So, in case Aussie’s needed more reason to feel outraged at how much our government actually does not give a shit about people’s suffering, I now have the grim responsibility of telling you that they literally just stated they don’t have a duty of care over welfare recipients.
Which basically means, they don’t care about poor people. Cool.
This nasty statement has come out in response to the class action lawsuit for the giant fuck up that was robodebt.
Explainer: Our government issued over 600,000 speculative invoices to our most vulnerable citizens. 2,000 people died after receiving them – the duress of it all.
Many of these robodebts were illegal.
The gov is saying they don’t have a duty of care now. #robodebt
— Belinda Barnet (@manjusrii) February 18, 2020
A Quick Reminder About What #Robodebt Was
In case you forgot, basically Centrelink sent out a bunch of debt notices to welfare recipients based on incorrect information. People were receiving debt notices for thousands of dollars, without any reason as to why they suddenly owed Centrelink so much money.
Obviously, this scared the absolute shit out of people and caused a lot of distress and anxiety, with many claims of feeling suicidal after receiving un-payable debt notices.
Those who have been issued illegal and incorrect debts and relentlessly pursued by this Government should have their money refunded with a sense of urgency and they should also be compensated for the trauma and harassment they have experienced.#Auspol #Robodebt
— Rachel Siewert (@SenatorSiewert) February 18, 2020
The government’s defence to the lawsuit being filed against them actually acknowledged that the debts didn’t have a legal basis, because instead of actually using people’s payslips to determine their income, they just used an income average.
They basically assumed people were lying about the income they were receiving, with no valid proof, and then sent them debt notices for the money they supposedly owed over this alleged misreporting.
Of course, not everyone was equipped to fight the claims, and so some people paid back debts they didn’t even owe.
The Current Class Action Law Suit
— Reezy Miller (@Trixie_Boo) February 17, 2020
Of course, given the nature of such a horrific display of fuckery, there is now a class action lawsuit against the government, with 5 lead applicants.
The lawsuit is demanding the government withdraw debt notices with no actual basis, compensate the people that were distressed by this traumatising mess, and return money that was unlawfuly taken with false debt claims.
Of course, this doesn’t seem like a particularly radical ask – I mean, the government literally admitted that they issued these people false debt notices, so it makes sense that they should retract the notices and compensate the individuals involved.
Let’s be clear. #Robodebt was a government endorsed Phishing scam. If I was to send out thousands of fake invoices in the hope that a few would actually be paid, I could expect a visit from the fraud squad. That’s why the scheme was pronounced illegal. Where is the AFP? #auspol
— 💧Aaron Dodd (@AaronDodd) February 17, 2020
Except, they’re actually fighting this law suit, and a key part of their defence is that they reckon they don’t have a duty of care over welfare recipients, because they claim it isn’t explicitly stated in social security law. Which is fucked, because a government’s ONLY JOB is to look after it’s people. I can’t.
The govt has one job and it’s literally to care for citizens
— Joshua Badge (@joshuabadge) February 17, 2020
And you know what’s funnier/worse?
IT LITERALLY SAYS IN THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY GUIDE THAT THE GOVERNMENT DOES HAVE A DUTY OF CARE.
Govt lawyers argue in a class action case that the Australian Govt ‘does not owe welfare recipients a duty of care over the #Robodebt scandal’
— 💧🔥🐨Bee🐝 (@BelindaJones68) February 17, 2020
So they’re actually pulling facts out of their arse, which shouldn’t be surprising since they also pulled people’s income numbers out of their arse too, and yet here we are.
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