Welfare cheats being dobbed in as public tip-offs soar

Australians are dobbing in welfare cheats at a rate of knots with the Human Services Department receiving 90,000 tip-offs in the last year.

The tip-offs relate to people allegedly wrongly claiming things like Newstart, Child Support and Medicare payments.

Government Services Minister Stuart Robert says it has saved a massive amount of money.


“It’s in excess of $100 million from memory, but the numbers are big,” Mr Robert told Sky News.

“90,000 thousand tip-offs in a given year is huge.”

Each tip-off is assessed by a specialist team within the Human Services Department which then decides if further investigation is needed.

Cases where criminal behaviour is found are referred to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

There has been 249 investigations stemming from tip-offs with 49 cases before the courts.

Mr Robert said the average Australian doesn’t like someone cheating welfare.

“We’ve got $184 billion that rolls out each year in one of the most highly targeted welfare schemes in the world.

“It’s about the right amount of money to  the right people at the right time.

“It’s not about defrauding the government, you’re actually taking money from your next-door neighbour and the lovely lady across the street, that’s who you’re stealing from.”

According to figures, the average Australian contributes about $7,610 to the welfare and Medicare system through their income tax.

People who suspect someone is cheating the welfare system are urged to call the Australian Government Services Fraud Tip-off Line on 131 524 or by going to the Human Services Department website