Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said the Abbott government is deliberately trying to smear all income support recipients with this latest ‘tough cop on the beat' approach to welfare.
"Appointing a senior police officer to target welfare fraud implies that the problems with the system are all related to deliberate fraud rather than administrative errors resulting from a complex and unwieldy system that leads to the majority of overpayments or in fact underpayments," said Senator Siewert said.
"Centrelink can't answer half the calls coming in seeking information and now the Government are bringing in the cops blaming unemployed people and people with disability for what in many cases are innocent mistakes or mistakes that Centrelink themselves have made.
"How do people know if they are doing the right thing or if Centrelink has processed their latest information if their calls aren't being answered?
"It is ironic that in the week that the gross failure by Centrelink is identified that Government launches this latest measure.
"Government should be pursuing with the same vigour those at the big end of town who are deliberately avoiding paying tax" Senator Siewert concluded.