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.
It comes from an analysis by the Department of Human Services after the Opposition launched a campaign to have the automated debt-recovery system suspended and investigated by a Parliamentary inquiry.
The analysis reportedly found that a third of the 52 people publicly claiming to have been harassed by Centrelink with inaccurate debt notices generated by the automated system were actually subject to a manual system.
Of the 34 others subject to the new system, more than half were found to have been overpaid for failing to declare income or employment.
A number of those who had claimed to be falsely targeted have already accepted the debt was owed and some have begun making repayments, according to the Department.