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Centrelink debts slashed after welfare recipients speak out in media

6 January 2017
Pat McGrath
ABC News

Centrelink has slashed the debts of two welfare recipients after they spoke out about the Federal Government's controversial $4.5 billion debt clawback program.

Amanda Stilbe and George Birkett spoke to 7.30 on Wednesday about letters from Centrelink accusing them of underreporting their income while receiving benefits.

Ms Stilbe received a call from a Centrelink representative around 8:00pm (AEDT) on Wednesday, just minutes after the program finished, informing her that her debt had been reduced from $1,338.07 to $497.03.

"He said that an employee had entered some data incorrectly so he got them to do a manual recalculation," she said.

"He even gave me a direct number to call him on if I had any more questions. There [is] no way this would have happened if I hadn't spoken out in the media."

Ms Stilbe said she intended to the dispute the remaining debt.