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Labor's Centrelink hypocrisy exposed.



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MEDIA RELEASE

 

Hon Warren Truss MP

Minister for Community Services

 

 

LABOR’S CENTRELINK HYPOCRISY EXPOSED

 

11 March, 1999

 

Labor’s criticism of Centrelink has been exposed today in Federal Parliament as empty and hypocritical.

 

Answering a question in Parliament, Federal Community Services Minister Warren Truss said that despite its criticisms, Labor had accepted the Coalition’s forward budget estimates for Centrelink in its 1998 election policy and planned no increases in Centrelink’s budget or resources.

 

“It is clear that the Opposition has no credibility in regard to Centrelink’s operations and budget allocations,” Mr Truss said.

 

“Despite promising at the 1998 election to implement a ‘Centrelink rescue plan’, Labor did not allocate any funding for extra Centrelink initiatives. (note attachment from ALP Social Security election policy still on its internet site).

 

“Labor’s spokesman Wayne Swan has only hollow promises, empty rhetoric and zero credibility based on Labor’s costings for a non-existent ‘Centrelink plan’ valued at zero.”

 

Since coming to Government in 1996 the Coalition has:

 

·  Doubled the number of call centre staff. An additional 300 staff were employed for the busy Christmas and New Year period.

 

·  Increased the number of call centres from 16 (under Labor) to 23 under the Coalition. In addition the Government has announced two new rural call centres.

 

·  Opened call centres for longer hours (under Labor they operated from 8.3Oam to 4.30pm, while Customer Service Centres were closed every Wednesday afternoon. Customers now have access to Centrelink Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm).

 

Further management initiatives for call centres especially during peak periods are also being implemented. In addition, with the introduction of Centrelink’s new service delivery model and a one main contact system for customers, the demand on call centres should ease.

 

 

Attachment — ALP Forward costings for Centrelink.

 

Contact: - Andrew Hall - Media Adviser - 02 6277 7240 0419 996 766

Ref MR Email: andrew.hall@dfcs.gov.au Web site: www.dfcs.gov.au

 

 

 

98-99

99-00

00-01

01-02

Total

Reversing the means testing of  superannuation assets

0

0

68.2

70.0

138.2

Liquid assets test

1.2

2.3

2.3

2.3

8.1

Youth allowance

20.5

41.0

41.0

41.0

143.5

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

0

0

0

0

0

Review of the social service system

0

0

0

0

0

Centrelink

0

0

0

0

0

Total

21.7

43.3

111.5

113.3

289.8

 

 

Authorised by Gary Gray, 19 National Circuit, Barton  ACT  2600

 

 

 

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