Reports today reveal that the Department of Human Services and the Australian Federal Police have been writing to social security recipients and threatening them with jail if they provide inaccurate information.
The Turnbull Government must stop demonising vulnerable Australians.
Pensioners, people with disability, carers and vulnerable Australians do not deserve to be targeted by the Turnbull Government and made to feel like frauds and cheats.
According to figures from the Australian Council of Social Service just 0.018% of people receiving payments were investigated for fraud, while 996 cases were referred to prosecutors and just 29 cases resulted in indictable charges.
Labor believes that people who deliberately rort the system should be investigated and required to repay the money - that’s only fair.
But there is a big difference between maintaining the integrity of our social security system and harassing pensioners, people with disability, carers and vulnerable Australians with letters from the police threatening them with jail if they give inaccurate information to Centrelink.
Recent reviews of the Disability Support Pension (DSP), including the case of a severely disabled man, Mr Andrew Johnson have raised serious concerns about the Turnbull Government’s harsh approach to social security recipients. Mr Johnson was required by Centrelink to once again prove his eligibility for the DSP, despite not being able speak, needing a stomach tube to help him feed and despite living in state care for 17 years.
Pensioners, people with disability, carers and vulnerable Australians deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. They don’t deserve to be treated like suspected criminals by the Turnbull Government.
WEDNESDAY, 7 DECEMBER 2016