Thank youI posted this in another 'welfare cheats' thread last year. Can't be bothered re writing at this hour, but the info is still relevant:
I couldn't not post though after seeing this thread. I am a social work student and have just handed in an essay about misconceptions regarding the welfare system and welfare recipients. So often the media will scream 'welfare cheat!' or 'dole bludgers' in an attempt to rile people up and anger the 'honest, tax paying citizens.' During my research a lot of truth came to light about the reality of the situation...
In 1998, in the same era of the last calls for welfare reforms by the Howard government, headlines cried out about "570,000 welfare cheats" who have "cheated the taxpayers out of millions of dollars" from fraudulent overpayments. It was later revealed (though without any of the same fanfare the lie had caused) - that precisely 99.3 percent of the overpayments were due to administrative error and other reasons not even remotely related to fraud.
In 2002, Family and Community Services Minister Amanda Vanstone made a cheap appeal to voters by announcing a 'crackdown' on 'Welfare Cheats'...Despite it being revealed again, later, that just 0.05 percent of people receiving welfare were doing so on a fraudulent basis.
These are just a few prominent examples of deliberate misconceptions within the 'welfare debate.'
(statistics sourced through academic reference: Peel, Mark. The lowest rung: voices of Australian poverty. Cambridge University Press, 2003.)
You'll find it hard convincing some people on here.