Robodebt revelations hit new low

The government’s robodebt scheme has hit a “new low” with revelations that vulnerable Australians were increasingly targeted last year, despite warnings the scheme was illegal, the federal Opposition says.

According to documents released in answer to a Senate Estimates question on notice, the number of tax returns of Sickness Allowance and Disability Support Pension recipients garnishered due to a robodebt increased by 2000 per cent last financial year.

The figures showed that more than 11,000 disability support pensioners had paid back a robodebt in full since 2016, with the number increased by 230 per cent year-on-year in 2018-19.

Late last year the federal government confirmed it would no longer be issuing robodebts based solely on the flaw income averaging method, with a review to be conducted into debts already raised this way.