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Lawyers Reckon People Hit W/ Centrelink Shitstorm Might Be Able To Sue

9 January 2017
pedestrian TV

As the Centrelink debacle continues and the government resolutely refuses to pause the tide of debt notices – many of which describe debts that are not legitimate – it's understandable that people would be looking for blood. According to the Australian Lawyers Alliance, those issued with inaccurate debts may be able to sue Centrelink.

Automated Centrelink a fast track to Turnbull's demise

24 January 2017
SMH

The many leaks from appalled Centrelink staff suggest they've been discouraged from correcting obvious errors before the machine-generated demands are sent out, and discouraged from helping people in person, rather than just telling them to use the website.
It's clear this is a fishing expedition. You make what you know may often be erroneous claims for repayment, shift the onus of proof onto people with few records or resources, give them a scare, then sit back and see how much you rake in.

The Centrelink robo-debt debacle has only just begun

23 January 2017
Independent Australia

Knowing that the Turnbull Government isn't finished with its five-seven year WPIT plan should send a shiver down our spines.
[...]
In the 2015-16 budget, the Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) program was announced as the replacement for [the Income Security Integrated System (ISIS), set up in 1983 to oversee welfare payment deliveries, customer service, support and compliance activities for Centrelink]. The 2015-16 budget measure worth $60.5m is part of a $1.5 billion, seven-year program. The program was described by the Government as one of the world’s largest social welfare ICT transformations.

‘Backflip’ over Centrelink’s automated debt recovery program

16 January 2017
The Australian

The government has been accused of “backflipping” over Centrelink’s automated debt recovery program after it decided to give the system a facelift, as Labor demands improvements be made retrospective to include all affected welfare recipients.
Labor frontbencher Linda Burney declared Human Services Minister Alan Tudge had made a “stunning admission” after The Australian revealed he had directed his department to introduce a number of “refinements” as he attempts to deal with the political fallout.
PAYWALL

What to do if you get a Centrelink debt recovery letter

9 January 2017
Fraser Coast Chronicle

Centrelink recipients across the region are being told to pay back false debts sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars because of a faulty computer algorithm.
The Federal Government and Centrelink have come under heavy criticism from all quarters over the automated system that has been used to match welfare recipients' reported income.
Amid all the anger the government agency began using Twitter to refer welfare recipients to crisis support hotline Lifeline as the hashtag #notmydebt began trending on the social media platform.

Centrelink's controversial debt collection system to undergo revamp after Australians were slapped with false debts

16 January 2017
Daily Mail Australia

The controversial Centrelink debt-collection program is getting a makeover.
But the Malcolm Turnbull government is standing by the system even as it threatens to erode voter support for the Liberals.
The Department of Human Services is making cosmetic changes to the letters sent to thousands of Australians asking welfare recipients to prove that past payments were not made in error.

The government’s horrific start to the year is fully deserved and completely appropriate

15 January 2017
Guardian

The government’s horrific start to the year is not only fully deserved, it is completely appropriate. The Centrelink shemozzle and entitlements abuses are a wonderful amalgam of the absence of respect for those on welfare and the tin-eared political nous which characterises this government.
Let’s not pretend that Centrelink issuing faulty debt notices is just a case of IT gone wrong.
Faults where people are issued debt notices of $14,000 due to the system incorrectly duplicating employers, or because it hamfistedly averages annual income over 52 weeks are not really IT glitches, but rather are part of the policy design.

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