I mean, the reality is that if this, just without over complicating it. Robodebt was introduced by the government.
They would assess whether or not a Centrelink recipient was entitled to a payment. It doesn’t take into account sometimes people are unemployed and people are employed.
This is farmers, students, single mums and pensioners.
They have relied on a computer generated program and we have said it was an unfair program, but what I’ve discovered in the last few months and now the courts have established, it is illegal.
In other words, the government didn’t have the power to just rely on a computer program without checking it before they sent the letter of demand out to vulnerable Australians.
This is a scandal.
I know we’re almost so cynical about scandals, but this is a situation where the government of Australia, the biggest entity, the most powerful organisation in Australia has been unlawfully creating debts from citizens to the commonwealth which were just invalid. Why don’t heads roll anymore?
… It was an unlawful scheme. It is wrong.
… If you have been breaking the law for three-and-a-half years and then you decide to breaking the law is that good for bad? It makes you look stupid and negligent. What happened on 19 November is the chief lawyer for the tax office says to the commissioner of taxation effectively it was a smoking gun document which the document didn’t want us to see, but we won the vote so it went out publicly.
They said, “Hey, the Department of Social Security’s lawyers have told us we can’t do this.”
How embarrassing for the tax office. They go along taxing and doing everything and they have been told by the science brigade in the government, the lawyers that it is October and it is OK and now it is not OK.
The government were so greedy there they wanted to go after welfare shaming, blame the poor they are ripping things off and they didn’t bother to check the detail. Two, they did check the detail and they just didn’t care. Either way it is an incompetent scandal and in this government where blame never sticks to the elected ministers, who is in charge?