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Centrelink errors show social security system needs simplifying.

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Media Release

Senator Andrew Bartlett

Australian Democrats Social Security Spokesperson

22 NOVEMBER 1999




Centrelink errors show social security system needs simplifying


Senator Andrew Bartlett, the Democrats’ social security spokesperson, said the findings of massive errors in Special Benefits payments were further evidence of the need to simplify the social security system.


Senator Bartlett said, “If Government assessors are making mistakes in nearly half the cases for Special Benefit, what chance do welfare recipients have of correctly jumping through

Centrelink’s administrative hoops?”


An audit report has found that more than 40 per cent of new claims for the social security special benefit were incorrectly assessed, costing the government $1.4 million.


“This is another example of Government not meeting its side of mutual obligation.


“If welfare recipients make a mistake, the Government calls it fraud. The Government makes a mistake, and it’s just a mistake and it still gets the money back.


“I hope Minister Newman will not try to include these figures as part of proof of the incidence of welfare fraud.”


For interview contact Senator Andrew Bartlett on 0418 743 789 or (02) 6277 3406



jk  1999-11-24  11:00