizens struggling to pay off their mortgages.
    john
    12th Jan 2017
    3:56pm
    I have reported Old Geezer too, he is a troll.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    4:37pm
    So I'm a troll simply because I disagree with you. This is getting more like FB every day.
    BT51
    12th Jan 2017
    11:27am
    I believe that only someone who has never had to any dealings with Centrelink would say that there were no issues. I retired in July 2016. Applied for a part pension in September. Was told it would be 13 weeks. I am still waiting to find out. I rang just before Christmas to see if my application was still ongoing. All I was told was that it with the people to be processed. I couldn't speak to anyone who is handling it & I cannot even find out when I might get an answer. Appalling service.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    11:32am
    Keep in touch with them because something files get only half done and forgotten about. This happens in many places not only Centrelink. It is called human error.
    Annie
    12th Jan 2017
    12:20pm
    Old Geezer,

    Are you saying that CL staff can get stuff wrong? WOW! Half done files? NO? Just because it "happens in many places" doesn't make it right!

    My taxes pay these public servants salaries, and I expect them to get it done right the first time.

    If the humans created a system to match Tax files with CL files and makes an "error" with the formula by averaging income over a full year instead of over the ACTUAL period of claim of the appropriate pension, and incorrectly create a"supposed" debt, then the same people have to fix the problem?
    Why can't the designers of the system own up and say " we stuffed it up and this is down to us "?

    You also appear to have a severe lack of empathy for people who are of a lower socioeconomic status than yourself. Not everyone is as fortunate as you and some will require assistance to navigate the minefield that is the social security system of the 21st century.
    Annie
    12th Jan 2017
    12:23pm
    Dear BT51,

    I feel your frustration. It is not right that we have to keep chasing after the public servants who "half finish" a file.

    Good luck,
    Annie
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    12:28pm
    Yes I have had occasions where I have been told thanks for contacting us it appears that the job is not finished. I'll fix it now for you. Not only Centrelink but other organisations as well.

    Nothing is 100% perfect but looks like the media is having a slow time if this is all they have to go on about.

    I realise people have trouble with the welfare system and that's why I am called up to help them sort things out. All I ask from them before I represent them is that they tell me the truth as I can't work with lies. Even if they have told lies to Centrelink we usually work with it and sort it out.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    1:02pm
    Careful, OG - you're leaking fuel... are your hydraulics mushy as well from all those hits?
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    2:50pm
    NO leaks here!
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    10:32pm
    I've given your wings and control surfaces a once-over - doesn't look too good... and that fuel leak is getting worse and it looks like hydraulic fluid on your horizontal stabiliser .. how read your gauges? We'll alert SAR.... can you dump your external tanks and any remaining ordnance and see how she handles? ..... That was some mighty thick flak back there....
    Curious
    12th Jan 2017
    11:30am
    The Minister should know, as a politician, a public system cannot be good just because it works (if it is working at all?). It has to be perceived good for the people, particularly for those who are affected. The balance of reality and perception is paramount to our politician's survival skills. It looks like this Minister has some homework to do!
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    11:32am
    It is good for the people. The taxpayers!
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    1:51pm
    So is not collecting taxes from multinationals and rich Australians who export their profits to offshore tax havens. Is that what you use Geezer?
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    6:00pm
    Big difference as they are within the law whereas those who fail to follow up with Centrelink are not.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    8:17pm
    That's why bad laws need to be re-written...... if they don't work out they go and in comes the reserve for a shot at scoring a try....

    I note The Don in the United States is making great headway with companies that wish to offshore their workforce, by offering them an exit tax....

    All this country needs to do is enact legislation that says you pay your tax burden here before you leave, and you claim it back from your tax haven as a cost of business... not hard.
    deekay
    12th Jan 2017
    11:32am
    What a joke 10 minutes in your dreams. My wife went to the local Centrelink office yesterday afternoon to drop in some forms & was told that there was a 2 hour wait & they were not taking any more bookings for the day.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    11:34am
    So you wait or come back another day.
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    12:01pm
    deekay,
    The "Early Morning" timeslot is the best - that is - before Western Australia comes on line.

    Even during these hours (as suggested) 10 minutes wait only is like winning the lottery!
    The minister is "Totally Disconnected" from reality and - obviously - wants it to be so!!!
    Annie
    12th Jan 2017
    12:25pm
    Sorry for your wife's experience too deekay.

    Its all down to the staff cuts which was to save money to pay for the pollies jaunts on study trips and visits to the Gold Coast to attend house auctions!
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    1:52pm
    Use the post deekay.
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    3:13pm
    There used to be, in Qld anyway, one day a week when seniors could make an appointment at Centrelink, but I think they may have stopped that practice - probably because of their own disinterest.
    musicveg
    12th Jan 2017
    6:15pm
    Yes Annie, here is a petition someone started on Change.org about tax payers wasted millions:
    https://www.change.org/p/stop-mps-wasting-taxpayers-money-on-personal-expenses-federal-corruption-watchdog-now
    Hoppy
    12th Jan 2017
    11:34am
    It is a cruel system that demands repayment of debts from the least fortunate in our society without any more evidence than the debt may have been incurred.
    I wonder how much of the $300 m recovered has been paid by terrified pensioners who had never received an overpayment.
    If a private company used this technique to recover its debts it would be the lead story on A Current Affair.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    11:37am
    Of course they are terrified as they have been caught out.
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    12:05pm
    Hoppy,
    Be good to tax "Big Mal" on the investments ha has tucked away in HIS TAXHAVEN.

    This should be classified a crime to purposely avoid paying taxes as an Australian Citizen.

    When I was working for the Australian public Service overseas (during the 70's) and being paid under the "Australian Staffing Assistance Group" scheme, I was levied taxation TWICE on my earnings.

    First in the Country I worked and the Difference in their "Tax-Rate" and the Australian Tax-rate was then levied & Paid to the Australian Govt.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    12:39pm
    Not 'recovered', Hoppy - Fat Hank contradicted the 'minister's statement to that effect, clarifying that it had been 'identified' using the system.

    Nobody's been 'caught out, OG - they've been held up at gunpoint and told to walk to the pavilion at gunpoint... hardly cricket.
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    1:53pm
    It it is fair then it is fair. If not fair then harassment. The rel question is which one is it?
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    6:03pm
    So it is harassment to ask someone to verify their circumstances in a review? Do you keep paying businesses for goods that never arrive?
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    8:20pm
    While giving them fourteen days to do so, and offering them no valid reason or evidence to even begin to support the claim against them?

    That's not simply harassment - it is a total abrogation of the Rule of Law using regulation as the means to do so ..... which is one thing, on several occasions in the past, I've suggested needs to be taken under the wing of a national ICAC with plenipotentiary powers...
    Chris
    12th Jan 2017
    11:44am
    I received a letter re an outstanding debt from 2003/4. It was incorrect and I immediately went to Centrelink where I was seen within 10mins and the issue was resolved in 2 days. The staff were extremely helpful and efficient. I think we have to give this scheme a chance and stop jumping on the media bandwagon.
    Annie
    12th Jan 2017
    12:33pm
    Chris,

    Was that a recent letter or a long time ago?

    I would give the scheme a chance if it has not been set up with the wrong parameters in the calculation.

    I am glad the media has brought it up and I hope they don't let the focus drop off until we all get a satisfactory outcome.
    Chris
    12th Jan 2017
    12:42pm
    Anne, I received the letter in November 2016. I have no issue with it being reported in the media but do we have to have it 24/7 until something else comes along or the reporters have achieved whatever motivated them in the first place!!
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    1:54pm
    Methinks you are spinning a yarn Chris. The ATO only goes back 6 years so how could you be asked to repay money from 14 years ago???
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    3:16pm
    Chris, that was 12 or 13 years ago, well before the age of public service entitlement and health and carefree workplace legislation.
    Rae
    12th Jan 2017
    5:28pm
    Wasn't that back in the days when people had proper jobs. There were no hundreds of thousands of 457 visa workers being paid cash to collect our money at the self service centres.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    10:35pm
    Yeah, OK, Chris - but let's make an example of one or two relevant ministers first - pour encourager les autres...
    BundyGil
    12th Jan 2017
    11:47am
    It's standard operating procedure. Tudge keeps quoting $300 million of identified debt as the justification for this operation. Problem is the debt has been identified by this flawed IT system. The actual debt owed is probably more like $10.64. Tudge will keep up his rediculous defence of the system, hoping it'll all just go away, until the ombudsman's and auditor's reports are released whereupon he'll say he was misled by Hank and promptly throw him under a bus.
    The Prime Minister will then issue.a statement saying Minister Tudge has his full confidence. Tudge will then put on the 'to be replaced list' along with Susan Lay. The AG isn't on the.list as he knows where the bodies are buried.
    Annie
    12th Jan 2017
    12:35pm
    BundyGil,

    I like your style!
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    1:56pm
    I agree BundyGil. You cannot believe a word from this bad bad government of liars and crooks. What they say and the truth are nearly always far removed from each other and I await to see a third party not related to this government come up with the figures.
    Rae
    12th Jan 2017
    2:39pm
    Nicely put BG.

    Pity they can't get the company that made 2.2 billion profit to pay a bit of tax. That $300 million would look like small change.
    BundyGil
    12th Jan 2017
    11:48am
    Shall we call it a Tudge fudge?
    Blondie
    12th Jan 2017
    11:49am
    His smug, superior smile, said it all! This government has now proved that the lie: ' the LNP are far better money managers' and the treatment of our most vulnerable people in our society, by these champagne swilling, plane flying, polo match attendees, apartment purchasers, is a slap in the face to ordinary, hard working people! Time for another double dissolution.....and THIS time, kick these ' snouts in the trough' opportunists OUT!!
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    1:58pm
    If the LNO were better money managers then they would not have run up such a huge debt after Abbott took over. They are still blaming Labor even as they start giving away the next vault load of money to the rich: $50 billion to be exact. And they have done NOTHING to force the top end of town to pay their rightful taxes.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    10:36pm
    LNO? Lasting Nightmare for Oldies?
    jen
    12th Jan 2017
    11:53am
    Well Brian does not look like a Centrelink candidate to be so is his opinion based on assumption and how many people commenting here have actually had any experience with Centrelink. Is Brian stirring the pot to get some reaction from anyone who has an opinion irrespective of their level of knowledge.

    As far as Get Up - would not go near that radical ratbag group - their behaviour during the election was as bad as the unions handing out material full of lies in an attempt to have the sitting member unelected...

    Old Geezer's comments are pragmatic and based on being in the know rather than rambling rhetoric...
    Pushkin2
    12th Jan 2017
    12:33pm
    That's peculiar. I thought Brian's comments were remarkably pragmatic while Old Geezer's more indicative of a reactionary Government apologist. He seems to have leapt on every comment with undisguised glee, snarling and waving his stick at these undeserving folk who dare to criticise their betters!

    Old Geezer is the epitome of someone who believes that if it didn't happen to him then it's clearly not true.
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    9:44pm
    I agree, PUshkin2. Except I think half the time these bad things DID happen to him, because NOBODY goes through life totally exempt from the problems 80% of the population struggle with. He just chooses to misrepresent for political purposes. In other words, a troll. And a very offensive one at that,

    12th Jan 2017
    12:10pm
    Time to give Tudge "The Bludge Fudge" the nudge.
    Baby Huey
    12th Jan 2017
    12:23pm
    Trudge is typical of the corrupt lying politicians on both side of politics the ordinary Australian have to suffer today. Where is the PM? He has turned out to be another gutless rich politician who does not give a rats anus about the people they have been elected to serve.
    Australians must remember that unlike the US where the president is directly elected, in Australia the PM is chosen by his party and the PM's first duty is to his party e.g. big banks, big business, not ordinary Australians.
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    1:59pm
    One of the team and branded with the same brand: '666'
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    1:59pm
    One of the team and branded with the same brand: '666'
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    1:59pm
    One of the team and branded with the same brand: '666'
    KSS
    12th Jan 2017
    12:25pm
    It seems to me the Centrelink system IS working exactly as designed, i.e. finding discrepancies between information held by the ATO and Centrelink.

    It is the failure to resolve those discrepancies that triggers the debt collection; not the discrepancies themselves. Ignoring the initial 'please explain' letter would be such a failure.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    12:55pm
    ... and the failure to correctly define 'discrepancies' in the software used....
    KSS
    12th Jan 2017
    1:08pm
    As I said Trebor, the failure to resolve those discrepancies triggers debt collection.
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    1:59pm
    How about somebody check the facts before the pay up or else demands are sent out in the mail?
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    2:26pm
    Many years ago I was called "On the carpet" by the bank which - at that time - held my housing loan.
    The complaint was that I had not paid my loan for more than 3 months now and he demanded to understand why whilst threatening major recovery action.

    He obviously acted on the advise of his COMPUTER and failed to verify that this loan was 24 months paid ahead of schedule.

    Wonder why I transferred to another bank after this incident??

    In other words - He got sacked and so should this Government!!!!!
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    3:22pm
    Genuine posters on this website understand that Patriot. Were it not for mates in the media trivialising the important issues and going after the same small fry we would have a totally different economy and no debt.
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    3:26pm
    Patriot, nowadays it is "under the carpet" - where all the dirt and those things too hard to do go.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    10:38pm
    If I get one of these, my first reaction will be :- "OK - let's sit down and review this together, lay the cards on the table, if that fails I'll see you at the Admin Appeals Tribunal with all my papers."
    Linda
    12th Jan 2017
    12:35pm
    This person does not meet the performance criteria of a competent minister. He is doing nothing to help his party and is treating people in this country with disdain. I bet he will be hounded out of his position. He deserves it.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    12:44pm
    What The Shaitan do we need a minister for social security and a minister for human resources for? Just more double-dipping and adding unnecessary portfolios for personal benefit and to reward the party faithful.
    Chris
    12th Jan 2017
    12:41pm
    Anne, I received the letter in November 2016. I have no issue with it being reported in the media but do we have to have it 24/7 until something else comes along or the reporters have achieved whatever motivated them in the first place!!
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    12:58pm
    Everyone is on holidays so it is a slow time of the year for the media. In a couple of weeks we will be back to normal and there will be better issues the media to keep the media happy.

    It truly amazes how the media gets taken in by this stuff.
    KSS
    12th Jan 2017
    1:06pm
    OG what is even more amazing/amusing is that people on this site have 'for ever' disparaged the media and exhorted everyone to disbelieve what they see, hear or read (unless it comes from their 'preferred' source of course). Yet now they are all believing every word reported!

    Couldn't possibly be because it is all negatively portraying the incumbent government and ministers could it? Surely not!
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    2:05pm
    The media is aligned with the right KSS. Obvious. Apart from the biased election 'reporting' the media has let multinational tax fraudsters go. And let us not forget about rich Australians (like Malcolm Turnbull?) with offshore tax havens...which they have because they are such good citizens.......
    Tell me the media is fair!
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    2:31pm
    KSS,
    On the one hand - if we don't believe the media and go to the alternative news to "Find the Reality of the situation & Truth" we are vilified & Nullied with the name conspiracy supporters.

    Now - for once - we believe the media (because it rings true & Passes the PubTest) now we're vilified again but this time because we accept the media's propaganda.

    MAKE UP YOUR MIND.

    When it "Looks like a duck & it Quacks" IT'S A DUCK !!!
    Jim
    12th Jan 2017
    12:44pm
    As usual with comments on this page, you have some very disgruntled people who want to blame a particular party for the current situation, when the facts are that Centrelink has had an abysmal record for years, it is not usually the fault of the person you deal with at your Centrelink office, and yes usually the problem gets sorted out eventually, not everyone has the capacity to deal with the many issues that are thrown up by Centrelink I have always found that you are better off speaking to someone from head office which I think is located in Newcastle in NSW. The last time I had to get an issue resolved it took a few visits to an office and several calls to head office. The chap I spoke to was very nice, but he also stated that there are that many rules to follow that not many if any officers know all the rules, so there lies the problem, simplify the system and maybe it might work!
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    1:29pm
    Dim,

    I believe that the Department trains its staff to be forceful, bombastic & intimidating which - most of the time - is presented as extremely condescending individuals.

    Fortunately for us, there are those employees who will not submit to these attitudes/tactics as they remain "Human Beings First & Foremost".
    They assume that people are Not Rogues" but simply (in General) victims/casualties of the policies implemented by our Government(s). Policies which - in general - do not serve Australia and its people well.
    They presume people to be innocent before accusing them!

    Sad enough the percentage of these reasonable employees is low as they are continuously "Weeded Out" because of the fact that they do not meet their "Key Performance Indicators" as they do not launch an adequate number of investigations.

    Same as the cops. If you're not handing out tickets, you'r4e not doing your job!

    So let's enjoy the interface with the employees who are pleasant and helpful and avoid those who are painful by asking to deal with those who treat us with respect only.
    You have the option to select the person you want to serve you! So, just avoid the others!
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    10:39pm
    Place where I just moved from, they are good people since they have to live with the locals in a rural area......
    mIKER
    12th Jan 2017
    12:56pm
    Whilst on the subject of incompetent ministers it is worthwhile noting that the currently 'sidelined" Minister of Health Sussan Ley must approve any premium increases requested by private health funds (for those who can still afford private health cover). In this respect Ms Ley has failed dismally as rampant increases way beyond any CPI increases are the norm and waived through with impunity for the past few years of this Govt. So has Ms Ley been serving the public or the private good?
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    2:07pm
    WAY above CPI increases are just a rubber stamp. A big business government looking after big business...and that is even before the huge tax cuts are factored in.
    Rae
    12th Jan 2017
    2:51pm
    Why 'must' she approve increases. Have the rights been signed away?
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    3:28pm
    miKER, her OWN good.
    Hoppy
    12th Jan 2017
    1:07pm
    It should not be beyond the capacity of this "innovation revolution" government to match not only that people earned money but when they earned it with their benefits claims.
    I suspect the current system is much easier and who cares who many people are distressed and inconvenienced unnecessarily.
    floss
    12th Jan 2017
    1:09pm
    I feel for CLink staff when they have a goose like this for a boss.He looks like a bloke I bought a car from on Parramatta road, but Parramatta road would be a good training ground for our present government.
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    2:08pm
    Yeah. Must have been a mate of one of the crooks to get a jersey.
    Puglet
    12th Jan 2017
    1:17pm
    Last night on the ABC an interviewee stated that he had been sent a 'debt notice' for about 1500.00. He is disputing this claim but he was told that he if he didn't start repaying immediately he would face the debt collectors. He is repaying 25.00 a week from his pension and has borrowed money from his family to survive. If only the government was as diligent in forcing the big end of town and politicians to repay money they MAY owe taxpayers our budget would be in surplus very quickly! By the way Geezer (I doubt you are old) the average waiting time at Centre Link is 2 hours. This week I went there to get two forms which I couldn't download from My Gov. I waited 40 minutes so that an employee could tell me which line to join and then waited for 1.30 hours to be called to the counter. The employee told me I should have downloaded the forms and denied that the site was down and inferred that I wasn't bright enough to do it. He then tried to do it for me but he too was 'denied' access. BTW the wait for computers and telephones was more than 2 hours. The CES is doing its best with a skeleton staff because of staff cut backs but they are cutting corners to save time and the most vulnerable of us are paying the price.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    1:30pm
    A lot of Centrelink staff are on holidays at present. Last time I was in there was just before Christmas and only waited about 5 minutes. I also phoned them around about same time and got through quite quickly.
    Idontforget
    12th Jan 2017
    1:56pm
    Lucky you. You must have attended a C L Office that has more staff than clients. Just before Christmas I attended one at 9am to lodge an income statement that cannot be lodged online. I was told to come back at 2pm because they were too busy. I returned at 2pm and at 4.10pm I was fortunate enough to see a staff member.

    So, Old Geezer, don't think that all C L offices are able to have an officer sit down with a client in five minutes. In my case, seven hours and ten minutes at the same time of the year you had a five minute wait.
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    2:09pm
    Saw the story Puglet. What worries me is that there are so many of these stories. That indicates there is likely a big problem and I smell a rat. Ok, in all fairness there are a lot of those in the Liberal Party.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    2:22pm
    I'm hearing lots of stories too but they seem to be the same one over and over. Bit like Chinese whispers.
    musicveg
    12th Jan 2017
    6:26pm
    Yes Puglet, Politicians spending needs to be accounted for as being legitimate, they should be cutting back on their spending and their nice pensions they get and of course chase up multinational companies unpaid taxes, then there will be plenty of money for health and hospitals for all these people who will be so stressed they won't be able to work. Check out this petition:

    https://www.change.org/p/stop-mps-wasting-taxpayers-money-on-personal-expenses-federal-corruption-watchdog-now
    floss
    12th Jan 2017
    1:58pm
    Old Geezer are you a professional fibber sorry spin doctor for the Libs.
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    2:10pm
    As I have suggested many times before Geezer is a troll put here to spin government propaganda.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    2:16pm
    Gee you have put me on a pedestal!
    MICK
    12th Jan 2017
    3:23pm
    Your posts tell the story. I put forward claims and facts. You put forward the Party line. It is what it is mate.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    5:14pm
    Claims and facts. Well I aint seen any yet. Lots of hearsay and Chinese whispers but nothing much else.
    Arthron
    12th Jan 2017
    2:00pm
    Just a case of crash and break through. Just another out of touch LNP flunked.
    Sundays
    12th Jan 2017
    2:21pm
    I feel very sorry for Centrelink staff with a Minister like Trudge. He clearly believes that there are enough resources to handle all enquiries when clearly that is not the case. I've always found the staff to be helpful, but you have to wait more than 10-12 minutes. Trudge is either a liar, or an incompetent who doesn't understand his portfolio. He has an obligation to assist clients, and not just think that they are all welfare cheats. Of course, there are problems with the system. Get it fixed!
    Peking
    12th Jan 2017
    2:21pm
    I take little notice of the partisan defence of Government by Old Geezer, but I just noticed this in his post

    "I realise people have trouble with the welfare system and that's why I am called up to help them sort things out. All I ask from them before I represent them is that they tell me the truth as I can't work with lies. Even if they have told lies to Centrelink we usually work with it and sort it out."

    So, OG, you ""represent" people. Is that your job and a paid one at that?
    Could explain a lot.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    2:55pm
    No I'm a volunteer and many people are thankful for what I do for them. I do many things for people which requires me to study and work out many things. Yesterday it was power bills for example.
    Spitfire
    12th Jan 2017
    2:29pm
    ANOTHER PILLOCK IN PARLIAMENT
    Rodent
    12th Jan 2017
    2:35pm
    EXTRACT of something I wrote earlier(another item addressed to OG) that's worth repeating here now
    ................................................................................................................
    Before you dismiss the issue as a media beat up, read a little more to establish the facts.
    Clearly the Automation of an existing manual process was going to be difficult. BUT testing would have revealed ALL. I suggest its working exactly as the Govt intended , knowing full well there would be these outcomes. They have quite deliberately reversed the onus of proof to be so that the recipient has to prove that what CL says is wrong.

    ................................................................................................................
    By his own words the Minister new in advance that this system would work as designed. And that's what he is saying now, accept a large error rate, to get a larger % to respond. I am not an accountant like OG - but I have designed and implemented operation systems for large businesses and there is no way this Automation would have become operational UNLESS this was the intended outcome , ie errors and all clearly with a Ministers approval in advance!!!
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    2:47pm
    I used to use automated systems for audits and they would throw out anything that was outside the parameters I set. I have no doubt that Centrelink would be adjusting their parameters and would have tested the system before implementing it. With all automated systems there are going to be exceptions this is normal. But if I was picked up as an exception then I would be happy to comply with their audit. ATO has been doing this for years now with an automated system. So if you are have expenses outside the norm for your occupation then you could get a please explain. From what I have seen these Centrelink review letters are no different.

    The problem I see it is that if people are complaining about getting debt letters what did they do with the review letter they got prior to receiving this debt letter. My guess is that they ignored it and just hoped it would go away. Now the **** has hit the fan they are looking for someone to blame for their own tardiness or worse.
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    2:49pm
    Rodent,
    Agreed.

    When you design software, you rigorously test it before implementing it to the "Real Situation".

    CL is just like Bill Gates always was with windows: "The people will test It" and we'll correct it as we GO ALONG.

    Sad enough this system inherently creates the casualty list we're now witnessing!

    THEY SHOULD BE SACKED!
    Tarzan
    12th Jan 2017
    2:49pm
    I agree with Old Geezer, , if you don't have anything hidden you will be ok. The Centrelink staff do a terrific job and deal with some real scumbags. I have nothing but admiration for the people that I see at Centrelink, give them a little time to work thru this computer based mailout, [one of Bill Shortens ideas] and I am sure that in hindsight the sun will rise again
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    2:58pm
    Tarzan,
    Just wait till the govt. demands to put cameras in your bedroom.

    You're not doing anything illegal of unusual in there Are You????
    dougie
    12th Jan 2017
    2:56pm
    My question to each and everyone who has let their vitriol run wild over this matter is "Have you been involved in this matter - have you had a notice from Centrelink re overpayment -have you had a personal experience around this matter with Centrelink ? "
    If not then it is apparent to me that each person including Drew is being led along by the nose by the various media.
    How can you comment on something that you have had no personal knowledge or experience of.
    Speak as often as you like but speak with experience and knowledge and be wisely spoken.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    2:58pm
    Well said.
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    2:58pm
    OG

    Spoken like a "True Troll"!
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    3:13pm
    I guess your definition of a troll is someone that disagrees with you.
    dougie
    12th Jan 2017
    3:26pm
    Patriot,
    Never was - never will be a Troll. I am someone who believes in research and understanding not someone who is led along a path that suits the actions of others.
    I am neither Labor nor Liberal and nor do I consider that small independents achieve little except in hung parliaments.
    I love to read and analyse and make my own decisions based on knowledge not garbage fed out by others.
    I guess if this makes me a Troll what does it make all of those others who like to stir without thought of consequences.
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    3:33pm
    OG

    If that's how you need to see it, you might as well stay ignorant additionally to arrogant!
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    5:05pm
    I don't need to see anything any way and to be told how to see things well that's like a red flag to a bull.
    Rodent
    12th Jan 2017
    3:05pm
    OG

    In reply to my post you said this

    The problem I see it is that if people are complaining about getting debt letters what did they do with the review letter they got prior to receiving this debt letter. My guess is that they ignored it and just hoped it would go away. Now the **** has hit the fan they are looking for someone to blame for their own tardiness or worse.

    You may be RIGHT but equally may be WRONG I suggest there is another reason why the Debt letter is GENERATED - go back and read the accounts of the people that tried to do the right thing, but came up against the System Design on the Web portal that does not help a Genuine Person to reply is sufficient detail to avoid a Debt letter being automatically generated

    I am sure you know where to look
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    3:29pm
    That just another excuse nothing more.
    Gee Whiz
    12th Jan 2017
    3:09pm
    He's a politician, therefore he's lying.
    Old Dog
    12th Jan 2017
    3:11pm
    Fortunately, I have not hade to visit a Centrelink office for quite some time now. The last time I did required an appointment and perhaps 30 mins wait. Not a lot of difference between that and a Doctor's appointment. PHONE, however, is a different matter. Last time, perhaps 12 months ago, the wait was "in excess of 30 minutes". After 40 minutes I hung up.
    It is high time that these guys got a dose of reality. Perhaps Centrelink could get busy recovering moneys wrongly spent by them.
    musicveg
    12th Jan 2017
    6:33pm
    Last time I called, they were very helpful and put me back on hold to sort it out, took so long my phone ran out of credit, no way of getting back to the same staff member, so had to start again and it was 'busy'.
    I am still to find the patience to call again to sort my issue out.
    terry
    12th Jan 2017
    3:15pm
    Among the many thoughtful and interesting comments on this article are many from "OLD GEEZER", one of the most blatant and obvious LNP trolls present regularly on this site. I have collected today's efforts and strung them together for anyone who cares to read the rubbish that he spouts to save the trouble of scrolling all the way through.
    Oh and it seems he likes to create the occasional cloned troll to provide supportive responses, such as "OLD MAN" and "NOT A BLUDGER".
    Old Geezer says: "From what I have experienced with Centrelink I have no doubts about what he is saying is correct."
    "So you think it is fair Drew that people get all this free money and then complain about being asked to justify their circumstances. If they have done the right thing then they have nothing to worry about. That is not bullying at all."
    "So you can help those who have helped themselves to money they should not have got?"
    "I have walked into Centrelink many times and had issues sorted out on the spot for people. They do an awesome job."
    "I just rang Centrelink and got onto someone in under 5 minutes. They were very helpful and told me they were no busier than normal."
    "I agree I'd be glad to receive one of those review letters and would be happy to comply with their request. Too many people think it is OK to rip off Centrelink today."
    "I too am an accountant and have had no trouble with Centrelink and sorting out cases for others. people need to realise that they need to not ignore those review letters and contact Centrelink to sort it ASAP.
    Debt collectors have a debt to collect and have no interest in whether it is right or wrong."
    "The only interest I have is in making sure the tax I pay is well spent."
    "So if you have done the right thing what have you to worry about. Nothing.

    If you haven't then it is no other than your own fault.

    I just can't believe what a media beat up this whole thing is."
    "Yes I have had occasions where I have been told thanks for contacting us it appears that the job is not finished. I'll fix it now for you. Not only Centrelink but other organisations as well.
    Nothing is 100% perfect but looks like the media is having a slow time if this is all they have to go on about.

    I realise people have trouble with the welfare system and that's why I am called up to help them sort things out. All I ask from them before I represent them is that they tell me the truth as I can't work with lies. Even if they have told lies to Centrelink we usually work with it and sort it out."
    "Of course they are terrified as they have been caught out."
    "Everyone is on holidays so it is a slow time of the year for the media. In a couple of weeks we will be back to normal and there will be better issues the media to keep the media happy.
    It truly amazes how the media gets taken in by this stuff" "A lot of Centrelink staff are on holidays at present. Last time I was in there was just before Christmas and only waited about 5 minutes. I also phoned them around about same time and got through quite quickly."
    You are fooling no-one "OLD GEEZER" - are you getting anything from the LNP for your pathetic trolling or are you just a silly twit who gets pleasure from demeaning others?
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    3:21pm
    What a foolish conclusion!
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    3:51pm
    terry, it seems you don't know too much about OG, but for months he has portrayed himself as a wealthy, independent sharemarket guru who is a totally self-funded retiree, accepts nothing for free, and abhors anyone who takes advantage of the government by receiving a pension or anything else which relates to an "entitlement" - "welfare" in OG parlance. He is a seemingly harmless one who suffers only from delusions of grandeur, but does well more than provide his share of comic relief with his altruistic attitude and government-funding philanthropic advice. Any private correspondence can be forwarded to him via the LNP Headquarters or your local chapter of the YMCA (Your Money Cheerfully Accepted). His mentor and idol I heard is Les Patterson. Lighten up and laugh.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    4:14pm
    Nest time I see Barry I'll ask him for my mail.
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    4:33pm
    Do you mean Barry O'Farrell?
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    4:41pm
    NO your ignorance astounds me.
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    4:53pm
    It HAS to be him.
    Rosret
    12th Jan 2017
    8:07pm
    Actually Terry their may be people who openly declare their political affiliation however this has nothing to do political ideology.
    It doesn't matter who you voted for in the last election this stuff up should have you annoyed.
    The right thing for Mr Tudge to do would have been to accept that there is a problem with the new system and promise the Australian people it would be fixed as soon as possible and in the meantime go back to the original system.
    It was a very flawed method of implementation and whoever was in charge of project management should be held to account.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    8:39pm
    OG also has no assets, pays no tax, receives no pension, never accepted a concession in life while runing busines, lives in a palatial mansion,let slip once that he was on unemployment benefit, is a fat cat with a family of ne`er-do-wells yet rises above all that.... but at least like Bonny with assets of $400k, he doesn't claim to receive $80k a year from that paltry amount... only if you are a Mafia loan shark...

    Unfortunately the NSW Guv closed Gladesville and Little Bay psuch holiday spots and sold them off...
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    9:57pm
    But Trebor, he's an accountant now... and the other day he was getting 15% return on his investments and absolutely convinced that was achievable by all - and being achieved by most. (Funny, every accountant I know, plus bank managers and financial advisers, agree with the GOVERNMENT average of 5% return!)

    Despite his miserable income- which apparently forces him to live on broth made from lamb bones - he takes his whole family on a cruise every year - his shout.

    He talks about people lying, but he wouldn't know the truth if he fell over it. Someone should tell him that arrogance and lack of empathy make you a narcissist, and that's a very bad thing to be.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    10:43pm
    Well - they do say the rich hold on to their money.. lamb bone broth? Hmmm.. is there bread with that?
    LiveItUp
    13th Jan 2017
    7:31am
    Rainey your ignorance of the rich is astounding. From OG comments it would not be surprising that he has many strings in his bow. From what I have seen of the markets lately 15% is easily achievable with many making much more. The banks alone have had a good run. Gold has done well in the last few weeks and uranium stocks now seem to have started to run. If your account is telling you 5% then sadly he is out of touch with the markets.
    john
    12th Jan 2017
    3:35pm
    Once again another clown, Tudge, that should not be in parliament let alone a ministry.
    *Imagine*
    12th Jan 2017
    3:45pm
    I agree with both sides of this argument. Sitting on the fence, or confused? Not a bit.
    It is a fact that there are bludgers and dishonest leeches who knowingly “rob” the rest of us by illegally or at least immorally taking more from the public purse than they should. They need to be identified and dealt with, to the full force of the law. These ‘waste of space people’ include those at the high end of town and our dishonest, money grabbing, self serving, politicians who rort the system. Any well thought out, fair approach to bring a halt to the these activities and seek redress is a positive move.
    However, and it is a big however, any enforcement system must be fair. The ‘witch hunt’ approach that we see from Centrelink that has been forced upon them by the present government is in no way fair.

    The response time to requests is too short, the letters were sent just before Christmas with people visiting away from home, there have been written threats about debt collectors (and the ramifications of what that entails) 10% interest on unpaid debts, verbal threats of imprisonment, and no regard to the fact that some debts may be errors in the detection system, errors in payment and/or errors in claims.

    For the tag team Social Security Ministers, Tudge and Porter, to simply ignore these issues is inhumane. If they cannot see the pain and suffering that they are inflicting on the innocent, as well as the guilty, then they should both be removed from office. I imagine that there are those, who like my former student daughter, ‘apparently’ owe less than $200 but who, are now fully employed, have a full life to lead and have no further contact with Centrelink. She has more than enough to occupy her than to spend the time and effort to collect evidence from various past casual employers, to highlight Centrelink’s error, and has just paid up to make it go away. Tells me that the angst isn't worth it and karma will get them!
    Disgusting doesn’t cut it.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    4:22pm
    Your daughter had time to apply and accept welfare so why be so ungrateful that she hasn't the time now to sort it out with Centrelink?

    Remember nothing in life is free.
    *Imagine*
    12th Jan 2017
    4:46pm
    OG pull your head in.
    I imagine that responding to you is a waste of time. Just banter really because you clearly do not understand the point of my post or those of others. You blindly leap on the illustration of my daughter without absorbing the point of the post. Let me spell it out for you.
    THE PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THE CENTRELINK EXERCISE IS SUPPORTED.
    THE APPROACH AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CENTRELINK EXERCISE IS APPALLING. HONEST PEOPLE ARE BEING HOUNDED.
    Do try and keep up. Read posts properly and educate yourself instead of continually repeating the same old bigoted codswallop.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    4:50pm
    What if your daughter was no honest like many others? How else can they work out who is honest or not without proof? No proof then you could be dishonest.

    Nothing appalling or anything else about that.
    Rae
    12th Jan 2017
    5:42pm
    Karma always wins in the end. Good on your girl for just paying them and moving on. She will remember though won't she? That is one less vote for the LNP. It is a pity that a once solid government party has been taken over by ideology that has proven to be against the good of Society in general. The LNP should never have fooled around with the IPA or Rand or Hayek.

    I have a son, never on Centrelink, trying to get proof of employment right now. This government fails to insist that proper documentation, superannuation etc is completed by business owners.

    I pity many of those trying to track down non existent paper work.

    For example 3.3 billion dollars of superannuation failed to be paid into workers accounts just last financial year.

    Now that is very real money.

    I don't see the ATO going after that money for the people. Do you?
    *Imagine*
    12th Jan 2017
    5:45pm
    Well for a start. You do it by giving people ample time to respond before coming the 'heavy'. You manually check the disparities before jumping to conclusions and sending out computer generated crap. You check that employment or other income sources are indeed overlapped with welfare payments and not just averaged. You do not give special dispensation to politicians rorting the system. All suspects should be treated fairly and equitably.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    6:22pm
    Imagine the same system has been running for many years now without too many complaints. It doesn't matter how much time you give people most leave it to the last minute so amply time is a myth. If you find something that look odd on your bank account your check it with the bank. Same thing is happening here. Centrelink need an explanation. That's what audits are all about.
    *Imagine*
    12th Jan 2017
    6:50pm
    So why is The Commonwealth Ombudsman set to investigate Centrelink's debt recovery system?

    Deputy ombudsman, Richard Glenn told the Guardian that the matter was "of significant interest to this office".

    “I can certainly say the ombudsman has approved an own-motion investigation into the matter... this one will be self-initiated because we have a number of complaints and there is significant public controversy about the issue. So it is an inquiry into the issue at large, rather than into a specific complaint," Mr Glenn said.

    “Certainly there’s enough information from complaints we’ve received and … that it’s an issue of significant interest to this office, and we’ll be pursuing it.”

    The investigation will reportedly focus on three areas: the data-matching process used to compare Centrelink records with those of the tax departments; how Centrelink communicated with clients and how the agency managed the fallout.
    Is this a media beat up or could there be fire behind the smoke? Come on OG you can't defend the indefensible. As I said the intent of the audit is all well and good, however, the approach to implementation is grossly inadequate and unfair (un-Australian).
    I await the report
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    7:34pm
    Yes it is great news. We will see it disappear now quickly from the media which will show the media beat up it has all been.
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    7:40pm
    OG,

    Do you ever give up riding that "Dead Horse" of yours?

    Or does the NLP just pay you too well!!!
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    7:55pm
    Sorry I haven't ridden a horse for many years.
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    10:03pm
    Typical of the LNP, they get it all upside down and back to front. If this system is intended to catch the cheats, it's a dismal failure. It can ONLY catch people who try to find work when it's available. The bludgers and cash-earning cheats will NEVER be caught by this system because they don't declare any earnings at all.

    I would much prefer, if my a little of my tax money is going to be wasted, that it go to honest people who try to work when they can, rather than chronic bludgers, tax cheats, manipulators, and thieving mongrel politicians.

    As for OG -- well, he's an accountant now so no wonder he excuses the disgraceful minimization by the filthy rich while condemning the hard-working battlers who keep this nation running. After all, who pays accountants the fattest fees? Only those wealthy enough to scheme to transfer the burden of tax to those far less able to bear it.
    LiveItUp
    13th Jan 2017
    7:23am
    And Rainey how do you or anyone know who is honest or not? Most normal people tell a white lie in every sentence. If there is one good thing you can say about autism then these people have trouble with white lies and so are the most honest in our society.

    So how are you going to pick the odd honest person out of the crowd? You can't so please think before you write such rubbish.

    Also be aware the real wealthy people no longer do things to earn money so OG may be using his skills to help others less fortunate than himself. That said why does he volunteer all the useful knowledge he does on this forum? It is certainy not for money. May I suggest you do the same and stop belittling people just because you disagree with thier point of view.
    Rosebud
    12th Jan 2017
    3:56pm
    I hope someone checks to see if he does not owe us any money.
    George
    12th Jan 2017
    4:19pm
    Well it may be working well if that is the abysmally low standard that the Libs seem to apply to everything! And if this is an acceptable standard,m then I shudder to think what 8s happen9ng in other areas that we haven't discover4ed yet.
    And as for Old Geezer, does he work for Centrelink? I can't believe that anyone in their right mind could defend any of this catastrophe!!!!
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    4:22pm
    Catastrophe...nay just a media beat up!
    Disenchanted
    12th Jan 2017
    4:23pm
    I am so disenchanted with this Liberal Government. I have been a strong supporter for many years, but am beginning to realize that they are all lacking in morals, tell out and out lies, so totally unbelievable. They have privileged lives especially when it comes to their pensions and also how they are able get away with murder when it comes to the use of tax payers money as we are seeing with the Sussan Ley affair. I won't knock Julie Bishop because $2700 is neither here nor there and I have a lot of respect for her, but the others are just mouth pieces for Malcolm Turnbull and the majority of his cabinet.
    Whilst I have not been issued with a debt recovery notice, I have spent hours at my local Centrelink office over the passed few weeks trying to sort out my finances. Centrelink reported my assets as $100000 more than what they were. I quickly found where the error lay but they were unable to backdate my payments more than 13 weeks. Quite amazing that when it comes to debt recovery, they can go back 6 years or more. I feel so sorry for the Centrelink employees. They are doing their level best to pacify the people that have been cheated well and truly by Centrelink. They no doubt have to keep to the script that has been layed down by Minister Fudge or risk unemployment. Not an enviable situation.
    I am just so bitterly disappointed that this government is prepared to penalise the honest who have mostly put umpteen of tax dollars into their coffers over the many years but now are being treated like third class citizens. I look forward to the Congratulatory letter from Mr Turnball saying how much us oldies are valued in society. I rest my case
    Rae
    12th Jan 2017
    5:47pm
    I agree disenchanted. My parents were LNP voters their whole lives but were decent people who hated bullying and always supported the weak and less able. They also would be appalled at this shambles called a government and the attack on hard working ordinary Australians at the behest of the wealthy and the Elites.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    5:57pm
    Do you really think there is an alternative available?
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    10:47pm
    No, OG - there is not, as I've been saying for over twenty years now. When I started my partial auto-bio, I came very quickly to the part of my contests with government that our elected stooges, as a group, contain not one person for whom you would place your hand in the fire... Andrew Wilkie and Miz Lambie might be the first worth a look.......
    Rodent
    12th Jan 2017
    4:31pm
    Something to reflect on

    The Australian article "Welfare Debt Squad hunts for $4bn in overpayments" dated Dec 5 2016

    Yes I know its media so it cant be trusted, but worth of a read- Note the People Numbers and the Dates/Years of claimed savings, and compare this to what is now being said?
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    4:36pm
    This must be the annual government salary overpayment, excluding travel, lavish dinners, polo and football attendances, New Years Eve parties, house-hunting sojourns, etc?
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    4:38pm
    Great new for us taxpayers.
    Rodent
    12th Jan 2017
    4:44pm
    Hey Fast Eddie

    Love your comments about OG
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    4:48pm
    I do too as I know I'm right.
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    4:58pm
    So thought Hitler, Stalin, and Ted Buddy.
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    5:10pm
    Oops, BuNdy!
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    4:46pm
    This just about sums it all up.

    I just read that 4,153,237 people got married in the USA last year. I don’t want to cause any trouble but shouldn't that be an even number?

    Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool. I gave him a glass of water.

    If i had a dollar for every girl that found me unattractive, they would eventually find me attractive.

    I find it ironic that the colours red, white, and blue stand for freedom until they are flashing behind you.

    When wearing a bikini, women reveal 90% of their body... men are so polite they only look at the covered parts.

    A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight, live longer than the men who mention it.

    Relationships are a lot like algebra. Have you ever looked at your X and wondered Y?

    You know that tingly little feeling you get when you like someone? That's your common sense leaving your body.

    Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?

    My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We'll see about that.

    I think my neighbour is stalking me as she's been googling my name on her computer. I saw it through my telescope last night.

    I hate when I am about to hug someone really sexy and my face hits the mirror.

    Money talks ...but all mine ever says is good-bye.

    You're not fat, you're just... easier to see.

    If you think nobody cares whether you're alive, try missing a couple of payments.
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    5:09pm
    OG,

    As usual, you're missing the detail:

    The state of Utah was included where mormons can have multiple wives.

    So, this number is quite possible to be an uneven number.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    5:12pm
    What about the rest?
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    5:20pm
    Leave it rest.
    *Imagine*
    12th Jan 2017
    5:23pm
    SO you want comment
    O Good sense of humour - or maybe not. Allow me to mistreat this post as you did mine above.
    As you say, this just about sums it all up.
    I imagine that you posted this as a reflection of yourself, intended or otherwise.
    comments in order:
    1 you get figures wrong or just make them up
    2 you are really mean and hurtful
    3 you must be ugly if you have that many dollars
    4 you regularly get chased by police or an ambulance
    5 you’re a pervert
    6 you quote dubious study findings
    7 you are divorced - wonder why?
    8 you have lost your common sense
    9 you have so little self determination that you believe that you can be trained by a wild animal
    10 you are vengeful to a point of needing therapy
    11 you are a voyeur and a stalker
    12 you are a narcissist who is totally in love with himself
    13 you are broke because your money has departed
    14 you are either fat or visually impaired
    15 you are in debt and don’t keep up with regular payments.

    Now I understand more about you, I will have more sympathy.
    Is that what you wanted? Masochist too?
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    5:47pm
    OG, you shouldn't have asked.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    5:53pm
    Mummm I just can't identify with even one of those. However I know of many others that can. How about you "imagine"?

    Oh I can't for the life of me work out why I need sympathy either.
    Rae
    12th Jan 2017
    5:57pm
    Thanks Og I did have a laugh. I needed to lighten up.

    I'm actually terrified by all this. I see our great way of life slipping away.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    6:15pm
    I do too and I feel for the kids and grandkids. No one today seems to have any common sense or decency.

    What concerns me is that if people were honest then we would not be having this discussion about Centrelink debt. The level of Centrelink debt is getting worse by the day and when they try and do something about it all the goodie two shoes come out and give them curry. Unfortunately to catch the many doing the wrong thing a few honest people are going to be caught up in it. If they have done the right thing then they have nothing to worry about and just need to contact Centrelink and have it sorted.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    8:45pm
    Trebor to Old Geezer: You know - I'm a very good surgeon - I could help you with that hump!"

    OG:- "What Hump?"
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    8:54pm
    No which hump?
    sunnyOz
    12th Jan 2017
    9:41pm
    *Imagine* - you are SO right! It wouldn't matter if you said Xmas day was Dec 25th, or that the Opera House is in Sydney. OG would ALWAYS, ALWAYS still argue. He is NEVER wrong, (according to him), and seems only happy when he is arguing or making snide rude comments. I am only new to this site, but certainly won't stay long if have to look at/read his drivel. Pathetic.
    Old Geezer
    13th Jan 2017
    11:26am
    Excellent response sunnyOz as it shows I have hit the nail squarely on the head.
    musicveg
    12th Jan 2017
    5:20pm
    When you go to Centrelink, after waiting in line, you get told to sit down and wait, so it varies a lot how long you get to see someone. As for the phone, what a joke 12 minutes, never!
    Here is a petition to sign if you think politicians should be accounted for their spending:

    https://www.change.org/p/stop-mps-wasting-taxpayers-money-on-personal-expenses-federal-corruption-watchdog-now
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    5:56pm
    When you go to Centrelink you get greeted at the door, asked your name and what is the nature of your business. Then you get asked to take a seat in a certain area and wait a few minutes to get served. It is not even enough time for me to make a phone call to make use of the waiting time.
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    6:15pm
    OG, how would you know what happens at C/link? With ALL your money, shares, bearer bonds, property portfolios, offshore bank accounts, etc, etc you wouldn't have any business there - except maybe handing out "readies" from your own full "kick" to the poor souls in need entering and exiting the Dept. of Inhuman Resources, along with your cherished LNP literature. I think your true colours are surfacing after your long day of wishing and hoping and dreaming of and for the good life.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    6:25pm
    Fast Eddie I have many reasons for doing lots of things and most have nothing to do with money. If you were rich you would not be asking such questions and making such comments as you would know the answers.
    musicveg
    12th Jan 2017
    6:43pm
    OG Must be a great Centrelink office you go to, I have never been greeted at the door or waited a 'few' minutes to get served.
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    7:17pm
    musicveg, I think this is more a case of being such an influential person and knowing the right people (wink and nudge).
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    7:23pm
    OG

    For once I agree with you

    1 - If the FATCAT Multinational Corporations were made to pay their "Fair Share of Tax" we would not have a deficit in this country
    2 - If we abandoned "Negative Gearing" and stopped supporting the Investors rather than the 1st home buyers taxes could - once again - be lowered to make it easier on those most in need
    3 - If we did not DONATE Millions to the Criminal Clinton Foundation we would also have this money to spend
    4 - If we did NOT Support the retirement funds of those who really do not need this support due to personal wealth, we would - once again - alleviate the burden on the "Tax Duties" of the most needed

    And there's more . . . but we'll stop for now

    If we did all that we would NOT have a Budget Deficit to worry about and treasurers would not have to be BULLIES and identify certain social layers of the Australian Population as "LEANERS". The rude So & So !!!

    Our (grand)kids would have the future they deserve and ALL Age Pensioners would be able to have a dignified retirement!

    JUST REMOVE THE CRIMINAL ELEMENT FROM CANBERRA & OUR STATE CAPITALS.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    7:45pm
    Good we wold lose our FATCAT multinationals as they would not want to do business down under due to lack of profit in such a small market, rents would go through the roof as investors left the rental market and the building industry collapses, and retirements funds of the rich would disappear to the Cayman islands and no tax payable at all. I'll leave the Clinton Foundation alone for now.

    Sounds like an "awesome" future for our grandkids to me. Lots of overseas shopping opportunities bypassing our treasury.
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    8:17pm
    OG, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of costing anomalies on imported goods (i.e. IKEA, Apple) even when there is "supposed" to be international equal pricing with exchange rate compensations. Multinationals going totally untaxed for YEARS, grandfathering clauses deemed null and void by the government with the wave of a pen, blind eyes of government when a politician cheats on their expense accounts or outright lies about "leisure" trips being "government" business, polo and football game attendance at taxpayers' expense, undeclared gifts taken by politicians, and the list goes on and on. Yes, I too, worry about my grandchildrens' futures in a country which has a steadily increasing corrupt government with no one in it with any smarts or balls to try and halt this growing cancer. Sad, pathetic, shameful, and a disgrace!
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    8:46pm
    Yes - the security guard checks to see if you have business with Centrelink or are just coming in to do a jihad on them....
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    9:38pm
    OG,
    At least they would have the dignity of life to have a job & Future.

    PEOPLE are a Country's resource = NOT MULTINATIONAL FATCATS!
    Let them Piss Of and go & Fleece somebody else but leave us alone!

    You're just Blabbing & Regurgitating the Bullshit our politicians continuously program us with.

    UTTER CRAP IT IS!!!!!
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    10:54pm
    If the Offshore Robber Baron kind of FATCAT multi-nationals left, there would be plenty lined up to take their place and get a share of the market by playing by the rules.

    Don't ever delude yourself on that.

    I once looked at costings for a single contract, that a group of us were seeking to take from the company we worked under due to their incompetence - we (The Group) figured we could do the work for around a third what that company could do, and we would be as well off as subbies as we were there and be doing about one fifth of the work - but without all the hassles of bad management.

    Plenty of middle sized entrepreneurs without all the massive overheads of boards and overpaid ceos would be happy to take up a share of the market, and do a lot better on pricing, tax-paying and personal profit.

    Economies of scale are poor at either end of the spectrum..... and Offshore Robber Baron 'businesses' are the worst of the over fat end.
    Amadeoz
    12th Jan 2017
    6:03pm
    I consider Mr Turnbull;s approach to leadership is basically sound: rely on your officers, tell them what they have to do for which they are hired and paid, interfere as little as possible and abstain from mini management.
    That presumes that the receruited officers are competent and responsible and that is not the case in this government. Some ministers have impressive diplomas , but are out of touch with reality. Don;t even know the facts. Mr Tutge gives the latest proof of this. Technically he is probably correct: the system analysts from IBM or whoever designed what they were asked to to come up with. Unfortunately, Mr Tudge c.s. are not smart enough to predict the consequences of their short cut intentions. It has hurt many vulnerable people and that is a shame. The bucket stopped at him and he has proven to be incompetent.
    The problem is broader than poor Mr Tudge and I support the call for a hot petition to Mr Turnbull to abandon his hands-off approach and stand up to alien representatives who underperform or fail to understand whom they are serving and who pay them. They are out at the next election.
    Rosret
    12th Jan 2017
    7:19pm
    I hope its not IBM again! Both of the two major projects - the census and the Centrelink have failed in the testing phase. The Census wasn't stress tested and the Centrelink wasn't tested and amended using live data.
    OMG I don't know how heads haven't rolled. Unbelievable.
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    7:36pm
    Rosret,
    Brown paper bags??????
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    7:54pm
    Rosret, it was IBM with the Qld Health Dept debacle, as well. Heads haven't rolled because the person/s in charge are scared of doing their jobs or don't know how to do their job or that another of the inept ones has something on them they don't want others to know or, and more likely, a combination of all the above. And this is from the top downwards.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    8:48pm
    You missed on:- Be sure to select the officers you know can do the job.... train them up... and then rely on them.

    'Poor Mr Tiudge' says it all.. poor selection, no corps training, no possibility of relying on him...
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    10:57pm
    If Tudge were an officer - and uttered the garbage he does to his troops.... he'd have more holes in his back than his front in the first contact...
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    10:58pm
    Malcolm would be General Officer in charge of administering finance and public relations or similar..... not actually running the show...
    Rosret
    13th Jan 2017
    8:06am
    Mr Trudge in a parliamentary position is supposed to work on the advice of a well organised and intelligent bureaucracy. Something has failed along the way and it is not his job to defend it - it is his job to make sure they fix it. Then I will respect him.

    12th Jan 2017
    7:12pm
    not hard to see that most if not all of those complaining and moaning are worried that they be next in line for being asked why they made mistakes? in their income disclosures with centrelink or of those already been found out, as for their excuse that others don't pay their taxes so that gives them a right to defraud (using labor mick's own words), by the way mick have you found anybody yet who answered your plea to pay for your ski trip, see mick's profile, rae believing somebody with a casual job never worked anywhere else, somebody must have taken tax out of his wages and it showed up different with that declared, yes their might be some mistakes made but I bet you now that more then 80% will be found out to be correct and that is only the tip of the iceberg, see the single mothers, fathers, both receiving single pensions but living together, as stated by one contributor this should be allowed, those on disabilities pensions etc. as I am concerned they all should be under the microscope, yet here in these columns the likes of trebor, clown in waiting, in2sunset and not senile yet, names says enough, no light in the tunnel, Australia, the likes of patriot, always asking other people to do the dirty work instead of him having the guts to put up or shut up, the list goes on, yes you have giving me a lot of laughs for the stupidity of your commments but more, I dispair to see these gutless souls taking down Australia, a country I love, my advise to you hard done by, you always can leave, the quicker the better before you stuff this country up completely.
    As normal I will be called a liberal troll, labor mick, the one with the ski mask, is a beauty for that, even forgetting that he was put in these columns to represent the labor and union organisations, he also will be first to report you as is johny who by his own words in this column reported comments of o.g to lifechoises and that those comments then be pulled off the list or fast?eddy will call you hitler or stalin, with other words mick and johney and fast?eddy don't like FREE SPEECH unless it represent their vieuws
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    7:24pm
    Yet more hate-filled sarcasm. Having another pleasant happy day I see, heems. Poor soul. Good spelling, too.
    Rosret
    12th Jan 2017
    7:35pm
    heemskerk99 it's not about the people who are doing the wrong thing it's about the 20% of people who have been incorrectly sent letters and are having to get lawyers, accountants and search their paper trail at a time when they are at the lowest ebb in their lives.
    The IT department have made a mistake and their software is flawed. Yes, one by one they should have queried their details however this is like dropping a school full of primary school children in the deep end and those who can swim survive and the rest .... who cares. That was Centrelink's response, "Phone Lifeline!" i.e. Tell someone who cares.
    And heemskerk99 I took a friend to Centrelink as a favour and waited outside for a few hours. The people around me had very low IQs. They would have no idea how to fill in a form let alone understand what was allowable.
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    7:45pm
    heems doesn't seem a very happy nor compassionate person and tends to judge people rather harshly. A shame.
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    7:48pm
    heemskerk99

    Why don't you just have a long COLD shower and cool down.

    Might make you realise the "Real Facts" that there are people "Doing it tough" because of no fault of their own but due to Incompetent Government decisions.

    Taken a view of your posts, you must have been born with a "Golden spoon in Your Mouth" as you have absolutely NO comprehension about the needs of others who are obviously not as well off as you are!!
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    8:01pm
    So Patriot if someone breaks in and robs you you will excuse them because they are doing it tough and 19 locks on your door weren't enough......you should of had 20? You made an incompetent decision not to put that extra lock on your door.
    Patriot
    12th Jan 2017
    8:55pm
    OG,

    I think the locks need to be extremely "Strong & Complex" to exclude the CRIMINALS we pay to be in Canberra.

    The current case under discussion just proves the draconian tactics they'll employ to frighten the "CRAP" out or many people.

    N O CONCEPT at all what the fear instilled on people does.
    Or do they and is this intentional !?!?!?!?!?
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2017
    9:34pm
    typical answers I expected of our fast?eddy, he even admitted he could read normal english, as for rosret, stating he represented people of low iqs, why was he not in the queue,'he would have fitted in well, fast eddy I don't judge people harshly, I judge them by what they do to improve our nation Australia and as for patriot's remarks, just read his comments and anybody with any brains would call it brainless and that would be a compliment to patriot, still waiting with abated breath to hear of our union organiser mick and his second in command, trebor, labor mick is going on a ski holiday, that is if he can find people to help him with the cost, see mick's profile, patriot about that golden spoon, I worked my guts out, saved, was maybe lucky, I only got burnt out once, Ash wednesday, you blokes don't know what it is to be "Doing it tough", it is up to you to make Australia what it was once or to put it down the gurgler, it is up to you!!!
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    11:02pm
    Well - the 99 IS his IQ - people need to compensate somehow...

    I sympathise with you over Ash Wednesday etc - but that is not an excuse for even beginning to suggest that anyone who exercises their right to object to foul treatment somehow is a bludger who needs to toughen up.

    I CAN guarantee you that I've done far more than you could imagine in this life, and taken a lot of hits doing it.

    When I see wrong, I will object to it..... and encourage as many others as possible to do so.

    So now that we're on the same page, can we moderate the vitriol a little and get with the issues here about this piss-poor government and its blatant assaults on the Australian public who pay them and keep them so handsomely?
    B J
    12th Jan 2017
    7:25pm
    Question please, is there 2 Old Geezers or only one because one posts in blue & 1 posts in black?
    Rosret
    12th Jan 2017
    7:38pm
    Initial posts are black and replies are blue.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jan 2017
    7:51pm
    Don't forget the red and yellow posts too.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2017
    8:49pm
    It's the yellow ones that worry us.....
    sunnyOz
    12th Jan 2017
    9:22pm
    Only recently posted a post about my experience with this disaster - and then find this page...
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-12/centrelink-memo-shows-staff-ordered-not-to-process-debt-disputes/8177652
    Only confirms what we went through. Centrelink staff have been instructed not to process debt disputes in person. Staff must not cancel the activity under any circumstances. Staff are to refer customers to online 'self management'. And minister Tudge has confirmed these actions are correct.
    So again - what about the many seniors who do NOT have a computer? Who DON'T know how to use one? Or is that the deliberate aim - target those who can not fight back? Bloody disgraceful.
    Young Simmo
    13th Jan 2017
    12:01am
    I have been a loyal / faithful Liberal supporter since 1959. I can feel a change coming and the Labor mob of crooks don't look any better than the Libs.
    YEP, a vote for Pauline will help me sleep, and I suspect that I am no orphan in this dept.
    In the WA State election in March, I will give Brendyn Grills my support because of his $565 fuel card all us bushies get each year.
    RogerA
    13th Jan 2017
    12:48am
    So, Minister Tudge claims "The system is working and we will continue with that system". Confirms my long held belief that there is only a fuzzy dividing line between artificial intelligence and the natural stupidity of the programmers whom created it.
    LiveItUp
    13th Jan 2017
    7:11am
    I agree with Pauline Hanson in that everyone on welfare shiuld have an ID card to link all their data.

    https://startsat60.com/stories/news/pauline-hanson-stirs-debate-with-radical-id-call

    They also should not have money put directly into an account but be given a basics card so that it can be monitored where they spend thier welfare money. Remember the OAP is welfare so these apply to it as well.

    Then the robo matching system would have even fewer errors with a significant decrease in welfare fraud.
    Rosret
    13th Jan 2017
    8:15am
    I am all for the control of irresponsible spending too. But that is for another day.
    LiveItUp
    13th Jan 2017
    8:02am
    For information about oarliamentary expenses see below and follow links for further info.

    http://taxandsupernewsroom.com.au/index.php/2017/01/11/heres-politician-travel-allowances-compare/
    dante
    13th Jan 2017
    8:51am
    "I'm not aware of individuals who are completely convinced that they don't owe money but have been given a debt notice," Tudge said.

    I heard more convincing arguments from Mafia bosses in reference to extortion money and 'how those that paid the money were totally and completely convinced it was to their benefit. Most people, when you put a gun to their head become very convinced indeed!!

    This is the worst government Australia ever had, and it had a lot of tough competition!!
    Hoppy
    13th Jan 2017
    10:54am
    Bonny agrees with Pauline Hanson that welfare recipients, including OAP and I assume veterans, should have an ID card and their spending should be monitored. I doubt Hanson is that stupid but I hope she is because if so she will lose 90% of her vote.
    dante
    13th Jan 2017
    12:16pm
    Pauline is stupid, no doubt ... but is far more stupid those that vote for her, in fact they are so stupid not to have understood that she stands for nothing and has no solutions.
    libsareliars
    13th Jan 2017
    12:44pm
    Of course the moron would say that.
    PIXAPD
    13th Jan 2017
    3:03pm
    43C today, Centrelink putting the heat on people?
    Young Simmo
    13th Jan 2017
    3:24pm
    Sorry for the change of subject but it is about time. I just noticed that Susan Ley has retired because of all the bullying. As far as I am concerned, if she did the job (work) that she went North for, there was nothing wrong with her buying the unit. I bet 99.99% of the population would do the same given the opportunity. How many people would do some shopping during their lunch break
    Lisa
    13th Jan 2017
    6:12pm
    Seriously Mr Tudge is out of touch I have never ever been had a centerlink call answered in 10mins .... 2 calls made this week were 1hour 13 mins and 51 mins glad he thinks it only takes 10 mins when going into an office to get served what a joke ! Hay mr tudge then why does it take u so long to anwser a letter then that was sent November 22nd 2016 about the constant incorrect decisions centerlink staff make and the lives it affects as a family we are still waiting for our payments to be corrected and have had no money since March 2016 cause of the mistakes and bullshit of centerlink honestly what a complete joke but it's ok glad you can afford to have a nice holiday ..... You are so out of touch with reality and the real people it's no even close to funny .... Come to centerlink with me and sit and see how things really are !!!! Pfffffft
    Hoppy
    14th Jan 2017
    4:20pm
    Young Simmo, Sussan Ley went to Brisbane to announce a major upgrade of the PBS - fair enough.
    She then travelled to the Gold Coast and stayed over night with her husband at the taxpayers' expense to talk to one person who will benefit from the initiative. While there she bought an $800,000 as an afterthought.
    Do you really believe that there was no beneficiary of the PBS upgrade in Brisbane and that she made a decision to invest three times her gross income on the spur of the moment?
    That is why she resigned in addition to being uncovered as a serial abuser of her entitlements.
    Young Simmo
    14th Jan 2017
    4:55pm
    OK Hoppy, now that you have spelt it out. I agree she is out of order. If she had done the deal in Brisbane while there, it would be a different story. I retract my initial comment.
    Young Simmo
    14th Jan 2017
    5:15pm
    OK, another try at changing the subject.
    It's OK for Malcolm Turnball to bring in the new rules, as he has a $100 million in the bank. But what about all his Politician mates that only have $10 to $20 Million in the bank? How are they going to struggle through to the next election?
    RGEE
    15th Jan 2017
    12:10pm
    Of course the Tudge system is working (wrongly programmed) and if it is correct ,then please explain program details in a media release. NO EXPLICT PRESS RELEASE THEN IT' MUST BE WRONG.
    Await full details in a future report in Y.L.CHOICES.
    RGEE
    jono46
    16th Jan 2017
    11:36am
    Is he out of touch? YES
    buby
    31st Jan 2017
    5:57am
    Certainly something isn't quiet working right at centerlink.
    I went in their the other day and i be disabled, and had to stand in line, it was quiet a long line. I only went in ther cause i needed a form to confirm how much i'm allowed to have every fortnight lol. and blow me down i got there eventually and then i sat while i waited to be called, and found out that i was forgotten. and had i not gone and queried it, i would have sat there longer. and a young guy served me. HOw quick they forget........Bring back the oldies please who have more respect, and look after the oldies better , cause this youngster just seemed to not give a bugger!! not impressed
    Bulla
    2nd Mar 2017
    10:27am
    Why should the Minister bother about the lives of others when he is getting handsomelly paid for life long(as servent of people)and does nopt have to require social support?
    buby
    3rd Mar 2017
    1:01pm
    Yes bulla, many ministers forget who voted them in and for what for, and as long as their pockets are full , and jingling with fools gold, and have helped to put australia into more debt, what do they care??

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