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Increased data matching to save taxpayers $67.5 million

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Increased data matching to save taxpayers $67.5 million

Senator the Hon Jan McLucas Minister for Human Services

14 May 2013

The Department of Human Services will strengthen customer compliance over the next four years, saving more than $67 million.

Data matching with the Australian Tax Office, against Pay-As-You-Go payment summaries, will enable the Department to identify even more cases of high-risk customers - people who may not be correctly declaring income from their employment.

"We already have a highly sophisticated data matching system and teams of fraud investigators all over the country, and this will enhance their capabilities," Minister for Human Services, Senator McLucas said.

This additional scrutiny is expected to highlight an additional 19,000 customers who may not have been identified in other compliance programs.

Compliance activities are an important way of ensuring integrity in the system which supports making Australia a stronger, smarter and fairer nation.

"We are already able to match peoples' records with external providers such as banks, educational institutions and other government agencies, including the Australian Tax Office and the Department of Immigration.

"Most people do the right thing and let Centrelink know about changes to their financial circumstances so their income tested payments can be accurately calculated.

"But this is about ensuring people receive what they are legally entitled to," Senator McLucas said.

The Gillard Government is determined to ensure assistance is delivered by our social security system to those who need it most.

"We have an obligation to the Australian community to protect the welfare payments system from fraud and we will continue to identify ways to manage any identified risk of failure to report income correctly."

Compliance measures are supported by a range of early intervention and debt prevention strategies which aim to keep people's circumstances updated so their payment amounts match their income and they do not incur a debt.

This budget keeps our economy strong, makes the smart investments for our future and ensures every Australian gets a fair go.

Our welfare system is there for all Australians - but if people abuse it, then they'll be caught and have to pay the money back.