I had trouble finding work and I'm grateful to centrelink for keeping me alive during most of that time.
I was quite depressed for a few years, too depressed to even contact centrelink about welfare payments, and so I slowly grew a debt through a close friend, adding further to my depression.
After multiple failed attempts, I finally got the newstart allowance which was a huge relief, until I was hounded every week to apply for as many jobs as I could, jobs that did not suit me at all, great for depression...
In september of 2015 I started casual retail work and slowly weened myself from centrelink as got more stable hours.
I woke up this morning to find a surprise mygov email regarding centrelink.
I updated my details and was told that I've been overpaid $700.
I feel bullied by centrelink and further disillusioned in the turnball government.
There are 2 reasons why this is wrong:
1. Centrelink has the responsibility of committing to their payments. It is unfair to then claim money that they had given away years ago.
2. They have miscalculated my debt. I had no work for the start of the financial year, then unstable hours. Centrelink has divided my earnings for the year by 26 to average it out across the entire year.
I am more than happy to pay tax towards centrelink, but I am not happy for them to relabel payments as loans and expect me to pay them back on top of tax.