This is my 4th year on Youth Allowance as I am studying in Melbourne and moved 2 hours to be closer to uni.
Two months ago I was asked to provide an audit, which I did straight away dating back to the 2015-2016 financial year.
The system glitched and deleted my audit, which leads me to sit on the phone trying to call the hotline which fails to have an answering system in place, so I was faced with having to redial and look at the 'user busy' screen for the entire morning, only to call over 100 times to be left on hold for hours.
Finally, once I was re-directed to different people because I had dialled the wrong number (the number they provided on the request for the audit) I had to do the audit over the phone.
Throughout this, the man was able to tell me that my audit aligned with the ATO.
Thinking all was well, I was faced with a $4090 debt!
This is when I became incredibly upset and anxious.
I am just a 22-year-old student who has declared and done everything right.
Since then, I have tried appealing only to be rejected and told to pay the debt.
When I ask why I have the debt they continually say that I under declared thousands of dollars.
I just don't see how I could have done that if it all matches with the ATO.
The Government and in particular, the 'Human Service' that is Centrelink is an absolute disgrace.
I am embarrassed that this is what the Australian Government has in place.
I couldn't go into any branches (I tried 4 different branches) to speak to a person about this, which at every place they told me to leave and gave me the same number. The number for the Youth Allowance hotline, which if they themselves ever thought to ring this hotline they would waste a day redialling because of the 'user busy' hangs up. If you try any other hotline you are faced with over an hours hold to wait and then they can't help you so they tell you to ring the hotline that doesn't actually work.
This entire situation is the most frustrating, anxious and appalling thing I have had to go through.
This is why I strongly believe that the Government is greedy and is trying to cover up the glitches by making us pay. In no way have I been fraudulent and in no way will vote to keep this system in place.