The problem with the Centrelink scandal is that the welfare system is so complex that no one can understand it. This means that people can cheat and get away with it or just make simple mistakes and end up with huge debts. The answer from the government has been to introduce a computer to churn through tax data to find over-payments but the computer also can’t get the sums right!
A solution to this is to simplify things entirely. First recognise that tax and social security overlap already. We hand out welfare liberally through the tax system but miserly through the welfare system. We should stop tax-free thresholds and progressive income tax and and liberal loopholes for the well-at-heel. Replace that with a flat tax and social security payments for all, payments that are not affected by income. When a person experiences a short-term unemployment, these payments continue, removing the need or opportunity to apply and make mistakes or cheat the system.