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Turnbull has pensioners and people with disability in his sights

17 January 2017
The Hon Linda Burney MP, Shadow Minister for Human Services, ALP Member for Barton; The Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Shadow Member for Families and Social Services, ALP Member for Jagajaga

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.

Labor calls for Senate inquiry into Centrelink robo-debt mess

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

Labor will refer the Turnbull Government’s robo-debt debacle to a Senate inquiry when Parliament resumes in February, following weeks of mounting public concern and a litany of issues with the program.
Linda Burney, Shadow Minister for Human Services, made the announcement following news that the Turnbull Government now intends to target age and disability support pensioners with the error prone system.

Australians disapprove of Tudge's Centrelink robo-debt mess

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

Malcolm Turnbull must show some leadership and suspend his Government’s robo-debt mess with nearly half of all Australians disapproving of the scandal-plagued system.
Incompetent Human Services Minister Alan Tudge believes that those falsely accused of owing debt should have to hand over the money until they prove their own innocence but he reckons that Liberal MPs caught rorting the system should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Eric Abetz says Centrelink’s robo-debt system has 'let down' Australians

2 February 2017
The Guardian

The Liberal senator Eric Abetz said Centrelink’s debt recovery system has “let down the Australian people”, while refusing to rule out support for Labor’s proposed Senate inquiry.
Sustained criticism over the system’s tendency to issue bogus debts to vulnerable Australians continues to place pressure on Liberal politicians in Tasmania.

Inquiry to be held into Centrelink data matching system

8 February 2017
IT News

A senate committee will investigate Centrelink's automated data matching process after thousands of wrongly-issued debt notices were sent out to welfare recipients.
The Greens and Labor party today successfully secured a motion to have the upper house's community affairs references committee take a closer look at the controversial data matching program, following thousands of reported errors.
The committee has been tasked with looking into the program's scope, cost-benefit analysis, contracts, and implementation by May 10.

The Centrelink summer

6 January 2017
The Monthly

When not just the Courier-Mail, but also other News Limited publications and A Current Affair are criticising the government for being too harsh on social security recipients, perhaps it’s time the government acknowledged how dangerous this Centrelink issue has become, and responded.
[...]
The onus is on citizens to disprove the debt at short notice, over summer holidays, using materials such as pay slips and doctor’s certificates they were never previously asked to keep. Often it’s material they’d submitted to Centrelink previously. The system by which people must register their objections and responses is completely overloaded, with phone lines jammed and IT systems groaning or simply incapable of coping with the task at hand.

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