Sep 14, 2017

Minister reveals 20,000 incorrect Centrelink debts

20,000 Australians were issued with false or incorrect debts as part of the Centrelink Robo-debt debacle overseen by Department of Human Services Minister Alan Tudge.

In an answer to a question in writing filed by Labor MP Steve Georganas, the Minister for Human Services revealed that as at 31 March, 20,000 income support recipients who had been contacted as part of the failed Robo-debt debacle, had their debts corrected or quashed altogether.

12,524 Australians had their debts corrected or reduced.

7,456 Australians had their debts withdrawn by Centrelink entirely.

100 per cent of the debts that have been brought in to my own office in the Inner West, were either overturned entirely or reduced.

Last year a resident of Marrickville was hit with a Centrelink Robo-debt of more than $4000 during a period of illness. The debt was reduced to $400.

These are astonishing numbers coming from a Government that clearly cares little for its own people.

Minister Tudge along with Social Services Minister Christian Porter have removed the ‘Human’ element from the Department of Human Services.

A Senate Inquiry in June produced 21 recommendations which effectively called for the radical overhaul of the Robo-debt system for it to be even remotely workable.

To this day, the Government has refused to act on these recommendations – an absolute insult to the thousands of decent and vulnerable individuals who are reliant on income support at a difficult and uncertain time in their lives.