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Centrelink data system to be ‘refined’

12 January 2017
The Australian

Centrelink’s controversial data-matching program will be ­“refined”, as the Turnbull government tries to deflect mounting political pressure from welfare groups and Labor for it to be suspend­ed.
The Australian Council of Social­ Service yesterday joined the federal opposition in calling for a halt to the scheme and an inde­pendent review, declaring that the automated debt-recovery prog­ram was treating current and past Centrelink recipients “like second­-class citizens”.

The human face of Centrelink debt debacle

6 January 2017
Anthony Albanese MP, Labor Member for Grayndler

Today I have joined with victims from my electorate of Grayndler to speak out about of the Turnbull Government’s Centrelink debt debacle.
Over the Christmas and New Year period I have been inundated with calls from constituents distressed because they have been issued debt notices and threats of debt recovery action for debts that they never incurred.
Thousands of people with disability, students, pensioners and people recovering from life threatening illnesses are being told by the Turnbull Government that the onus is on them to prove that they have not acted fraudulently.

Government accused of abandoning Aussies in their hour of need

10 January 2017
Starts At 60

The government decided to ditch it’s hard-working employers at the Department of Human Services who managed debts owed to Centrelink, despite their warnings that switching to an automated computer system would end in disaster.
Sure enough, it wasn’t long before Centrelink was sending out letters and hounding people for money they simply did not have thanks to a glitch in the system.

Labor flips on ‘robo-debt’ system Shorten, Plibersek pioneered

7 January 2017
The Australian

Labor’s leadership team of Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek pioneered the “robo-debt” data-matching system Centrelink is using to target current and former welfare recipients for apparently not declaring their income properly — but they now argue it should be suspended.
[...]
“The automation of this process will free up resources and result­ in more people being referred to the tax garnishee process, retrieving more outstanding debt on behalf of taxpayers,” Mr Shorten said at the time.

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