Robodebt review pledged
Federal Labor has promised a royal commission into the Robodebt scheme if elected.
In 2015, the Coalition government introduced the ‘Robodebt’ scheme, in which an automated system determined if Centrelink recipients had been overpaid.
It led to many people being wrongly accused of owing money, with a subsequent class action finding the Commonwealth unlawfully claimed nearly $2 billion in debts from 433,000 people.
Of this, $751 million was wrongly recovered from 381,000 people.
A settlement worth at least $1.8 billion was ordered for those wrongly pursued by the federal scheme.
Now, Labor is promising a royal commission to find out who was responsible for establishing the scheme, how much it cost and how much harm it caused, among other issues.
Shadow Minister for Government Services Bill Shorten says there are questions about the scheme that still need answers.
“We haven't yet got the missing piece of the puzzle,” he said.
“The people have got their money back but the Australian taxpayer never had the satisfactory explanation. Why did Robodebt happen?”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was asked if his party would launch an inquiry, but he says “the problem has been addressed”.
“There have been numerous inquiries into this and there's been court matters which we've fully cooperated in, and almost $750 million in response to that,” Mr Morrison said.
“And the changes in the scheme have been in place.”