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Inquiry shows: Howard Government guilty of welfare fraud.

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Media Release

Penny Wong Labor Senator for South Australia Shadow Minister for Employment and Workforce Participation, Corporate Governance and Responsibility

Monday 28 November, 2005



Shadow Employment Minister Penny Wong today accused the Howard Government of committing fraud against the most vulnerable Australians.

Senator Wong was speaking at the tabling of the Senate inquiry report into the Howard Government's extreme and incompetent welfare changes.

"The inquiry showed that the Howard Government is guilty of the biggest welfare fraud in Australian history," Senator Wong said.

"The Howard Government is not moving people from welfare to work. All it is doing is dumping more Australians onto the dole.

"The Government did not provide one scrap of evidence to show that dumping single parents and people with a disability onto the dole would help them get a job.

"As a symbol of the Howard Government's incompetence, single parents and people with a disability will now have even less reason to try to move from welfare to work, because under these changes the Howard Government will take back more of what they earn.

"Welfare recipients will now lose up to 75 cents of every dollar back to the Howard Government. Where's the incentive in that?

"Welfare reform was supposed to reduce the number of people who rely on welfare payments. But all these fraudulent changes do is shuffle people from one Centrelink database to another.

"Labor supports real welfare reform that looks at the reason someone isn't working, and delivers practical solutions."

For further information: • John Olenich - 02 6277 5789 / 0408 841 850