MORE THAN 160,000 REASONS TO DROP ROBODEBT

BILL SHORTEN MP.
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1 month ago
MORE THAN 160,000 REASONS TO DROP ROBODEBT
BILL SHORTEN MP
Only under questioning from Labor in Parliament has the Government Services Minister given an insight into the true extent to which robodebt is malfunctioning.

Following a litany of high profile bungles, Stuart Robert was forced to apologise to a mourning mother whose deceased son was the subject of robodebt hounding even after his death.

When the Minister was asked how many robodebt notices had turned out to be wrong he responded: “Of the 800,000 income compliance reviews since 1 July 2016 that have been finalised, 80 per cent have resulted in a debt being collected.” 

He would not say how many of that 80 per cent had erroneous debt claims reduced. But that still leaves 20 per cent - or 160,000 debts - that the Minister has confirmed the Government got wrong.

Mr Robert does appear to have seen the error of his ways when grilled about his false claim on the 7.30 Report that robodebts were not being claimed that were older than seven years.

He changed position, stating “as at today” robodebt hounding of historical debts before the 2013-14 financial year would not occur.

The question remains: What happens to the people like 82-year-old Canberra woman Wilma Spence who have already been hit with notices for alleged debts big and small dating back to the 1990s?

The robodebt farce needs to be addressed not denied. We support legitimate debt recovery but not for inaccurate debts and not without human oversight.

Time’s up for this harsh and inaccurate system. The Government needs to go back to the drawing board.
Social Services