Since reports first surfaced of issues with Centrelink’s new data matching systems linked to Australian Tax Office data, Pirate Party Australia’s social media accounts have been swamped with stories of incorrect debt claims going back many years, including debts from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

It is clear from many reports that Centrelink is automatically generating flawed debts based on algorithms that will obviously produce incorrect results[1], this new attempt by the government to crassly reduce spending on social security has revealed their true policy: to treat anyone who makes a legitimate claim as guilty until proven innocent.

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“Pirate Party Australia is pleased to announce our basic income policy,[1]” said NSW senate candidate Sam Kearns. “Technology is going to impact on work in many ways, abolishing many jobs that currently employ thousands of people. Work will become increasingly uncertain and many people will find themselves without the means to survive.[2] We have a choice as a society, do we want to create an antagonism between workers and the machines that are replacing them? Or do we want to ease the social cost of automation by ensuring everyone has a solid economic foundation that reduces the economic and social damage of people losing their job?”

“The current welfare system is woefully inadequate to deal with these coming changes,” Mr Kearns continued. “Where other parties support people languishing on the dole, barely able to keep their heads above water, we propose granting all Australians a basic income regardless of situation. This will reduce the labyrinthine bureaucracy running our social security system and provide certainty for anyone unfortunate enough to lose their job.”

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The webcast returns for a new season this week and Sam introduces new co-host Brandon Selic to the show. They discuss the coming election, Pirate Party Australia’s senate candidates, the 2016 federal budget and asylum seekers. Subscribe to the feed, or view past episodes.

Link mentioned in the budget discussion:

Guess whose electorate negatively gears the most…

Australia’s ‘Big Four’ banks have for many years generated some of the largest profits in Australian corporate history[1]. During this time repeated scandals have emerged across a range of services and financial institutions, and the evidence is clear: something is systemically wrong.

Investment fraud, refusal to pay out genuine insurance claims, alleged Ponzi schemes and ASIC investigations into the rigging of inter-bank lending rates are among the many scandals[2][3][4][5]. In addition, the Australian Federal Police has failed to promptly investigate what appear to be blatant breaches of UN sanctions for the purposes of future monetary gain[6].

These scandals are unacceptable to all Australians and institutional corruption is at risk of taking hold. A Royal Commission is needed to rid the financial and banking sectors of unethical behaviour before it leads to a major crisis.

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Pirate Party Australia is pleased to announce the release of its tax policy.

Principles of transparency and accountability apply not just to government spending, but also government revenue, and the Pirate Party has long been frustrated that the present tax system is such a hindrance to this transparency. The current mass of complex and hidden taxes costs our nation vast amounts of time every day and effectively prevents all of us from knowing how much tax we really pay. Absurdly, over two thirds of taxpayers in Australia now have to file tax returns through a tax agent due to the complexity of our laws[1].

The Henry Review provides a powerful blueprint for improving transparency and sweeping hidden, inefficient taxes out of our system, and the Pirate Party has incorporated many of the key recommendations into its plan.

“Under our system the burden of tax will shift from savings, work, and innovation, and towards consumption. Over 90% of Australians will pay less than 30% in income tax under the Pirate Party’s plan. By raising the tax-free threshold to float at a level equivalent to the poverty line, we will remove much of the current tax-welfare churn and free low-income earners permanently from the burdens of income tax, and from the stress and costs of filing a tax return,” said Qld Senate candidate Melanie Thomas. “Under these reforms, income support and supplementary payments such as family assistance would be tax-exempt, allowing struggling families an opportunity to really get ahead”.

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