International travel ban: Why YOU could be stopped from going overseas under a surprising new government crackdown to recoup debt
- New PM Scott Morrison has unveiled new policy targeting tax and welfare fraud
- Aims to recoup some of the $800 million owed to federal government agencies
- 20 people have been already banned from leaving Australia under the travel ban
- Mr Morrison believes Australians will be supportive of the tough new crackdown
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has jet-setting debt dodgers in his sights.
He has declared war on Australians who refuse to pay their debts owed to Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink and other federal government agencies by placing an international travel ban on them.
Up to 150,000 Australians will be banned from travelling overseas if they refuse to enter into a payment plan under the tough new policy revealed by The Saturday Telegraph.
You may not be able to board an international flight if you owe money to Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink and other federal government agencies (stock image)
It’s hoped the travel ban will recoup some of the $800 million owed to government agencies.
About 20 people have already been banned from leaving Australia in the crackdown, including a Sydneysider who owed the Australian Taxation Office $10,000, the publication reported.
The Prime Minister said the aim of the crackdown is to ensure Australia’s economy doesn’t pay the price for welfare and tax fraud.
‘It’s not there to create some largesse, it’s not there to create a fat fund, a fiscal fat-fund, it’s there to ensure that you can put the investments into hospitals and the schools,’ Mr Morrison told The Saturday Telegraph.
‘It’s not an anti-welfare thing, it’s an anti being treated like a mug thing.’
Mr Morrison believes Australians will be supportive of the tough new crackdown
Previously, parents who refused to pay child support had travel bans enforced on them.
That has been extended to anyone who owes money to government agencies.
Mr Morrison also warned that interest will apply to debts owed.
‘If you’ve got longstanding tax debts and you’ve been warned and warned and warned and warned and warned, and you’re thumbing your nose at everyone else paying tax and you’re saying, ‘Tough for you. I’m going to get on a plane’, well, you’re actually insulting your fellow Australians who pay for the welfare system,’ he said.
He said there was no ‘nastiness’ about the policy and believes Australians will be supportive of his tough stance to ensure the system is no longer taken advantage of.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) is cracking down on anyone who owes money to federal government agencies