The union representing the public sector including Centrelink and Services Australia workers, the CPSU, welcomes today’s announcement that the government will finally refund illegal automated debts.
This afternoon Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert announced that over 470,000 Australians will have their debts refunded.
Even before the scheme was rolled out, people working in Centrelink were telling the department that the scheme was flawed and would cause serious problems.
This proves that the department and government should have been listening to the concerns of the frontline workers from the very beginning.
Melissa Donnelly, CPSU National Secretary today said, “It’s disgraceful that it took the fear of a class action to force this government to act.”
“This program never should have got the go ahead and had the Morrison Government listened to our members it would not have.”
“Our members are experts, they are on the frontline of this work every day, and had they been listened to in the first place they could have saved Stuart Robert $721million.”
“Our members will now have to work through these debts and clean up another one of Stuart Robert’s mistakes.”
“The government have called this a refinement, let’s be clear, this program was an illegal money grab from vulnerable Australians. The Morrison Government needs to do more than announce this late on a Friday afternoon, they need to apologise to those hundreds of thousands of Australians affected by this.”