What a marvelous idea. Doubt it will ever happen but the sheer joy of putting one's signature to a petition such as this is well worth the effort.
Imagine politicians having to endure Centrelink to claim their entitlements. Why not? They get paid by the taxpayer. Imagine having to stay on hold for half an hour to talk to someone. Or try and get the internet site on a day when it's working. Or standing in a line for ages only to be told you have to do it online. Or the Centrelink computer suddenly and inexplicably forgets your tax file number and cuts off all your payments. The mind boggles.
The petition is directed to Jane Halton, Secretary, Department of Finance:
The Australian Government has invested heavily in making the Centrelink payment system highly resistant to fraud and rorting. It's wasteful to duplicate this functionality at the Department of Finance. Politicians should use the same system millions of ordinary Australians rely on to receive their essential payments.
Why is this important?
Politicians use of entitlements concerns many Australians right across the political spectrum. There have been numerous reviews into entitlements after equally numerous spending scandals. The people would regain confidence in the entitlement system if they knew politicians faced dialing the same numbers and lining up in the same queues as ordinary Australian do to access federal payments.
This should include not only travel entitlements but all payments, including ongoing retirement benefits that deliver special six figure pensions to politicians. When there is concern in the community about rorting instead of another ineffective parliamentary review centrelink can crackdown and use its extensive arsenal of tools to ensure compliance: including obligatory waiting periods, asking claimants to produce extensive and exhaustive personal information, hiring private detectives and snooping on the social media accounts of claimants to verify their honesty. Where fraud is systemic centrelink could issue payments on cashless cards that can only be used for pre-approved purchases and for example exclude sales from liquor shops and helicopter hire agencies. sign here.