A screenshot from Lifeline’s database leaked to BuzzFeed News shows the organisation has created a new category in its database for counsellors speaking with clients about “Centrelink Automatic Debt Recovery”.
Andrew Wilkie, the independent federal MP for Denison, said last week that some people who have, over the Christmas break, received aggressive letters from Centrelink are close to suicide.
It is not surprising, and it is shameful that it is so. It is also extraordinary that politicians like Christian Porter and Alan Tudge, the Ministers responsible for Centrelink, think its OK to boast about the recovery of debts from generally low-income Australians while their government does little or nothing about the fact that some corporations and many wealthy individuals in this country pay little or no tax.
Centrelink’s debt recovery letters cast Australians as guilty before they can prove they are innocent, and have driven some to the brink of suicide, says independent MP Andrew Wilkie.
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.
The Commonwealth Ombudsman has been asked to investigate faults with Centrelink’s new automated data matching system that has resulted in welfare recipients being wrongly hounded to pay debts.
“I’ve had four people now approach me ... who I would describe as presenting as suicidal,” [Independent MP Andrew Wilkie] told reporters in Hobart.
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has criticised the Federal Government over Centrelink's new debt recovery system, saying it was designed by a "dunderhead".
Centrelink debt notices are pushing some welfare recipients to the brink of suicide, an independent MP has warned.