Media Release: Welfare compliance uncovers $68m owed by Family Day Care providers

9 November 2017

The Hon Alan Tudge MP

Minister for Human Services

The Government is committed to maintaining a strong social safety net but we must ensure that payments are targeted to those who need it, and there is integrity in the system.

Most people do the right thing but the unfortunate reality is there are some who deliberately defraud the system, while others inadvertently fail to update their income information.

One area we are focussing on is Family Day Care educators who also receive welfare payments, but who have failed to properly report their earnings.

In these cases we data match the income the person self-declares to Centrelink with the fee information they report to the Department of Education.

New data from this work shows that we have:

  • Completed 6,200 cases and identified debts to the value of $68 million since 2015-16. 
  • Are on track to uncover a further $40 million in debts in 2017-18 alone.
  • Seen the average level of debt detected increase from $10,900 in 2015, when this activity commenced, to an average of $11,450 now.

This work has been underway for several years and, unfortunately, we continue to detect debts where the Family Day Care educators have failed to declare any of this income to Centrelink.

For example a Family Day Care educator in Victoria who is receiving Newstart Allowance failed to declare almost $70,000 in income from their work at two Family Day Care Providers. This person has now incurred a Centrelink debt of over $14,000.

Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge said the Coalition Government is serious about ensuring welfare recipients get what they are entitled to, nothing more and nothing less.

“Taxpayers are happy to support those who are down on their luck, but they expect integrity in the system,” Minister Tudge said.

“Most people do the right thing but the unfortunate reality is there are some who deliberately defraud the system, while others inadvertently fail to update their income information. 

“We now undertake sophisticated data matching across multiple sources to ensure that people were not receiving more than they were entitled to.”