Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Welfare breaching comparisons wrong

Federal Minister for Community Services, Larry Anthony, today dismissed claims by the Australian Council of Social Service that welfare recipients who breached their obligations were being harshly treated.

Mr Anthony said people were breached when they did not comply with their obligations to the Australian taxpayer but those obligations were not strenuous.

“Eighty six per cent of people receiving payments are never breached; all this Government wants is for people on benefits to receive their full entitlement, nothing more, nothing less,” Mr Anthony said.

Mr Anthony refuted the ACOSS claims saying that comparing Coalition and Labor breaching figures was inaccurate and wide of the mark as both regimes were completely different.

“Under the Coalition, a customer has three chances to improve their compliance with Social Security requirements before they lose their full entitlement.

“Under Labor, people who breached the welfare system had their payments cut immediately, with no second chance, a system that was so harsh that many social security officials were not willing to implement Labor policy.”

Mr Anthony said that under the Coalition system, people who breached and were penalised could appeal through Centrelink, the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.