Almost 200,000 people who spent years fighting to clear welfare debts they didn’t owe will have any active Centrelink investigations wiped. Source: The Age
The Albanese Government will scrap the cases of robodebt victims still under review, with any potential debt no longer being pursued.
The unlawful debt recovery scheme started in 2015 and falsely accused welfare recipients of owing money to the government. More than $750 million was wrongfully recovered from 381,000 people.
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said clearing the outstanding cases would offer certainty to any Australians with reviews hanging over their heads.
Ms Rishworth said pursuing the cases would be expensive and time-consuming and would undermine public confidence in the welfare system.
“The robodebt fiasco is something that should be of deep concern to all Australians. We know it had a significant human cost,” she said.
A royal commission into the robodebt scheme will begin public hearings at the end of October.
The system, ruled unlawful in 2019, measured a person’s average income to claim hundreds of millions of dollars from 433,000 Centrelink recipients. The Coalition government settled a class action in 2020.
In August, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said it was vital to ensure the “human tragedy” the scheme caused never happened again.
Robodebt cases to be dropped for nearly 200,000 Australians (By Dominic Giannini, The Age)