LIBS MUST RULE OUT ANOTHER ROBODEBT- TUESDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 2020
HON BILL SHORTEN MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE NDIS SHADOW MINISTER FOR GOVERNMENT SERVICES MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
HON LINDA BURNEY MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS MEMBER FOR BARTON
LIBS MUST RULE OUT ANOTHER ROBODEBT
The Morrison Government must add important safeguards to digital welfare reforms to ensure there is never a repeat of its cruel, disastrous and illegal Robodebt system.
Labor has proposed measures for greater government oversight and human intervention to prevent another Robodebt.
For three years the Liberal Government has pursued thousands of innocent Australians with false or inflated debts arrived at by a malfunctioning algorithm.
The system – which internal emails reveal the Government knows is illegal - was the result of inaccurate income averaging practices and a lack of human oversight.
Labor will introduce amendments to the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Simplifying Income Reporting and Other Measures) Bill 2020, which is listed for debate in the Senate today.
The amendments will create a statutory duty of care and place the onus squarely on the government to ensure the accuracy of social security debts before they are issued.
Labor’s amendments will prevent another Robodebt by:
preventing social security debts being raised based solely on income averaging of Australian Tax Office data;
creating a statutory duty of care on the government to ensure debts are accurate;
ensuring human oversight before debts are issued; and
requiring the government to use all available powers, resources and data across government to verify the accuracy of alleged debts before they are issued.
These are simple, practical and reasonable measures that the government can undertake to ensure the Robodebt nightmare never happens again.
Over the past three years, the government has stubbornly sought to defend this illegal system while shirking responsibility for the terror it has unleashed on hundreds of thousands of innocent Australians.
Pensioners, workers and students should not have to live in fear of another Robodebt.
This is a test of whether the Morrison Government has learnt its lessons on Robodebt and whether it is willing to safeguard the community from a future Robodebt offspring.
TUESDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 2020
MEDIA CONTACTS: LIAM HOULIHAN (SHORTEN) 0438 366 400 DARYL TAN (BURNEY) 0422 028 222