The outrageous robodebt fiasco, which has resulted in at least one suicide (a 20yr old that Centrelink claimed owed $18,000) is now being rolled out to include pensioners. Yes folks, that's old age pensioners and people like me on the Disability Support Pension.
Whilst they double the deficit to an eye watering half a trillion dollars, they expect to gouge the poorest and sickest people in Australia to cover their incompetence. People like me and David paying around 55% of our pension on rent. Trying to live off what's left. You can't get blood out of a stone.
I wonder how it works if you're bankrupt? I recently sent my yearly financial info to the Australian Financial Security Authority in Adelaide, in which they replied I wasn't required to pay anything back to the bank in my present state of affairs. How then could somebody, even Centrelink, demand anything off one who's in a situation as I? You have to be left with enough money to live off.
Shadow Minister for Human Services Linda Burney said the government now has “pensioners in their sights” with the robo-debt program.
“The Turnbull government plans to rip $1 billion out of the pockets of pensioners using systems like their broken robo-debt program – that is rightly frightening to thousands of pensioners across the country,” Ms Burney told InnovationAus.com.
The move to continue with the planned expansion comes despite a number of inquiries and controversies surrounding the scheme. The Commonwealth Ombudsman has already delivered a scathing report, a Senate inquiry into the program has just wrapped up, and the Privacy Commission has launched its own investigation into data-matching.
Ms Burney said the program should be put on hold pending the outcome of these inquiries.
“The Ombudsman ordered that robo-debt be reviewed. [Human Services Minister] Alan Tudge is talking about expanding it before that review is even completed – that makes no sense,” she said.
“This was a terribly designed program with no proper oversight. It beggars belief that the Turnbull government would expand it before making changes to ensure that it is accurate and fair.”
“The system is not ‘working well’. After months of public outcry, a Senate inquiry and the Ombudsman’s report, that much is clear at least. Fix the system before expanding it. That is the very clear message from the public.” Innovation Australia