Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Swan misleads on Centrelink concession cards

Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services, Wayne Swan, needs to clarify his double standard on cancelling the concession cards of people who are no longer entitled to them.

The Government takes seriously its responsibility to taxpayers to ensure benefits are only received by those entitled to them. We believe it is only reasonable that Centrelink cancel access to these concessions if an individual is not entitled to them.

However, Mr Swan has indicated today that Labor has a different view and has advocated for these individuals to keep them.

There are 5.1 million Australians receiving the benefit of concession cards. In a recent review Centrelink cancelled 34,000 cards held by individuals who no longer have an entitlement to the benefit. This included 8,000 Pensioner Concession Cards.

Individuals lose their entitlement to these concessions when they move off payments because their income and assets increase or, in the case of Newstart and Youth Allowance, when they have gained employment.

The Government believes that only eligible individuals should benefit from our generous social security system. Mr Swan appears to disagree and has argued that individuals who are not entitled to concessions should be allowed to benefit.

If an individual has had their card cancelled and they believe they have an entitlement to it, they should contact Centrelink to have their situation looked at.

If Mr Swan does know of cases where concessions have been incorrectly cancelled, he should stop grandstanding and pass the details on to Centrelink.