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Centrelink staff ordered to ignore errors in automated debt notices

20 January 2017
The Hon Linda Burney MP, Shadow Minister for Human Services, ALP Member for Barton

The Turnbull Government must immediately suspend the Centrelink robo-debt debacle following more disturbing claims from a Centrelink whistleblower.
According to reports Centrelink assessors are being directed to ignore obvious errors in the calculation of debt, unless customers directly object.

Tasmanians to get their say on Tudge's bungled robo-debt system

26 April 2017
The Hon Linda Burney MP, Shadow Minister for Human Services, ALP Member for Barton

The senate inquiry into Alan Tudge’s bungled robo-debt system will hear first hand from Tasmanians over the next week as hearings are held in Hobart today and Launceston on Thursday.
The inquiry is expected to hear that despite Mr Tudge’s claims that the system is working well, it has actually been a disaster for the most vulnerable Tasmanians.

Centrelink debt collection 'aggressive' debt collection tactics under fire in Senate inquiry

8 March 2017
News.com.au

Almost 85,000 welfare recipients were forced to repay Centrelink debts in the two months leading up to Christmas, new figures show.
Department of Human Services secretary Kathryn Campbell defended the need to call in debts over the Christmas period during a senate inquiry into the Centrelink “robo-debt” recovery scheme today.
Ms Campbell also blamed the level of media scrutiny on the scheme in January for escalating public concern and the amount of calls to Centrelink.
Department officials were also asked to address reports that a Centrelink recipient took their own life due to their concern about the debt they owed.

‘They called more than 10 times a day’: Sinister tactics of debt collectors paid millions by Centrelink

24 February 2017
news.com.au

It starts with a barrage of text messages telling you to urgently call a number. Then the persistent phone calls, sometimes more than ten a day.
Then come the letters telling you to pay “immediately” or risk “further recovery action”, including taking the money directly from your wages or bank account, or seizing your assets.
These mysterious antagonists are the debt collection companies paid millions by Centrelink to wage campaigns of harassment against unsuspecting Australians.

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