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Centrelink debt recovery shambles makes small change of Ley's claims

9 January 2017
John Birmingham
Brisbane Times

At least we know the Turnbull government's pursuit of millions of dollars in Centrelink debt from thousands of punters who don't actually owe them a brass razoo isn't just a grotesque indulgence. Turns out the government needs that money to prop up Queensland's real estate industry and apartment construction sector.

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This is the really sickening aspect of this business; the egregious hypocrisy. Here is a government that launched a ham-fisted assault on thousands of innocent people, a government that unleashed debt collectors and standover merchants on the sick, the mentally ill, the poor and disadvantaged, wrongly in many cases, and with reckless indifference to the consequences.

A government that until yesterday was perfectly happy with Ms Ley's demand that the taxpayer fund her travel to Queensland because although she did use the trip to buy that apartment down the beach, she didn't really intend to buy the apartment, it was just one of those spur-of-the-moment things, and anyway she spoke to some "stakeholders" so that's all right then.

Given the onerous burden of proof Turnbull and Porter have imposed on the victims of their Centrelink shakedown racket, you have to wonder what sort of process Ley will be subject to.