ACOSS strongly welcomes the announcement by the government this morning that it will no longer use external debt collectors to pursue alleged debts of people who receive income support payments.
Robodebt hit people when they were going through the hardest of times – after the death of a family member, in the wake of a natural disaster, and when they were living on next to nothing, struggling to cover the cost of three meals a day.
Thousands of people first found out about having a Robodebt by an external debt collector, with almost half of all Robodebts in 2017 being sent to these companies for collection.
The government must eliminate any possibility of Robodebt ever happening again. Today’s announcement is a major change of direction that signals an important new era, putting people at the centre of Services Australia.
ACOSS and other experts made this recommendation to the Robodebt Royal Commission.
We look forward to continuing to work with the Federal Government and people relying on income support to improve debt recovery practices to ensure they are fair and humane.
We want to thank and acknowledge again all the people who were affected and who have stood up and shared their stories, and all those who have stood in solidarity.