How to fix the Centrelink debacle

Joe Boswell writes: There is an obvious way the government could put an end to all the welfare fraud and overpayments that currently so exercise ministers. Every Australian should be entitled to reclaim any expenditure from Centrelink, so long as each claim includes a declaration that the money was used for family purposes as defined by the claimant. Problem solved.

Of course, some people may think there is a flaw in this scheme. But it has already been piloted for years for parliamentary business expenses and is a huge success – the great majority of parliamentarians are obviously delighted with it. MPs and ministers proudly and correctly declare they have never made a fraudulent claim. Even Bronwyn Bishop could not do it! So now let’s all have a (fair) go.

On Razer’s edge

David Edmunds writes: I think Helen Razer misses the point about liberal gloating concerning Donald Trump’s golden showers. It is not about the sexual behaviour per se, but the hypocrisy of the right. Remember the pompous pursuit of Bill Clinton concerning an act of felatio, a sexual act arguably similar in the distress and humiliation, or perhaps the lack thereof, it may have caused its participants. Remember the grand jury, the proposal of impeachment the numerous statements by Republican politicians about how this should disqualify Clinton from the Presidency.

The Republicans claim they stand for public decency and family values, and this probably does not normally include golden showers. Further, the support for Trump from much of the evangelical right, despite being a poster boy for everything they criticise in modern morality is reinforced by these accusations.

Ms Razer is probably right in her conclusion that nobody cares, emphasising the point that moral posturing is nothing more than a political strategy.






Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey