Refugees Get More Money Than Pensioners?

Racism generally thrives on stupid people believing urban myths. Remember the Adelaide woman who had her drivers license taken with her burka on? And the Christmases that were cancelled/banned? And the shopping centre that was forced to turn its carols and lights off because of complaining Muslims? All myths.

And here is the latest. That apparently refugees receive more benefits than our pensioners. Another myth. If only these dopes did their research…

Myth: Refugees can receive social security payments simply because they are refugees.

Fact: A refugee who has permanent residency in Australia receives exactly the same social security benefit as any Australian-born person in the same circumstances. Refugees apply for social security through Centrelink like everyone else and are assessed for the different payment options in the same way as everyone else. There are no separate Centrelink allowances that one can receive simply by virtue of being a refugee, nor do refugees receive cash payments under either the Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy (IHSS) or the Settlement Grants Program (SGP).

Myth: A single refugee receives $1458 more per month than an age pensioner.

Fact: A single person applying for Special Benefit or the Newstart Allowance (whether or not he or she is a refugee) will receive $456 per fortnight, whereas a single person on an Age Pension payment will receive a fortnightly payment of $671.90. A single age pensioner therefore receives over $200 more per fortnight more than a single refugee (or a single Australian-born person) who qualifies for Special Benefit or Newstart – not $1458 per month less, as claimed in the first hoax email. Australian citizens and permanent residents with dependent children on lower to middle incomes (including refugees) may also be eligible to receive Family Tax Benefits or Parenting Payments, however none of these allowances are paid at a higher rate than the single age pension.

Myth: Refugees receive higher rates of payment under Centrelink programs than age pensioners or other Australians.

Fact: Centrelink payments are calculated at exactly the same rate for both refugees and non-refugees (for instance, a single Australian-born person and a single refugee on the Newstart allowance would both receive exactly the same fortnightly payment of $456). The hoax e-mail which claims that illegal immigrants and refugees receive higher rates of payment than age pensioners under a number of Centrelink programs, including the Partner Allowance and the Hardship Allowance, quotes figures which are grossly inaccurate. For instance, a single person on an Age Pension payment receives a fortnightly payment of $671.90, not $253 as claimed in the email, and the maximum payment for the Partner Allowance is $411.50, not $472.50.

Myth: Asylum seekers can receive Centrelink payments.

Fact: Asylum seekers are not entitled to the same forms of financial support as citizens or permanent residents. The Asylum Seeker Assistance (ASA) Scheme provides assistance to eligible asylum seekers who are in the process of having their refugee status determined. The ASA Scheme offers income support to cover basic living expenses, paid at 89 per cent of the Centrelink Special Benefit. This would equal approximately $405.84 per fortnight for a single asylum seeker – over $260 less than the single age pension.

Myth: Illegal immigrants can receive Centrelink payments.

Fact: In general, only Australian citizens and permanent residents can receive social security payments from Centrelink and illegal immigrants would certainly not be entitled to such support. It is also factually incorrect to refer to either refugees or asylum seekers as “illegal immigrants”. Recognised refugees in Australia by definition hold either a Refugee Visa or a Protection Visa, both of which entitle the holder to permanent residency. Asylum seekers – regardless of how they arrive in Australia – are permitted under Australian and international law to enter Australia for the purpose of seeking asylum, therefore asylum seekers have not broken any law and should not be referred to as illegal immigrants.

Statements about the hoax emails have been issued by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and the Minister for Human Services. These statements can be viewed at the following URLs:

Payment rates for the Age Pension can be viewed here:

Payment rates for the Newstart Allowance can be viewed here (note that Special Benefit is usually calculated at the same rate as Newstart):

Payment rates for Family Tax Benefits and Parenting Payments can be viewed at the following URLs:

Payment rates for the Partner Allowance can be viewed here:

Information on Hardship payments can be viewed here:

Information on the IHSS, the SGP and the ASA Scheme can be found at the following URLs:

33 thoughts on “Refugees Get More Money Than Pensioners?

  1. These urban myths are so common across all people. Once I believed that only certain ‘groups’ or ‘types’ of people thought like this – but , boy, was I wrong! Thank you for the reminder of the ‘facts’ – good posting.

  2. It seems that their intense dislike for certain people blinds them of the facts at hand.
    It’s ridiculous.

    I read this blog religiously. Thanks for all your posts.

  3. When challenged using that very same information their reply is either to ignore it, to say it’s not true or to change the subject.

    And they can never produce any factual information of their own. But hey, it “feels” right to them doesn’t it.

  4. I am so glad I found this blog. Reading it however, causes me a great deal of frustration. How will this country ever achieve an acceptable level of education in the subject matter of racism and racial understanding to enable them to live with civility rather than idiocy? I like to laugh at the crazy shit some of the commenters come out with but at the end of the day it makes me extraordinarily sad that my countries reputation is slowly defiled by these people.

    • Ryan, I too find myself becoming frustrated and somewhat fatigued after reading the posts on this blog. While they are absolutely brilliant, they shine light on a confused, ill-informed and ignorant society. I hope for enlightenment for these people but I am sad to say I am not optimistic. The fact seems to be that these people will never go and try to find out for themselves if these urban-tales are false. They believe them and allow themselves to feel hard done by. In the end that’s how they want to feel and that is how they justify they’re animosity towards immigrants and refugees.

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  6. In your preamble you state “Christmases that were cancelled/banned?” “All Myths. You are wrong in this. I have spent years as a volunteer in community organisations including Lions, Scouts, and a number of neighbourhood Houses. One of these neighbourhood houses implemented a policy banning the display of christmas decorations and the celebration of christmas because they felt that it would offend the muslim groups that utilised the facilities. The muslims in this case represented less than 5% of house users. For you to state that it is a myth that these sorts of changes to Australian traditions happened is totally wrong. My exposure to many areas of community support and community organisations shows that this is a regular occurence throughout the community for “fear of offending”. You just have to look at the recent VicRoads debacle with them advising staff not to observe the Remeberance Day minute of silence for “fear of offending”.

    • Hi new Scott. Would you mind providing the name of that particular neighbourhood house and a contact?

      As for the VicRoads debacle, you will acknowledge that it was the decision of one or two executives. The overwhelming response from the Government, other Governmental departments, VicRoads employees and Victorian citizens was one of complete confusion. You simply cannot assume that such a decision is commonplace.

    • I would be happy if Christmas was banned everywhere just for being complete marketing bullshit pretend to care day. I’d welcome the shite music being banned. Christmas is not a tradition for all Australians. I for one would love to see it disappear from the public radar along with all ridiculous religious celebrations I don’t care about. It offends my eyes with its sheer stupidity.

    • Scott – Reading the preamble, it states that the myth is that these things were cancelled/banned because of Muslim complaints.

      There is no doubt that there have been incidents of well meaning people trying to do the right thing, but in most cases, it is people second guessing what Muslims will be offended by. Whnever a Muslim spokesperson is asked about it, inevitably they say that noone has complained.

    • Auburn Municipality in Sydney has a large population of Muslims, a big mosque and a number of smaller mosques and prayer halls – yet every Christmas houses and even whole streets are decorated with Christmas lights.

      And who are out with their kids enjoying the spectacle? Muslim parents.

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  8. There is a massive difference between something being cancelled because someone had a “Fear of offending” rather than it being cancelled because a group/race/religion demanded it. Watch where you lay the blame…

      • Mel – Re-read my post. I did not lay blame at the Muslim users of the house. The decision was made by the Management Committee. What I was pointing out was that this was not a myth as it happens in numerous organisations. This site continually states that it is a myth that Christmas is cancelled by organisations, I was trying to correct that incorrect statement. But at no time did I say it was the fault of any particular ethnic or religious group. BTW – I agree with Pumpkin that Christmas has become one massicve marketing exercise and is greatly over done as a result. I would also like to enter a retail outlet in November/December and not be continually assaulted by Christmas Carols on endless loop or the visual assault that is Christmas marketing.

      • but nonetheless you are still happy to breeze in and start hosing things down because you heard about “this one house one time…” perhaps some folk of a less robust and erudite intellectual constitution than your good self might seize on examples such as yours as the “exception which proves the rule” ergo it might be better to let the author’s original, well reasoned, well supported premise stand rather than challenge it with near spurious side tracks (amiright?)
        Personally, as I head into my forty third trip around the sun, I have noticed absolutely no diminution of the annual spendathon in either trappings or observance in recent times, despite wave after wave of coptics, buddhists, muslims, taoists and god knows whats.
        Quite the opposite.

        • @ chubbybloodfart – get your facts by trying to actually read a response right through – you say “because you heard about “this one house one time…””

          I was actually working at that Neighbourhood House at the time and was a member of the House Management Committee when that decision was made – no “heard about it”. I felt that the committee members who proposed and voted for the decision to remove all traces of Christmas from the House for “fear of offending” were themselves the bigots. They were trying to force their own narrow view of what may or may not offend the muslim clients on the entire clientele. Not a single muslim user of the house was offended by christmas displays. It was just the anglo/australian do gooders who felt that they had to impose their own views. I actually resigned from that committee very shortly after that decision and since done significant volunteer work for a local Refugee Assistance group.

  9. As a nation, we are a long way from being the pluralistic society many people think we already are. I continue to be amazed and despaired by the attitudes of many Australians toward asylum seekers. Most of us have never been exposed to the type of persecution asylum seekers are trying to escape, which makes the total lack of compassion even more appalling. But I suppose if the Government were to stop perpetuating these ridiculous ideas about these people, they would lose a major tool in their election campaigns a la John Howard and the ‘Children Overboard’ incident.

  10. Firstly “we do not need refugees” housing these people at tax payers cost,is a total waste of money, ship them all back where they belong.They do not make any contribution to our Nation and most of these inferiors do not wish to adapt to our customes, nor our language they prefer to be on the dole and hide in their ( so called religeous) neighborhood communities.
    How many Muslims have a permanent job, do you know of any ???
    Our DoDo government will build more refugee centres to be ‘burned down’. Australia, well known today as “refugee paradise” once known as the lucky country. Humanitarian generosity must have it’s boundries. In some foreign countries you can be shot for crossing the border. Hummm interesting!
    Are there other ways of keeping the boaties away out of our waters?

    • Yes, it makes total sense that Australia is know as the prime destination for refuges, thus explaining the fact that in 2010, Australia received over 0.5% of the total asylum seeker claims in the world!!!! We are truly to most popular destination for refuges, except for Canada, France, Sweden, Malaysia (riddle me that Batman) and then of course, the good old US of A. Stop being a fucktard.

    • I know many Muslim people and they all have full time jobs. In fact I’ve never met a Muslim person on welfare. I go to a university with a high population of Muslim students who are all studying for the purpose of… Wait for it…. Getting a JOB! Woahhh!
      And, as another commenter has pointed out, Australia is way down the list of countries who host the most refugees and asylum seekers. It is developing countries who host the most and this is a huge burden on their already scant resources so it is much better for developed countries to take a fair share and give refugees a better life than they could have in a refugee camp in a poor country.
      You can find all these figures on the UNHCRwebsite if you wish to get your facts straight. Also, why are refugees and asylum seekers in any way “inferior”? What have you done with your life that is so special, apart from happening to be born in a developed country?

    • Oh dear Rowdy – how dumb do you need to look? There are about 200,000 Muslims in Australia and I would guess most of them work. When I am Lakemba, Punchbowl, Wiley Park and surrounds I see plenty of Muslims working pretty damn hard in shops there so I guess that answers your question. I have also worked alongside a number of Muslims in various jobs. All of these Muslims that I have personally interacted with have also spoken English. So I guess you can relax now. There is nothing for you to worry about.

      There is also some published research – you know the real information as opposed to some rubbish that someone wrote on the web – that shows that migrants over a ten year period make a net positive contribution to the economy – simply – they generate more money into the economy than it costs to give some support in the early years.

  11. Rowdy, you clearly do not know what the fuck you’re talking about. Have you been reading the other posts at all? Ignorant morons such as yourself never listen to arguments and continue to thrive on stereotypes and sweeping statements. Is there any way you can stick your head down a toilet full of shit and keep it there? At least then we wouldn’t have to read your ignorant statements.

    • But earley – Facts are too inconvenient. Anecdotes and bogot war stories are all about “feelings”. “Feelings” are reality to them, accompanied by the appropriate Hollywood soundtrack music. The bogot lives in a welter of faulty neuro-transmitters.

    • To be fair, I messaged a young member of my extended family who posted this one and explained that it wasn’t true and gave her a link to the Immigration department explanation from 2010. She thanked me and deleted the post after adding a comment for her friends saying it wasn’t true. So its worth making the effort if even one person changes their view

  12. Retarded article from a retarded blog. Now they’re becoming threatening violence because they are not being carted off to the mainland. I love how everyone cries about the humanitarian issue, yet, it has been proven countless times that a lot of these so called ‘refugees’ have caught planes from Malaysia and other parts of the middle east and SE Asia, only to get on a boat, thinking they’ll be able to cheat the system, and jump the cue.

    Fuck the illegal boat people!

    The sooner this moronic government goes, the better. KRudd has blood on his hands because no matter what you think, Howard’s solution worked. And when I saw worked, I mean the appeal of coming here, risking your life on a boat at sea was next to non existent. KRudd gets in and changes it – people start dying.

    Do the fucking math you tree hugging dipshits.

    • “Retarded article from a retarded blog”

      Racist and offensive! what a surprising combination! Did you actually ready anything in this article, or did you go straight to just being offensive? Do oyu ever read anything you may potentially disagree with?

      “I love how everyone cries about the humanitarian issue, yet, it has been proven countless times that a lot of these so called ‘refugees’ have caught planes from Malaysia and other parts of the middle east and SE Asia, only to get on a boat, thinking they’ll be able to cheat the system, and jump the cue.”

      Apparently asylum seekers are jumping over pool tables now.
      Anyway-your evidence-less claims don’t make sense as anyone with the slightest experience with asylum seekers will tell you the following:
      Those on the plane, despite having a general lower acceptance rate as refugees as those who arrive by boat,get a far better treatment. No detention centres, no offshore processing, instead they’re living in the ocmmunity, usually with work rights and access to health care.

      So tell me, considering that asylum seekers who arrive by plane get a far far better treatment than those who arrive by boat, considering that those who arrive by plane get to live in the community while those who arrive by boat have to stay in detention, and consdiering there is no actual speedier processing by living in a detention centre (If anything it takes longer as the client is unable to research their own case)-why would someone who is able to get to one country then attempt to get to Australia by boat.

      Unless of course, the people smugglers funded it that way to make themselves more money. That’s the only explanation I can see, but I look forward to your response.

      and again, we hear the mythical queue. Honestly, the far right’s belief in the mythical queue is more popular than thir belief that the UN secretly rules the world.
      Tell me “keeper”-where does one queue in Afghanistan for asylum? Where do they patiently wait their turn for refugee status?

      “Fuck the illegal boat people! ”

      Yeah, very eloquent there. As you’ve no doubt been told many times, seeking asylum is NOT ILLEGAL! Completely not. Absolutely legal. ain’t it grand?

      Also, why if you’re so hateful for asylum seekers, do you worry about them dying at sea? Are you complaining about asylum seekers coming to Australia because you don’t care about their reason for fleeing, or are you complaining about asylum seekers because you’re worried abotu them risking their lives?

      “because no matter what you think, Howard’s solution worked. And when I saw worked, I mean the appeal of coming here, risking your life on a boat at sea was next to non existent. ”

      One thing no one has been able to tell me is how Howard’s solution worked so well it managed to reduce the number of asylum seekers not just in Australia, but worldwide. Because that’s what happened, an international drop in asylum seeker numbers.

      So, tell me, how did the pacific solution in Australia reduce the number of asylum seekers in England?

      And as for “the appeal of coming here was nonexistent”-please tell me how that was the case when the vast majority, and I’m talking over 70% of people who came to australia during the pacific solution and were placed in Naura-eventually ended up in Australia anyway?

      As my CEO stated, we had the choice of assessing asylum seekers in the community like EVERY OTHER COUNTRY, for a cost of around $5 per asylum seeker per day, where they can work, and contribute to the community. Instead, we’ve chosen to send them to another country, lock them in jails where they will come out mentally damaged, unable to work, with significant skill deterioration and alienation to the community at large, at a cost of $500 per person per day.

      The end result is the same-the asylum seekers come to Australia. The only difference is the first group costs less, and can quickly contribute, whereas the second group come damaged, and cost a whole lot more!

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