InDaily InDaily

Support independent Journalism Donate Subscribe
Support independent journalism


Australians repaid $545m from Centrelink's robodebt system


Australians who paid the government money through the controversial robodebt scheme have been reimbursed $545 million.

Print article

Department of Social Services officials told a Senate inquiry on Monday the $545 million figure amounted to about 80 per cent of cases.

The automated welfare recovery scheme matched Australian Taxation Office and Centrelink data to claw back overpaid welfare payments.

It was ruled unlawful last year, with the Federal Court saying Centrelink could not have been satisfied the debt was correct.

The Morrison government announced in May it would repay all debts, estimated to cost about $721 million.

Department secretary Kathryn Campbell acknowledged the scheme caused hurt and harm, and that it was “legally insufficient”.

“I believe there were many people who felt uneasy, frustrated, had some difficulty managing through this system,” she said.

Labor senator Deborah O’Neill read Campbell a letter from a mother whose son died after receiving multiple letters through the system saying he owed up to $17,000.

“Of course we apologise for the hurt and harm caused to that family. That is a tragic story. No one wants that to happen,” Campbell said.

The scheme is facing a class action lawsuit.


Want to comment?

Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.

We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.

Make a comment View comment guidelines

Local News Matters

Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to help InDaily continue to uncover the facts.

Donate today
Powered by PressPatron

More News stories

Loading next article