So, Russell Brown is a benefit cheat too, remember when he attacked me for supposedly getting paid to post?

So, it turns out Russell Brown is a benefit cheat too. Not only that he says he’d do it again.

While we were waiting for the damn scheme to start, a friend who worked at Income Support (this was pre-Winz) tipped us off to a forthcoming amnesty. Great. We’d just make one mighty confession and it would all be sorted. I knew people who did just that. But – I am not making this up – the day before the amnesty was due to be announced we discovered that I was being investigated.

This, I hasten to add, had nothing to do with Joan McQuay. In retrospect, writing in a national magazine just wasn’t a very good way of keeping things on the downlow. It simply happened to be what I could do. So I had to go back through all my records and argue down their assessment of the overpayment, from more than $8000 to $5500.

We’d have to pay it back. But the same friend inside the building told us that there was no minimum repayment rate. They could propose one, but we could reject it, offer a lower rate and they’d have to take it. So we did: $5 a week, for years.

By 1996, mindful of there being another baby on board, I’d departed Planet and taken up the offer of a job as a full-time IT journalist, where I was paying more tax than we’d ever received in benefits. I kept the repayment at $5 a week, on principle. My debt to society was only fairly recently cleared.

I don’t have any sweeping moral proclaimation to make about fiddling the system. In principle, I don’t like it. But I do know, and have always tried to recall, how hard keeping a family fed and housed on a benefit was after the 1991 cuts. And I know that faced with the same choices, I’d probably do the same thing again.

Nice, so for 21 years this prick has been drip feeding back money he stole from the taxpayers…out of principle. He could have paid it back at any time, especially with the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more taxpayer money his boring and little watched TV shows have pulled in for himself. But he didn’t because he righteously thought he’d stick to the man, despite the fact it was the man who helped him out.

I well remember going on his shabby little show where he tried to get me. Do you remember what for?

I do.

He was trying to nail me for being paid to write blog posts…paid for by private businesses. He did this in his taxpayer funded TV show, all while he was drip feeding back his “bludgers salary” he took inappropriately…at $5 a week.

He was attacking me for my private enterprise while he was on the taxpayers teat….while paying back money he should never have had.

What a sanctimonious prick.


-Public Address


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