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Budget 2018: government axes 1280 staff from the Department of Human Services



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THE HON LINDA BURNEY SHADOW MINISTER FOR HUMAN SERVICES MEMBER FOR BARTON

GOVERNMENT AXES 1,280 STAFF FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

Last night’s Budget confirms the Government will axe 1,280 staff from the Department of Human Services.

While Australians are finding it more and more difficult to contact and access Centrelink, the Government’s answer is to take an axe to it.

Ask any Australian who has had to contact and access Centrelink. They will tell you their own personal nightmare.

We’ve heard stories of people being placed on hold for hours; waiting weeks for payments to be approved; false debt notices being issued to innocent people.

The truth is Centrelink is understaffed and under-resourced.

Centrelink needs permanent, full-time staff who are properly equipped to manage the complex issues facing income support recipients.

The Turnbull Government needs to immediately reveal to the Australian people where in the Department these staff cuts will fall.

How are they going to make these savings?

Are they going to cut back on shop fronts?

We know that the Turnbull Government’s announcement of $50 million to address the shocking call wait times is not new money.

We know that last year, the Turnbull Government cut 1,200 jobs from DHS. And unanswered calls to Centrelink doubled to 55 million, and call wait times increased.

We know that the Turnbull Government is trying to force older Australians to contact and access Centrelink online. We know that older Australians who try to contact and access Centrelink by phone, will be met with 1.2 million busy signals.

We know that the Turnbull Government has announced the outsourcing of those 1,200 jobs to labour hire companies.

This is straight up privatisation of an important service. Piece by piece, the Turnbull Government is selling these jobs to labour hire firms.

The Turnbull Government is simply trying to make it so difficult for Australians to claim income support in the hope they just give up.

The Turnbull Government has placed the burden of balancing the budget on vulnerable Australians while giving an $80 billion tax cut to big business, and $17 billion to the big banks.

WEDNESDAY, 9 MAY 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: DARYL TAN 0422 028 222

Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra