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Australian independent calls on Ombudsman to weigh in on Centrelink debacle

4 January 2017
Asha McLean
ZD Net

Independent Member for Denison Andrew Wilkie has written to the Commonwealth Ombudsman, asking for an investigation into the Centrelink automated debt recovery system that has seen some letters demanding money repayment sent in error to welfare recipients. 

On Wednesday, the Australian politician called on the coalition to halt the "flawed" debt recovery process, noting he has personally received over a hundred complaints from citizens who have recounted "deeply disturbing" stories about their experience.

"The government has terrified countless people, ruined the Christmases of many, and even driven some people to contemplate taking their own lives," Wilkie said in a statement.

"I'm appalled by all this, appalled that the government has been aware of the problem for many weeks and taken no action, and appalled that the minister is claiming that there are no problems," he added.