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Welfare costing taxpayers $300,000 a minute

Pauline Hanson wants a crackdown on welfare cheats.
Pauline Hanson wants a crackdown on welfare cheats.

PAULINE Hanson has called for an Australian identity card during an interview about welfare costs.

In an appearance on Sunrise, the One Nation leader said she blamed both Labour and Greens parties for refusing to support cuts to welfare payments. She also accused people of cheating the system.

According to new figures published in the Herald Sun this morning, welfare is now costing Australian taxpayers $300,000 a minute. The overall figure has increased $40 billion in the last 10 years.

One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson called for an Australian identity card to stop welfare fraud. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson called for an Australian identity card to stop welfare fraud. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

The numbers, which came from reports from the Department of Social Service and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, showed that more than 733,000 people received unemployment benefits last year, at a cost of $10 billion.

"I am calling for the Australian identity card," Hanson said. "There are a lot of people who are on [welfare], who shouldn't be on it. There's a lot of fraud that's happening."

She claimed that there are about 80,000 people on disability pensions who shouldn't be.

Ms Hanson said the "government wants to rein in kids that leave school at the end of the year who go straight onto welfare payment".

Greens senator Srah Hanson-Young responded saying that Hanson is missing the point, and that the majority of the welfare bill is going towards pensioners who need the financial assistance.

Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said that the majority of people on welfare are pensioners. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said that the majority of people on welfare are pensioners. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

"I don't think we should be cutting and slashing support to aged pensioners or to people on disability payments," said Ms Hanson-Young.

"If we're worried about a cost to the budget, overwhelmingly the biggest cost is a $65 billion tax break to big companies which are mostly foreign multinationals.

"You say you are the friend to the battler and you go out handing money to multinational companies and the richest 20 per cent," she told Ms Hanson.

Ms Hanson retorted saying: "I am talking about welfare cheats, people rorting the system, people who shouldn't collect welfare. Pensioners have nothing to do with it. Unless we rein this in we will not have the money to truly look after those that need the helping hand."

Topics:  editors picks general-seniors-news pauline hanson welfare



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