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Centrelink data-matching ignores those who are underpaid

16 January 2017
Debbie McTaggart
Your Life Choices

Over the last few weeks, much has been made of the Government’s debt-recovery program but if data-matching really is the way forward, when will it be used to help those who have been underpaid or missed out on benefits altogether?

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Not only has the Government’s debt-recovery program been badly managed, it has raised questions about the fairness of the system in general.

In a week where the Minister for Health Sussan Ley stood down and later resigned due to a supposed rort in travel expenses, it was open season for the mainstream media on the Government. Tales of Julie Bishop’s trip to Portsea Polo, Mathias Cormann’s weekends in Broome and even Peter Dutton’s working dinner in the USA all hit the front pages, yet they couldn't quite bury the debacle that has been the Centrelink debt-recovery program.

How galling for those who have received an incorrect notice of possible overpayment of benefits or have been forced in to repayment plans to see our esteemed ministers living it up at the taxpayers’ expense? And while you may think that the two issues are not connected, the reality is that both are a reflection on the failure to understand that just because something is legal, it doesn't make it morally correct.

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