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The automated debt recovery system doesn't need a facelift, it needs scrapping

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Media Release Senator Rachel Siewert - Australian Greens spokesperson on Community Services 16 January 2017

The automated debt recovery system doesn’t need a facelift, it needs scrapping: Greens

The Government giving a ‘facelift’ to the broken automated debt recovery system is just an attempt to quell political backlash and should be viewed as such, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“The 1800 phone number should have always been on the letters to recipients, for them not to include it in the first place demonstrates how the Government intended to make the process difficult for people accessing the social safety net.

“There should have always been an internal review into payments before debt recovery begins, for debt recovery to start straight away also shows how ham-fisted the approach was by the Government.

“For the system to be slightly less blunt and harsh doesn’t change the fact that a lack of human oversight means thousands of Australians are going to receive an incorrect debt notice, then have to prove their innocence by digging up records they may not have from years ago.

“I call on the Government to scrap the automated debt recovery system before more damage is done”.

Media Contact: Nadine Walker 0418 401 180