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Debt from 2001/02

Debt amount: 
$8700
Date debt issued: 
Monday, 26 August 2019
Period debt occurred: 
July 2001 to June 2002
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
No
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

I am 61 and have had nothing to do with Centrelink for over 15 years. They were not on my radar. I have been working full-time for many years and am still working 4 days a week. I've always submitted my tax return when I needed to. Today I received a letter from Centrelink saying I owed $8700 - a Non-Lodger Debt from 2001/02 (what???). I have been battling depression and anxiety for over 40 years and have been particularly shaky this week. the letter seemed completely surreal. As it sank in (and I have seen and empathised with stories on tv about these robodebts), I became severely anxious and upset to the point where I felt I could easily just give up. My partner was made redundant recently so we have been living on my wage and drawing more and more on our mortgage. I lived in poverty for many years raising my 2 kids. I know what that's like. I feel for the disadvantaged (and it is always the unprivileged and disadvantaged who cop it - not the corrupt and wealthy) who receive these poisonous non-human dodgily algorithmed spat-out robo-letters. A friend referred me to this page which has given me strength to try to fight this (on top of everything else going on in life). The MyGov thing linked in with ATO and Health and Centrelink has become Big Brother watching us. Hideous. George Orwell's 1984 was brutally prophetic. what will we the little people do?

How do you feel about the way the Government has handled this process?: 

The Government are inept and clearly don't care about those who require Centrelink's services. The current Government is particularly cold. For example, the PM says the best way to raise Newstart is for people to get a job - as he awards himself an $11,000 a week pay rise. This robodebt issue is not working but they have not made any moves to rectify anything. Meanwhile they are affecting everyday decent people in the most sad and horrible ways.