IS CENTRELINK GOING TO CONTROL OUR WELFARE DEBTS?
The Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) has filed a complaint to the UN’s Independent Expert on Poverty and is now crying about the way in which Centrelink deals with overpayments due to recipients giving incorrect and or false reports picked up with data matching by the controversial robo-debt program.
From Social Security to Centrelink to Department of Human Services, now added to the list of service deliveries is ‘Service Australia’. Service Australia will be a one-stop shop for government services.
Service Australia was announced by Scott Morrison May 2019. The new initiative Service Australia will be cared for by the Department of Human Services, aimed at ‘lifting and improving service delivery for all Australians’.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said,
"Making better use of technology and better integrating service delivery across different portfolios."
Included is a computer program that gathers data from government agencies known as the robo-debt system. It is a check on welfare recipients to see if there are any discrepancies in what people report to Centrelink.
Before the use of the robo-debt system a total of 20,000 notices regarding payment discrepancies were sent out each year. The Human Rights Law Centre says, today there are some 20,000 sent out each week.
It is a good move on behalf of the Australian government to scrutinise welfare recipients’ payments, after all it is the taxpayers that foot the bill. Any measure that can expose fraudulent reporting and stop claims you would think was a good thing – right? Well you are wrong.
Because once again in the eyes of the HRLC apparently, we are doing a disservice penalising those who do the wrong thing.
HRLC says the human rights impact of technological developments must be prioritised ahead of efficiency and cost gains.
So, it doesn’t matter if you rip off the government because the Human Rights Law Centre has your back.
It won’t matter one iota if our country along with government service agencies go broke.