Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

$14.4 million saved from welfare fraud

Government crack downs on identity fraud are saving Australian taxpayers millions of dollars each year, Minister for Community Services Larry Anthony announced today.

“By using advanced technology we have saved $14.4 million of taxpayer’s money last financial year identifying those people who deliberately set out to rip off their fellow tax payers,” said Mr Anthony.

Mr Anthony said schemes had been uncovered where people were using the names of dead children to claim welfare payments in a scenario similar to that in the book ‘Day of the Jackal’.

By visiting cemeteries welfare cheats were finding the names of children who had been born roughly around the same time as themselves, and adopted their identity.

“Centrelink’s fraud detection teams identified these cases through a wide range of processes using the latest equipment and fraud detection techniques, which are having excellent results.

“In the last financial year Centrelink has identified 110 cases of fraud, all of which have been referred to the Department of Public Prosecution for prosecution,” said Mr Anthony.

“We have a 100% prosecution success rate.

“In fact, the recent House of Representatives Committee report highlighted the fact that Centrelink is leading way in detecting fraud.

“This Government is acting responsibly with taxpayer’s money – giving people exactly what they are entitled to, and working hard to ensure that cheats are caught.”

“This National-Liberal Government is committed to responsibly delivering a stronger, more equitable welfare system where Australians have faith that they will receive their entitlements and the cheats will be caught,” said Mr Anthony.