Welfare Worries

It goes without saying that the welfare system in Australia has been a hot-button topic in the news media here, but while much has been said about the higher ups’ opinions on the matter, nothing has been said on the opinions of the battlers who are stuck on welfare.

Out of these oft-so-forgotten people, many of them are struggling to put food on the table while maintaining a roof over their head. This along with the fact that many are either single parents, those who have been unemployed for years with no hope, or even those who do have a job that just doesn’t pay enough, makes matters even more upsetting, especially because some of them also have mental, physical and health issues. Is this fair? Is this deserved?

On the other hand, there are believed to be many people abusing the welfare and support systems with false names and information, along with drug and alcohol abuse which the government has been cracking down on for years, yet these are seen to be the majority of welfare users by many. Should so many are judged by the misdeeds of a few? Has the government cracked down hard enough?

There has even been a wave of automated debt notices sent to many welfare recipients, many have been correct, but a not-insignificant subset have been false, and it has been noted by Centrelink themselves that the appeals system has failed and takes longer to run than the timeframe for debt resolution allows. This means that since once you start paying you will be deemed to have accepted it, it is impossible to appeal, yet you cannot appeal before having to pay, thus creating a catch 22 situation. Is this acceptable? Is Centrelink doing enough to resolve appeals in a timely manner? What can be done to keep Centrelink accountable for the system of appeals they operate?

Therefore, is it fair to the people who are battling on the front line of Australia’s workforce to face the full brunt of welfare cuts, false debt notices, and extreme prejudice, despite the fact that only a highlighted minority are abusing the system? Again, it’s up to you to decide, I am merely giving you the info.


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