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Centrelink debt recovery drive has caused summer from hell, Bill Shorten says

9 January 2017
Matthew Knott

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has called on the Turnbull government to immediately suspend Centrelink's controversial automated debt recovery program, describing it as a "toxic mix of incompetence and cruelty" that has ruined Christmas for vulnerable Australians.

Mr Shorten, who is on summer holidays until the end of the week, has not previously commented on the project, which the government estimates will add an extra $4.5 billion to the budget. The automated system has been accused of miscalculating bills and sending debt notices to people who do not owe.