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Your views: on Centrelink and elderly-only shopping hour

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Today, readers comment on Centrelink mistakenly telling clients Newstart payment had been cut, and arrangements to avoid the virus-inspired supermarket rush.

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Commenting on the story: Centrelink glitch shows Newstart payments slashed

I checked my Newstart allowance on Sunday and it had a big cut.

I raced to Centrelink on Monday morning but when I checked as I waited to speak to someone the Newstart allowance was corrected to the usual amount. – Robert Beadle

Gosh, this government is so good at IT, isn’t it? The census, my-Health, and now this. 

As soon  as I read about this change, I thought ‘what could possibly go wrong?’ And now it has.

How many thousands of these people aren’t on social media? Or don’t have a computer or smartphone? – Suzanne Cass 

I am not on Newstart but I found referring to an underpayment to jobseekers as a glitch both offensive and insensitive.

It reflects the cavalier attitude this government has shown welfare recipients – it seems that for them poverty and unemployment are crimes.

Are we going to follow the path of the UK where in recent months two welfare recipients died of starvation because of similar glitches?

Although Newstart is recognised as totally inadequate by almost everyone other than members of the Coalition government, appeals to increase the payment has fallen on deaf ears.

This ‘glitch’ only add insult to injury.

It beggars belief that in an affluent society such as ours we are unable to afford an adequate safety net for all of our citizens. John Töns

I think it’s disgusting what they give Newstart and youth allowance and what students receive, it’s so rude.

I don’t know how they expect people to live on this. 

I think this is what we were receiving over 20 years ago, it hasn’t gone up but the price of food rent and power has gone up – it really baffles my mind. – Claire Hingston 

As someone who worked for Social Security/Centrelink for 25 years and who has since experienced the service from the other side of the counter, one has reason to suspect that this may not be a “glitch”.

The recurring levels of poor service, errors, falsehoods and excuses encountered by the poor folk who have to use this service point to either a deliberate strategy to discourage and drive away citizens who rely on the safety net, or a level of incompetence in the management of this service that should see heads rolling.

While conspiracy theories are mostly bunkum, Centrelink stuff ups should be closely examined for patterns of deliberate mischief by a government waging a ‘war on the poor’.

People on welfare, especially the unemployed, are the subject of such a high level of contempt by this government that even the coronavirus emergency cannot penetrate their cold dead hearts.

They’re giving away $750, but a healthy dose of confusion and dismay with it. Unbelievable. – Stephen Fuller

Commenting on the story: Elderly-only shopping hour after shelves stripped bare

I think this is a really great idea and I commend them for their initiative.

However if this statement from your article is correct: “Access will be granted if the shopper has a relevant government issued concession card”, I fear I may be excluded from any such shop as I am a self-funded retiree and as such I do not receive(hold) a Government Aged Pension(Card)?

Nor do I hold any concession cards.

However, that doesn’t stop me from being elderly and not in the greatest of health.

I do hold a Seniors Card, I’m just not receiving any Government Centrelink assistance. – Dennis O’Keefe

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