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Disability advocates hold fears for mental health, suicide

18 January 2017
The Courier

Disability advocates say expanding Centrelink’s debt recovery system to people on disability support will push clients who are already suicidal over the edge and “inundate” overstretched mental health services.
Grampians Disability Advocacy’s Fiona Tipping said she already has a caseload of people in Ballarat who are suicidal as a result of their disability support pensions being rejected or cancelled.
On Tuesday it was revealed the government plans to extend its controversial debt collection system to people on aged pensions and disability support pensions later this year.

Second Liberal senator attacks Centrelink debt retrieval and demands solution

19 January 2017
Guardian

A second Tasmanian Liberal senator has criticised Centrelink’s debt recovery system, urging his colleagues to avoid “another talkfest” and “get the problems fixed”.
The recently elected Liberal senator Jonathon Duniam has written to the human services minister, Alan Tudge, to express concerns about the troubled system.
He told Guardian Australia he had conveyed concerns raised with his office to Tudge and sought an urgent solution.

Pensioners, families, disabled targeted when Centrelink debt recovery scheme expands

18 January 2017
news.com.au

Centrelink's robo-debt recovery scheme is set to be expanded this year despite calls for an inquiry into the system.
Pensioners, families and the disabled will be among those targeted as the Government attempts to claw back billions in overpaid welfare to help repair the budget.
New figures released in the midyear budget update papers show the Government expects to regain an extra $2.2 billion from parents, pensioners and people on disability support, Fairfax media 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.

Pensioners and disabled next in line in Centrelink robo-debt campaign

17 January 2017
Canberra Times

The Coalition government is going to target more than 3 million of elderly and disabled Australians with its controversial Centrelink "robo-debt" campaign, Parliamentary documents show.
The mid-year economic forecast tables published last week shows the government has booked savings of $1.1 billion from data-matching the aged pension and another $400 million from the disability support pension.

Media Release: Centrelink Debt Recovery Fiasco Must Be Suspended

5 January 2017
Disabled People’s Organisations Australia

Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPO Australia) calls for the Centrelink debt recovery process to be immediately halted, amid concern about the impact on people with disability.
“We are concerned that the current debt recovery process, that uses automated data matching, is particularly unfair for people with disability,” says Matthew Bowden, Co-CEO, People with Disability Australia, and spokesperson for DPO Australia.

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