I am the first to admit that if you are trying to live on Job Search or other Government assistance there is not a lot of extra money floating around. A teetotal non smoking push bike riding vegetarian living in a tent on a mate’s property and growing his own vegetables would have no difficulty in keeping body and soul together, and even saving some money if his only income was Job Search.

Most recipients of Job Search do not come into that category so money does tend to be a bit tight.

However I strongly recommend that you INSIST that Centrelink taxes any money that they pay to you. Job Search is taxable and if you are unfortunate enough to be on Job Search for a whole twelve months then you will not pay any tax. However I would hope that the majority of people receiving assistance from the Government are in fact genuinely seeking employment and I would equally hope that you would not take 12 months to be successful in your search.

If you do get a job , and you have been receiving Centrelink payments , then you could easily finish with a tax bill at the end of the year if the money received from Centrelink had not had any tax deducted at source. You will always get back any excess payment of tax.

Some Centrelink payments are tax free, but I would never rely on Centrelink staff to give you good tax advice.