Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation

Media release: $1.4 billion saved in welfare fraud crackdown

11 February 2018

The Hon Michael Keenan MP

Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation

Australian taxpayers have saved $1.4 billion through a Government crackdown on welfare fraud and non-compliance during the past 18 months.

Australia has a generous social safety net reflective of our fundamental belief in a fair go.

While the majority of people do the right thing, there are those who set out to deliberately defraud the system, robbing Australian families in the process.

The Coalition Government is committed to ensuring integrity and fairness in the welfare system. We have zero tolerance to anyone who defrauds the system.

Between July 1, 2016 and the end of last year, the Department of Human Services investigated more than 1,400 cases of potential welfare fraud, referring 956 of these to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

One investigation uncovered a criminal illegally claiming a disability support pension by using an alias, fleecing the system of more than $160,000. They were found guilty of fraud and sentenced to three years in prison.

The Coalition Government has increased checks through data matching to over 600,000 every year, half a million more than when Labor were in Government in 2012-13.

In fact, the value of debts raised halved under Labor, plunging from $419 million in 2006-2007, to $220 million in 2012-13.

Labor likes to pretend they care about hard-working Australians but their record on the integrity of the welfare system is woeful. Only the Coalition can be trusted to protect the incomes of Australian workers and ensure the integrity of our welfare system.

The Turnbull Government is serious about ensuring only those entitled to payments receive them.

You can report suspected fraud online or by calling the fraud tip off line on 131 524.

Page last updated: 27 March 2018