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Posted: Jan 14 2018, 04:18 PM
Group: Featured Blogers
Member No.: 17
Joined: 17-January 12
Rep: 143 pts
Federal Government push to recover wrong Centrelink payouts
Saturday, 13 January 2018 2:00PM
Human Services Minister Michael Keenan has vowed to expand the Federal Government’s data-matching program to claw back billions of taxpayer dollars incorrectly paid to welfare recipients through fraud or error.
Federal Labor yesterday seized on figures showing the Department of Human Services overpaid $2.84 billion in income support last financial year to criticise the Government’s “incompetent” management of Centrelink.
The department overpaid 2.4 million people an average of $1174 each during the year.
But less than half the money was recovered, leaving taxpayers $1.6 billion in the red.
The Government probed just one in 10 reports of cheating, with only 709 people prosecuted.
Mr Keenan denied the department was under-resourced and said the Government would come up with new ways, using data-matching in particular, to recoup money from income support recipients who had been paid more than they were entitled to.
“If you have inadvertently made a mistake, then we will work with you to get that money repaid. You will need to repay it,” Mr Keenan said.
“But if you have been defrauding the system, then you can expect that we will come down on you like a ton of bricks.”
Mr Keenan’s pledge to raise recovery rates comes after last year’s controversy over the robo-debt recovery system, which slashed millions from the Government’s welfare bill but also pursued thousands of innocent people over false or incorrect debts.
Acting shadow human services minister Doug Cameron said people who did the wrong thing and tried to cheat the system should be forced to repay the money owed but he urged the Government to prioritise fixing the “mess” at Centrelink, which had been plagued by staff cuts and flawed IT systems.
Community and Public Sector Union national president Alistair Waters said increasing welfare overpayments happened when a Government “chronically” underfunded IT systems and under-resourced the department and Centrelink.
I hope they come down hard on those defrauding the system.
"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." - Winston Churchill
Posted: Jan 14 2018, 07:22 PM
Group: Active Member
Member No.: 11
Joined: 20-December 11
Rep: 48 pts
what about islamic schools who got caught out then got funding back