PM to impose travel bans on welfare recipients and tax dodgers

New policy could ground welfare cheats and tax debt dodgers.

PM to impose travel bans on welfare recipients and tax dodgers

Anyone owing money to the Government may find themselves grounded, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a policy to ban travel for tax debtors and welfare cheats.

The PM hopes the new policy will help the government pull in $800 million in debt.

Travel bans already apply to parents who don’t make child support payments, and now will be used against welfare recipients who wrongly received payments, owe the Government money, and tax debt dodgers.

The new policy will effectively prevent Australians who owe the Australian Tax Office or other government agencies money, unless they commit to a payment plan.

Human Services Minister Michael Keenan insists that the program will not be targeting anyone who is currently receiving welfare payments, but rather the 150,000 who no longer do but owe the government money.

“If you received a payment you were not entitled to, you have an obligation to repay the money you owe and we will use every tool at our disposal to ensure it is recovered,” said Mr Keenan.

Mr Morrison believes Australians will support this hardline stance on welfare cheats.

“If you’ve got longstanding tax debts and you’ve been warned and warned and warned and warned and warned, and you’re thumbing your nose at everyone else paying tax and you’re saying, ‘Tough for you. I’m going to get on a plane’, well, you’re actually insulting your fellow Australians who pay for the welfare system,” Mr Morrison told The Saturday Daily Telegraph.

However, there may be cause to wonder whether the program could unjustly treat some former welfare recipients who, due to Centrelink’s robo-debt failure, could be banned from travelling overseas because of ‘non-human errors’.

Would you worry about being grounded by this policy? Do you support Mr Morrison’s stance on welfare cheats and tax dodgers?

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    COMMENTS

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    patti
    24th Sep 2018
    10:23am
    Provided it is proved that the recipient does, in fact, owe the money. I have been told in the past that I owe Centrelink money, which was their error. Took me a while to prove it. Also, if there is an emergency e.g. your parent is dying overseas and you want to travel to be with them?? I do agree, however, if you owe money......you should pay it back, and not have an overseas trip just for fun
    Cowboy Jim
    24th Sep 2018
    10:25am
    If it is a fair dinkum debt and you have been told to pay up, reason given, I cannot see anything wrong with the plan. Most countries in Europe work that way too by a withdrawal of travel documents. Happened to a few mates of mine.
    Not a Bludger
    24th Sep 2018
    10:26am
    Good - about time - and put the rorters in front of courts.
    Old Geezer
    25th Sep 2018
    12:00pm
    Exactly.
    Lescol
    24th Sep 2018
    11:20am
    Agree completely and this is done in many parts of Asia too. All I would suggest is that it be done properly i.e. be court ordered and people have an ability to be able to easily check their status eg. via internet. cheers
    bundy
    24th Sep 2018
    2:48pm
    so what payments do you get in Asia as you said..and all the dumb people immediatly get sukd in ..NO BRAINS...what if the matter is in court or the AAT..What if you don/t really owe c/link...it/s just another form of communism...with dummies backn it..what about stoopn the pollies traveln for illegally working and stealing tax payers money..I think some people want to read the High court Decisions on...Payment by mistake..and unlawfull debt...people just jump on the bandwagon..without any research..age pensioners who have been o/s and paid millions in tax...now have to be imprisioned in their own country..like this new b/s..WAKE UP ..800 Million...it was 2.3 billion in 2016..and Turd just gave his mates 443 billion..J.Bischit over 1 billion in giveaways for military equipment for Muslim countries...so many dumb people in Aussie..
    MD
    24th Sep 2018
    8:09pm
    bundy, as you've expressed so vehement a response, opposed to the gubbermint proposal and by implication suggested "dumb people immediatly (sic) get sukd (sic) in ..NO BRAINS", followed by "what if's, suggestions of "communism" and "dummies backn (sic) it". So on and so forth, yadday, yaddah. You dare to mention "research" followed by "pensioners who have been o/s and paid millions in tax". Perhaps you'd be kind enough to direct attention to the source of YOUR research - that might lend some small degree of credence to that drivel....please. I can't wait !

    I can agree with you on one point however - "so many dumb people in Aussie.."
    cupoftea
    24th Sep 2018
    11:20am
    Again we hear as per LNP a new thing every week this time welfare cheats tell that to people that owe nothing and get a bill for $10,000 they don't owe and the Taxman an organisation that has its own laws that will bankrupt a small business just to make there numbers look good people we should look at our self's this government sits when it feels like it, No COEG,whats the excuse this time, 2 times the parliament did not sit nothing to do but still took there wages what a joke
    MD
    24th Sep 2018
    8:17pm
    Anything by way of specifics to add to your rant dreamer, or just another case of venting your spleen on the basis of some TV sensationalism or hack journalistic drollery because they too have an axe to grind ?
    TMac
    24th Sep 2018
    11:24am
    If they can afford to travel then they can afford to pay back money owing, great idea
    KSS
    24th Sep 2018
    2:41pm
    Agree
    Retired Knowall
    25th Sep 2018
    5:10pm
    Why not add any monies owing in Traffic Fines.
    johnp
    24th Sep 2018
    11:29am
    And these cheats as well
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2018/09/21/un-junket-macklin-sudmalis/?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Saturday%2020180922
    For once, social media is asking a good question: why are Australian taxpayers funding a three-month education mission to New York for two Federal MPs – who will then immediately quit public life?
    TREBOR
    24th Sep 2018
    12:38pm
    Indeed!
    TREBOR
    24th Sep 2018
    1:00pm
    The excuse will be that it was already approved... easy then - just withdraw approval since it no longer is a requirement for your job....

    Dear Miz S/M,
    On careful consideration the Board Of Worldwide PollieTravel has determined that your prior approval for a three month paid holiday at taxpayer expense to enhance your performance on behalf of the nation and people, no longer applies due to your resignation to take place immediately following the trip...

    Consequently your travel funding by the Board has been canceled.

    signed:-

    Ima Kutemoff
    Chairperson
    Huskie
    24th Sep 2018
    11:48am
    I agree with the comments that it must be a real debt. However as far as I am aware this is not a new policy. There has long been legislation to prohibit travel both into and out of Australia for anyone that has a debt to the Commonwealth.
    All they are doing now is enforcing the Law.
    Huskie
    24th Sep 2018
    11:48am
    I agree with the comments that it must be a real debt. However as far as I am aware this is not a new policy. There has long been legislation to prohibit travel both into and out of Australia for anyone that has a debt to the Commonwealth.
    All they are doing now is enforcing the Law.
    TREBOR
    24th Sep 2018
    12:37pm
    Not a bad thing... all the Guv needs to do now is stop the offshore flight of tax money ... examine carefully before leaving... better still a small exit tax would be a start... say... ohhhh ... 30% imputed held by the ATO on all cash to be transferred offshore pending your tax return calculation??

    An.. ohhhh... possessing a tax haven account incurs tax on entry as well... say... ohhh... 30% imputed and held by ATO pending your tax affairs resolved HERE???

    Hard times call for hard measures...

    But I agree that tax and social security cheats should not be permitted to travel offshore - someone who owes The Good Colonel C'Link $100 or so - big deal...
    MD
    24th Sep 2018
    8:38pm
    "someone who owes The Good Colonel C'Link $100 or so - big deal..."

    Interesting point you've made there Trebor. When we consider somewhere in the vicinity of almost half the population is receiving some form of social benefit payment then let's throw caution to the wind and say only thirty percent of said recipients owe a casual 100 bucks eh?

    Maths (other things as well) have never been my strong point so please bear with me - current population currently stands at ~25M, so, (hypothetically) if we factor the aforementioned 30% we arrive at ~8M recipients each owing $100... making a grand total of $800M ? - big deal indeed !
    HarrysOpinion
    24th Sep 2018
    3:25pm
    Your headline-"PM to impose travel bans on welfare recipients and tax dodgers" is false and misleading!
    "PM to impose travel bans on welfare recipients owing money to Centrelink and tax dodgers" should be the correct headline~
    Jim
    24th Sep 2018
    5:29pm
    But that wouldn’t catch people’s attention, but we musn’t call it a lie, it’s just someone being mischievous.
    HarrysOpinion
    24th Sep 2018
    10:09pm
    Scammers in journalism? False news? ...who would have thought?
    anonysubscribe
    24th Sep 2018
    8:23pm
    tax debtors and welfare cheats.
    what about the rich who have been exempted from tax by various secret tax deal? the businesses? the ones who have settled for much less than their penalties on deals done by the tax department?
    are they cheats or are theyupstanding members of the top 1 % who have mates in high places?
    real welfare cheats need to be punished.
    what about the welfare which is dished out to the rich unviable businesses who get public monies through favours and untransparent deals done in back rooms like the Barrier reef nonentity company which refuse to answer or the goernment which refuses to provide answers on how they were able to rort the system?
    when there are so many unthical and immoral actions which this government commits for its mates, it is rich for them to crack down on tax debtors and welfare cheats who are not recipients of the moolah they throw around like confetti, but are sometimes caught by mistake.
    by all means crackdown on real tax debtors and throw them into debtors prison, manacled, and bring them out on festivals so that we can throw them in stocks for the amusement of the populace.
    the government picks off the easy targets and hides its cronies in the banks and aged care and many other business lobbied from our scrutiny while they violate norms the rest of us are forced to live by.
    The preferment of au pairs, coal miners, gender inequality in big businesses, all make a mockery of the government's bona fides in any crackdowns.
    MD
    24th Sep 2018
    8:55pm
    Agreed anonysubscribe, we should not condone "many unethical and immoral actions which this government commits for its mates"
    Au pairs, coal miners, and gender benders aside, I'm sure you'll agree the principle remains the same - as Mrs Thatcher was known to state - "a crime is a crime is a crime".
    What is more, although I question your claim re "the rest of us are forced to live by" as dubious, I do concur with your means to deal with the perpetrators.
    Eddy
    24th Sep 2018
    9:11pm
    This is nothing new. To the best of my recall it is within my lifetime that a tax office clearance was required before one could proceed overseas. I do not know the process involved as I was too young to understand, but I can remember a tax clearance being required by my older sister when she travelled to UK in the early 1950s. Question: should this power be used when an ATO/Centrelink ruling is subject to a dispute or appeal? There could be instances where innocent persons are prevented from legitimate overseas travel by administrative errors or an unsubstantiated "debt"
    Old Geezer
    25th Sep 2018
    12:00pm
    One of my grandkids applied for a tax file number and hadn't put in any tax returns. They had to submit nil returns for the years after they got their tax file number so they had clearance to go overseas.
    Old Geezer
    25th Sep 2018
    12:37pm
    Just hope you are not the one standing behind the person caught by customs and having to wait while they argue it out.
    Vince
    25th Sep 2018
    2:10pm
    I dont get a cent from the Australian Government having there and being an Australian Citizen and paid taxes for 32 years! Not one cent. They have worked out a way to kill thousands of their older citizens by obliging them to return there and live like paupers in trailer parks which of course they cannot for 2 years. This is not an advanced country In my view. My dad got pension until he was 89. Im 66 and have no income so there you go
    Vince
    25th Sep 2018
    2:11pm
    I dont get a cent from the Australian Government having there and being an Australian Citizen and paid taxes for 32 years! Not one cent. They have worked out a way to kill thousands of their older citizens by obliging them to return there and live like paupers in trailer parks which of course they cannot for 2 years. This is not an advanced country In my view. My dad got pension until he was 89. Im 66 and have no income so there you go
    Cowboy Jim
    25th Sep 2018
    3:44pm
    You might as well us an explanation as to no pension and no income and having paid taxes etc. Do you have too much moolah without an income coming out of it. Otherwise you do not make any sense.
    ex PS
    25th Sep 2018
    3:47pm
    Good idea, and as pointed out by others, company executives who represent firms that dodge paying their fair amount of tax must be included.
    Mutley
    25th Sep 2018
    5:32pm
    I wonder will Mr Morrison also collect unpaid taxes from corporations who have managed to evade paying their fair share.
    johnp
    26th Sep 2018
    10:17am
    Sorry about this but I couldnt resist repeating my point
    And these cheats as well
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2018/09/21/un-junket-macklin-sudmalis/?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Saturday%2020180922
    For once, social media is asking a good question: why are Australian taxpayers funding a three-month education mission to New York for two Federal MPs – who will then immediately quit public life?


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