I'm stressed out about challenging the debt, even though I know I'm in the right I expect it to be tedious and drawn out and am loathing the idea of having to go through the run-around because of a stupid careless bureaucratic f***up. I'm also just... angry. Just so damn angry and I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm university educated, I was only unemployed for six months and now have a steady job, I have my contracts and payslips and everything else, and I know how to navigate this system. I can't begin to imagine how this would feel if I wasn't in such a stable situation: if I was chronically unemployed, selfemployed, differently abled, didn't speak English, was the victim of domestic abuse, was homeless... the welfare system is supposed to be a safety net and the very idea that the govt can try to CLAIM BACK the money that has kept people afloat is horrendous, and antithetical to what a true welfare system should do.
It has been a mess from beginning to end. The idea that there's a cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all model for welfare recipients has ALWAYS been flawed, the decision to automate fraud detection is idiotic at best and actively cruel at worst, this was ALWAYS going to cause suffering to people already having financial difficulties, and the fact that the government is now seeing the volume of challenges and appeals in such a short period and have taken zero action to remedy their mistakes is rank arrogance and greed.