Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Centrelink sends out letters threatening jail for overpayments


Oh FFS why can't they just leave us alone? My back's been aching all day to the point of anxiety, the anxiety follows on to a mild panic attack and dizziness where I've had to just go back to bed and try and breath properly. I finally wander to the PC to see what's happening in the world, to be informed that Centrelink has a new wiz bang computer program (we all know how the Centrelink wiz bang computer programs work out) that supposedly catches people red handed getting overpaid by Centrelink.

Hence the threatening letter below sent to specific areas threatening jail for overpayments. FFS haven't we all got enough problems with everything without having to argue with a mindless Centrelink drone hell bent on finding us guilty of something?

I've only ever been overpaid by Centrelink once when I was on the sickness benefit with my kidney failure. As it was only $300 a week I forced myself back to work, complete with the central line still embedded near my heart. As I was at work it was impossible to stay on hold for up to an hour on the phone, and the line was too long by the time I got there after work to get through it by the time Centrelink closed. It took me two weeks and a day off to finally get in to see them, by which time I'd been overpaid by $600, which I promptly paid back.

Now there's letters going around threatening jail for that? Oh just fuck off.It's nothing more than the gov trying to get blood out of a stone for their budget; targeting us for their ineptitude. 
Australian Council of Social Service chief executive, Cassandra Goldie, criticised the repeated threats to welfare recipients, saying the overwhelming majority of people receiving payments did the right thing. 

“It is appalling that the minister for human services is telling people on the lowest incomes three weeks before Christmas that if they have a debt with Centrelink they may go to prison,” Goldie said. 

“This is false, highly irresponsible and risks causing a huge amount of unnecessary stress and anxiety amongst people who are already doing it tough. 

“We are not a police state and people should not be made to feel like they are doing the wrong thing by claiming a social security payment.” 

Only a minority of welfare recipients are found to have intentionally committed welfare fraud each year. 

Last year just 0.018% of those receiving payments were investigated for fraud, while 996 cases were referred to prosecutors and just 29 cases resulted in indictable charges, according to Acoss. The Guardian