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Flawed Centrelink debt recovery system 'bringing some to the brink of suicide': Andrew Wilkie

4 January 2017
Fergus Hunter
The Age

Centrelink's contentious debt recovery system is making some of the targeted people feel suicidal, independent MP Andrew Wilkie has claimed, as the furore over the clawback persists despite the government's insistence it is working exceptionally well.

The Tasmanian MP said the Commonwealth Ombudsman had agreed to his request to look into the matter, which has come under criticism from the Labor Party and others for targeting some innocent recipients of social security payments with a flawed data-matching calculation, sometimes years after payments had been received.

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"I'm not blaming Centrelink for this, I'm blaming the government. I'm blaming the relevant ministers, I'm blaming the PM who is responsible for his government. And I'm making the point in the strongest and clearest possible terms: it is not good enough for a minister to stand up yesterday or today and to crow about something that is terrifying Australians and bringing some Australians to the brink of suicide," Mr Wilkie said.

WITH VIDEO