Australia’s Federal Government has announced plans to pursue thousands of fraudulent welfare recipients over money which they allegedly received through duplicitous activity. The announcement comes following revelations that more than $900 million is owed to Centrelink as a result of claimants making deceptive claims. One particular welfare recipient — a man living in Queensland, is reported to have allegedly earned close to $800,000 in fraudulent payments over an extended period.
Examples of false claims have included welfare recipients receiving increased payments for claiming to have custody of children who in fact do not exist, providing misleading information in relation to marital status, and also intentionally misreporting income levels. Human Services Minister Michael Keenan has outlined intentions to charge false claimants interest in addition to the principal amount which they owe. Police charges are also being considered in some cases. The scandal is just the latest example of government negligence costing hard working Australian tax payers millions of dollars. The Australian people deserve better.