Centrelink's 'robo-debt' effort should stop immediately, a Parliamentary committee says, after finding the program had a "profoundly negative impact on the lives of thousands of Australians."
The federal government has rejected a damning report into the Department of Human Services' 'robodebt' program that recommended it be immediately and indefinitely halted.
A Labor- and Greens-dominated Senate committee has called on the Government to suspend Centrelink's controversial debt recovery program until it reconciles "a fundamental lack of procedural fairness".
Reports today reveal that the Turnbull Government’s attack on pensioners and people with disability is set to extend to the Centrelink debt recovery debacle.
Around 3 million pensioners and people with disability are in the sights of the Turnbull Government’s error riddled debt recovery program.
Centrelink's bungled robodebt recovery program will be investigated by a Senate committee today, with representatives from the tax office and department of human services among those to be grilled.
Almost 85,000 welfare recipients were forced to repay Centrelink debts in the two months leading up to Christmas, new figures show.
Department of Human Services secretary Kathryn Campbell defended the need to call in debts over the Christmas period during a senate inquiry into the Centrelink “robo-debt” recovery scheme today.
Ms Campbell also blamed the level of media scrutiny on the scheme in January for escalating public concern and the amount of calls to Centrelink.
Department officials were also asked to address reports that a Centrelink recipient took their own life due to their concern about the debt they owed.
Morwell based Centrelink staff will be resisting the urge to say 'I told you so' after Labor and the Greens successfully lobbied for a senate inquiry into the Federal Government's maligned 'robo-debt' scheme.
In the past two years about 18 skilled Morwell staff have been transferred into other roles to make way for automated-debt calculation technology, which has since led to thousands of Centrelink clients facing repayments they do not owe.
Senior government officials have approved the release of a Centrelink recipient’s personal information to counter her public criticism of the department.
The federal government announced changes to Centrelink’s controversial automated debt recovery system on February 14.
Government softens debt recovery system after backlash over recipients being required to pay back money even if they are disputing the debt