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Tudge backflips on Centrelink robo-debt debacle

16 May 2017
The Hon Linda Burney MP
The Hon Linda Burney MP, Shadow Minister for Human Services, ALP Member for Barton

Shadow Minister for Human Services, Linda Burney, has called on Alan Tudge to apologise to those caught in his robo-debt mess following his concession in media reports this morning that changes need to be made.
The stunning admission comes just a week after the Minister returned from holidays and insisted that no changes would be made and that “the system [was] working well”.
Alan Tudge, Christian Porter and Barnaby Joyce have all previously denied any issues with the robo-debt program, despite numerous former Centrelink clients coming forward to tell their stories of being chased for debt which they do not owe.
The Minister is yet to say whether the latest batch of debt letters, due to be sent this week, will be affected by any changes to the program or whether those who have already been caught up in the bungled system.
Ms Burney has also called on the government to ensure that any changes made to the program take into account those that have already received debt letters, or paid back monies, as well as those currently the subject of unfair debt recovery proceedings.
“If the minister is going to make changes it is only fair that those apply to people who have already been target by his incredibly flawed robo-debt system” Ms Burney said,
“The system must be suspended until changes to make it fair are applied to everyone - that means those currently paying disputed debts should have the review completed before they are forced to pay.”
“After weeks of denial the minster has finally admitted what everyone else already knows, there are serious problems with the robo-debt program.”
“Admitting the stuff up is only the first step, now he needs to apologise and take action to help those who have been tormented by false debt claims.”