Robodebt: Government admits it will be forced to repay $ 550 million under botched program | Centrelink debt collection
The federal government has privately admitted it would be forced to repay over 400,000 social debts worth around $ 550 million that were wrongly issued to hundreds of thousands of Australians under the scheme from sloppy robodebt.
Confidential government advice seen by the Guardian reveals for the first time the scope, size and impact on vulnerable people of the robodebt debacle that has lasted for years, including the fact that the government expects to lose one class action to come against the revenue compliance program and intends to settle.
It can also be revealed that despite government assurances that all of Centrelink’s resources have been diverted to processing a growing backlog of new benefit claims Thanks to the coronavirus crisis, Services Australia staff continue to hunt Australians for payslips and bank statements in an attempt to validate potentially illegal social debts.
Faced with a class action lawsuit from Gordon Legal and calls from Labor and the Greens to immediately repay the calculated debts using the illegal method of “income averaging”, the government has publicly declined to detail its next course of action, saying only that it has refined the program in response to “feedback.”