Bad luck bludgers: Government closes a huge welfare loophole

Hardworking Aussies have long been footing the bill for “dole bludgers” who cheat our welfare system. Now the government is

Hardworking Aussies have long been footing the bill for “dole bludgers” who cheat our welfare system. Now the government is set to overhaul the Newstart Allowance scheme, closing one gaping loophole.

Until now, Newstart recipients have been able to refuse work by requesting a special “waiver”. This form allows people to reject a job and continue receiving welfare payments for another eight weeks.

Some of the jobs turned down by these “welfare cheats” have offered over $27 an hour. The excuses written on their waiver forms will make you sick, too!

One man said he’d rather play golf than participate in paid work, whilst a young woman refused to get out of bed for “less than $20 an hour”.

Another woman complained the office she’d been recruited too “smelt funny”, whilst a young man said he’d rather follow his “dreams of becoming an actor” than work.

A separate proviso of this waiver means that welfare recipients also need to participate in a few hours casual employment each week, as part of work-for-the-dole conditions.

This means that “welfare cheats” are turning down full-time roles, to just work sporadically. One 23-year-old man told the Department of Human Services he “already worked 3 hours each day”, and extra time would “make him tired”.

Astonishingly, this loophole in the Newstart Allowance scheme is costing tax-payers and pensioners a whopping $7.5 billion each year! Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said this should change soon.

“There are loopholes in the system that are allowing some to get away with making insufficient or inadequate job search efforts without good reason”, Ms Cash said.

“This must be stopped – this is what the government is trying to address”.

“Australia’s income support system is there as a safety net for people who genuinely cannot find a job – not as an option for those who refuse to work”, she added.

“Australians who pay taxes to fund our welfare system expect there to be safeguards to ensure that those who can work do work”.

Are you appalled that “dole bludgers” are turning down paid work? Do you think too many people “cheat” our welfare system? How long did you work for to earn your pension and retirement?

  1. Stella  

    Whilst I agree in principle with this tightening the loopholes, it seems to me that they government should in fact clean its own house, and put that in order , before making these and other more punitive changes to the welfare system.

  2. JB  

    It’s about time Government starts tightening these loopholes. But they also have to look at their own BIG SPENDERS AND SALARIES! Too many lurks!!!

  3. Why don’t they have national Service again and get these lazy buggers off their tired asses . I think it does need an overhaul. The sooner the better and leave the poor pensioners alone who mostly cannot work anymore. It is a disgrace that young people are too lazy to work a full or part time job offered to them.

    • Val Thomas  

      I fully agree with Barbara Young. National Service was a good system which also gave the young people discipline, which they don;t have now. It also shows them what hard work is (but I forgot, they don’t want hard work)

    • Susan Bell  

      National Service is not the answer, it is only suggested by people who are too mentally lazy to think in other ways, it is a default fallback. “Young kids of today need National Service, it will fix everything”. No it won’t and it will never help the gentle, artistic, compassionate people, it will never help the genderdly different people. It is like using a hammer to do brain surgery. This article is rubbish and if you quote a named person at least tell us who they are, who is Ms. Cash? why should we listen to her.
      Most people have great difficulty in getting benefits, they have to jump through hoops, do totally useless courses and get treated like pariahs. And the reason for the loop hole, we cannot expect an atheist to work for a religious group, we cannot expect vegetarians to work at at slaughtering meat, we cannot expect pacifists to do NS or join the army.

      • HS  

        National Service does not necessarily mean ‘front-line force. There are many supportive roles in transport, engineering, IT, communication services,warehousing including fork-lift driving etc, available for young people including defense training skills. A two year stint is a good idea to get the laziness and hopelessness out of most younger people and provide them with some very good education and skills to use in our world of business commerce. They will get a good income while in NS and good savings.

  4. Yvonne Vishnich  

    Why have these loopholes been allowed to go on for so long, haven’t Centrelink been aware of it.
    When my husband & I went to apply for the aged pension after working & paying tax for 50 years we were scrutinised down to our last cent, they were aware of everything we had, how these dole bludgers get away with it has me stumped.

  5. Neta Williams  

    Tighten the loop holes by all means but do not blame anyone other than the lazy person who refuses to work. I worked many long years to earn my pension and it should not be put in danger by lazy young fit humans because they want to play golf or will not get out of bed for less then $20 an hour. The parents of these humans are to blame because they did not teach them any values or much else if their manners and behaviour is anything to go by. Bring back national service or make them work for the dole. No show for work no money to play golf.

  6. Deanna  

    Unfortunately they are also breeding welfare bludgers as the saying says “monkey see ,monkey do.

  7. Everyone I have known who has been unemployed has been desperate to work. “Dole bludgers” are a tiny percentage of the unemployed and is is wrong to suggest otherwise.

    • I don’t understand this at all – my youngest had to jump through a MILLION hoops to keep his Newstart. He had 15 hrs a week of casual work, went for every job he could find, but still was told he would have to get 25 hrs a week casual or he would be sent to a Work for the Dole. ( and they didn’t have anything for him anyway)
      He told them if he had 25 hrs a week he wouldn’t need the Newstart !
      There are some, there is NO doubt , who rort the system – but the jobs are not there in many many places. And the service providers who are supposed to be helping DON’T. They do nothing and get money from the govt for doing nothing. THAT needs to fixed.
      Re-open CES – have people actually helping jobseekers. That’s the way to weed out the rorters.

  8. Dianne Evans  

    This is rubbish the Government crack down on unemployed all the time and while they scream and yell about welfare cheats they are usually doing something sneaky they do not want us too notice. The jobs are not there for everyone so people just have too realise unemployment is here too stay and getting worse and lots of people classed as working are still payed by government because the are casual and do not earn enough too survive on.

  9. I really don’t believe this nonsense. There is always going to be a small percentage of people who are unemployable for one reason or another but I do not believe that many people would prefer to live on less than $300 per week when given the choice to work. The biggest bludgers in my opinion are the single mothers who have a baby to each new boyfriend and are usually claiming the single mothers pension while their live in boyfriend works.

  10. Joy Anne Bourke  

    (1) YES ( 2) YES (3) 45 YEARS. National Service would be an excellent idea. Also look at themselves with Huge Salaries and Perks. Especially there pensions when they leave. This is an over spend on their part. Should live off the pensions that they think is enough for Pensioners to live on.

  11. Maggie  

    I lived in America for many tears and I saw what happens when there is no safety net….lots of house breaking, street thefts, drug problems and suburbs of disadvantaged people with no hope and no way out! Unfortunately this is now what’s happening here in Australia…..yes, I agree, there are a minority that cheat the system but it is almost impossible to live on welfare and have a comfortable life! Oh, and by the way, the woman that mentioned the single mother’s. ..I was on a single mother’s pension for a while when my husband left and left me with 3 children under the age of 5. I can tell you, it wasn’t easy! Maybe some of you need to go down to the impoverished areas and do a bit of volenteer work and maybe give some of those families and “young” people a hand instead of sitting in your comfortabe warm/cool house talking about and criticizing something you know nothing about and what you hear on chanel 7 news bites!

    • TG  

      I notice you say you were on supporting parents benefit ‘for a while’. So it sounds as though for you it was a short term helping hand when you had nothing else. It also sounds as though you certainly ensured you did something to get off it. This is very different to many where it is a lifestyle choice. Girls who leave school and have three babies by the time they are twenty all while claiming this money are the sort of cases that spring to mind. Others, when the youngest turns 6, have another couple of children to different fathers so they can continue to get it. Many who ensure there are different fathers so that they can also claim the maximum child support from each of the men concerned.

  12. Wazza  

    Why was the loophole ever included in the first place? What was the intent?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *