LABOR CONCERNED ABOUT ACCURACY OF CENTRELINK DEBT RECOVERY

21 Dec 2016

Federal Labor is concerned about the accuracy of Centrelink’s debt recovery program which appears to be hitting decent, law-abiding Australians right on the eve of Christmas.

SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON  SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS AND APPRENTICESHIPS

ACTING SHADOW MINISTER FOR HUMAN SERVICES SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

 

LABOR CONCERNED ABOUT ACCURACY OF CENTRELINK DEBT RECOVERY

Federal Labor is concerned about the accuracy of Centrelink’s debt recovery program which appears  to be hitting decent, law-abiding Australians right on the eve of Christmas.

My office has been inundated with calls and emails from people who have been notified by Centrelink that they owe thousands of dollars, despite the fact that many of them have done the right thing and reported their income to  Centrelink.

Labor has serious concerns that many honest Australians are being caught up in a drag net approach by the Turnbull  Government.

An age pensioner, who works occasionally tutoring young people has been told she owes $15,000 to Centrelink, despite the fact that she meticulously reported every cent she earns via the Centrelink app. She was absolutely  distraught.

This is not an isolated  incident.

Hundreds of people have shared similar experiences on the Triple J Hack Facebook page after Triple   J ran a story on the problem last  week.

Labor believes that people who do the wrong thing and take advantage of our social security system should be investigated and made to repay the money. That’s only   fair.

However if the Turnbull Government is serious about ensuring the integrity of our social security system they must guarantee that debt notices are being sent to people who have actually done the wrong thing.

Honest, law-abiding Australians don’t deserve to be sent incorrect debt notices by the Turnbull Government, especially at  Christmas.

Mr Tudge must answer the following  questions:

Exactly, how is the Turnbull Government determining who is being sent debt notices by Centrelink?

 

 

What is the Turnbull Government doing to ensure that incorrect letters are not being sent to honest Australians?

 

 

Why are so many incorrect debts being raised against Centrelink    clients?

 

 

What is the nature of the special ‘compliance unit’ that deals with mistakes and incorrect

 

debts, and why can’t people go to Centrelink in person to have their incorrect debt problem solved?

 

 

What is the Government going to do to fix the problems with the Centrelink online service portal that are preventing some social security recipients challenging debt    notices?

 

WEDNESDAY, 21 DECEMBER  2016