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Royal Commission into "Robodebt" Announced

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

Robodebt refers to the informal debt recovery system initiated by the Coalition Government in 2015. The system resulted in $2 billion in payments being unlawfully claimed from more than 430,000 and was heavily criticised. The Albanese Government has announced a Royal Commission into the scheme with a final report due by April 2023.

The Centrelink Logo with the text "Robodebt" foregrounded.

Establishment of Debt Recovery Scheme

In 2015 then-Minister for Social Services, Scott Morrison, and then-Minister for Human Services, Marise Payne, discussed a service which would seek to increase budgetary savings by furthering the pursuit of Centrelink's outstanding debts.

This scheme was formally announced by the Abbott Government within the 2015-16 federal budget. In December of 2016, then-Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, announced the debt recovery scheme was able to issue 20,000 notices of debt per week. The scheme, by now referred to as "robodebt" within the media, was then overseen by then-Human Services Minister, Alan Tudge.

Royal Commission

As part of the Royal Commission announcement. Prime Minister Albanese noted four focus aspects:

"The establishment, design and implementation of the scheme; who was responsible for it; why they considered Robodebt necessary; and, any concerns raised regarding the legality and fairness
The handling of concerns raised about the scheme
The outcomes of the scheme, including the harm to vulnerable individuals and the total financial cost to government
Measures needed to prevent similar failures in public administration."

Such a royal commission will also have the authority to compel witnesses to testify. As such, Former Liberal Ministers, Mr. Morrison, Ms. Payne, Mr. Porter, Mr. Tudge and Stuart Robert are all potential witnesses due to their involvement in the scheme.

Sources & Further Reading

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Jackie Morgan
Jackie Morgan
Aug 26, 2022

This pack of hyenas posing as a government need to be punished for the harm they bestowed on our society. One name is constantly mentioned along with his Hillsong buddies, Christian my rse


Thanks FJ. Appalling scheme aimed at our most vulnerable. Well done, Labor but ICAC investigation would have been my choice as I don't want them getting off lightly. RC are costly and don't prosecute but they can refer matters to police so let's hope they actually do. Getting ready to watch the usual suspects squirm. 🍟ready.

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