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Bill Shorten's skin is so thick it puts a rhino's to shame

16 January 2017
Amanda Vanstone
The Age

What is it about us, what kind of bongo juice are we on when we fall for some schmaltzy rubbish suggesting that everyone should be allowed to keep overpayments?

My husband has for years rattled on about things I buy and what they cost in pre-tax dollars. His favourite recitation is about parking tickets. Believe me, when you say to yourself,  "I had to earn X dollars to spend this", everything looks a little more expensive.  

This whole debate is a Groundhog Day for me. I once had the welfare portfolio and there were inevitably occasions when people had overpayments and were expected to repay them. There was always the possibility to pay back over time, but many took umbrage at having to pay anything at all. Many in the media, and just about everyone in opposition, played it for all it was worth. The department, Centrelink and the government were always portrayed as mean and nasty people who just wanted to give welfare recipients the boot.