Jul 1, 2004

Do the people of Grayndler have to pay back the Howard Government’s overpaymen

Do the people of Grayndler have to pay back the Howard Government’s overpayments or not?

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 1 July 2004

The people of Grayndler deserve to be told if they will have to pay back the botched pre-election family bonus overpayments, Anthony Albanese MP, Federal Labor Member for Grayndler said today.

“Thousands of families all over Australia have been paid twice and thousands more have missed out all together.

Permanently injured Vietnam Veterans with children and Indigenous families are among the tens of thousands who have missed out on the payment because of the Government’s bungling.

“How are families in Grayndler supposed to know what to do with the money when the John Howard and his minister don’t even know?

“I recommend that people who have received an overpayment be wary if the Howard Government gets back into office they may have to pay back the money.

“Months before the last election John Howard waived debts to avoid a backlash from families then afterwards he stripped their tax returns. He’s at it again.

“In Grayndler each year an estimated 2680 families receive debts averaging $900 each because of the government’s flawed rules.

Many of these families who have received the Government’s one off payment of $600 may have accrued a new family payment debt of around $900. The trouble is the debt notices won’t be issued until after September.

“The Government can afford to pay families $600 now because it knows it will recoup the money after September,” Mr Albanese concluded.