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Talking Point: Centrelink debacle shows insensitivity to the most vulnerable

9 January 2017
The Mercury

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.

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

4 January 2017
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.
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Calls for Centrelink debt bungle probe: claims welfare recipients are being wrongly hounded

4 January 2017
Daily Telegraph

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.

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