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Robo-debt debacle could now stop people travelling overseas: Greens

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 27 Sep 2018

Banning people from travelling overseas if they have a social security debt is a further example of the Government exercising control over peoples lives and any attempt to use the flawed robo-debt process for this would be deeply unfair, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family & Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“A lot of the debts the Government claims are owed will be from the deeply flawed robo-debt debacle.

“One in six robo-debts being wiped or changed in the first year shows that the debt recovery program continues to be a disaster. Banning those who have a debt from travelling is a paternalistic attempt from the Government to unfairly and cruelly control peoples lives.

“Removing the human element of checking debts resulted in a myriad of false debts, with the onus on the income support recipients to disprove the debt. This measure means that people could be stopped from visiting family overseas or being with family during an emergency.

“It is deeply disturbing that social security income recipients’ data is being shared with the Department of Home Affairs, this smacks of a police state.

“The Government must scrap this measure immediately, and put in place a debt recovery process that does not catch up innocent people and cause huge distress and anxiety to so many.”

Media Inquiries: Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie 0418 401 180


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