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Bass Labor MP Ross Hart concerned by Centrelink online compliance system

29 January 2017
The Examiner

Bass Labor MP Ross Hart says his office is doing the work of Centrelink staff, assisting constituents with contesting and resolving letters sent to them from Centrelink demanding repayments of welfare.
Mr Hart said that his office has 21 Centrelink complaints on file that his staff are working to resolve, with “many more” complaints in the past two weeks.
Mr Hart added that he is concerned for Centrelink staff who are struggling to deal with the situation.

Robo debt: Andrew Leigh 'inundated' with letters from affected Canberrans

30 January 2017
Canberra Times

Member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh said his office had been "inundated" with letters of angst, fear and frustration as more than 50 Canberrans contacted him about their Centrelink robo-debt woes so far this month.
The heartbreaking stories of financial stress and worry were a reminder of just how tough it was to get by on the poverty line and highlighted the "crude way this [process] was being carried out", with people who do and don't actually need to pay back money.

Former Official Says Govt Would Have Known Centrelink Shitstorm Was Coming

4 January 2017
pedestrian TV

As the Centrelink kerfuffle continues, criticism from the Opposition mounts and the Government continues to maintain that the system is functioning as expected, a former high-ranking department official has told The Guardian that management would have known the risks before they rolled out the automated debt recovery system.

The Government Copped A Beating In New Poll Over Centrelink Debt Shitstorm

15 January 2017
pedestrian TV

A new poll by Reachtel, commissioned by GetUp! and taken before Sussan Ley's resignation, finds that the politician expense scandals and the Centrelink nightmare are not getting the government's year off to good start. According to the poll, Labor leads the Coalition 54-46 on a two-party preferred basis.
The poll focused heavily on the Centrelink issue, with 46.2% of people saying they want the debt collection suspended, compared to only 36.2% who want to keep it. The rest are undecided.

Glenmore Park woman "sick with stress" over $35,000 Centrelink debt

26 January 2017
Penrith City Gazette

A Glenmore Park woman has described being sick with stress after Centrelink slapped her with a $35,000 debt bill, only to have it reduced to $173 a week later.
The woman, who is known to the Gazette but wishes to remain anonymous, was caught up in the controversial Centrelink crackdown on alleged overpayments earlier this month after being informed she owed the government agency $2,795.87, but was not told why.

Centrelink robo-debt ’victims’ exposed

26 January 2017
news.com.au

Two thirds of people publicly claiming to be victims of Centrelink’s robo-debt recovery system have been exposed as owing debts to the welfare system, with some deliberately cheating taxpayers out of thousands of dollars.
One woman who had claimed to be wrongly targeted was found to have not declared an income of $37,500 from a small business while billing the taxpayer for carer and parenting payments, The Australian reports.

Turnbull has pensioners and people with disability in his sights

17 January 2017
The Hon Linda Burney MP, Shadow Minister for Human Services, Labor Member for Barton

Reports today reveal that the Turnbull Government’s attack on pensioners and people with disability is set to extend to the Centrelink debt recovery debacle.
Around 3 million pensioners and people with disability are in the sights of the Turnbull Government’s error riddled debt recovery program.

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