Pauline Hanson wants a compulsory ID card for welfare recipients

Photo: Bradley Kanaris/ Getty Images.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson wants to introduce a compulsory national identity card for Australians who receive welfare payments.

According to the Courier Mail, Hanson says the proposed ID, unlocked by the owner’s fingerprint, would stop welfare overpayments and fraud.

Under her proposal the card would be voluntary for most Australians but compulsory for those who receive support payments from the government, such as family tax benefit or child care payments.

“A lot of people are simply using their relatives’ Medicare cards when they come to Australia and that gets billed to the taxpayer,” she told the Courier Mail.

“It’s common sense. People should need ID if they want to access welfare,” she said, adding that people have to go to greater lengths to prove their identity when purchasing a phone plan than they do to access welfare payments.

Treasurer Scott Morrison is on a drive to reduce unnecessary welfare payments, with the government new technology “to help prevent people from getting into debt to the government in the first place through better identification”.

Hanson’s plan comes as the government scrambles to resolves the Centrelink data-matching scandal.

Many Australians have allegedly received demands from Centrelink to pay back money, as a result of a new computer system that matched their data to information from other government agencies. Centrelink has been referring some people distressed from its debt claims to Lifeline.

The office of ombudsman Colin Neave on Monday afternoon confirmed it was investigating the matter. The Courier Mail has more.

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