Video Showcases Centrelink Bogus Debts Clawback Fiasco
1 February 2017 at 4:38 pm
A tongue-in-cheek video is being used by a peak body to shine a light on the “ludicrousness” of the so-called “Centrelink bogus debts clawback fiasco”.
Victorian Council of Social Service released a video on Wednesday that depicts the scenario of a woman being chased for money by a video store after more than a decade.
Through humour they hope to highlight the experience of the tens of thousands of Australians who have been issued with debt notices.
VCOSS CEO Emma King said they wanted to help Australians understand “the cruel fraud that’s currently being inflicted on welfare recipients”.
“Discussions about ‘debt clawbacks’ and ‘robo recovery’ can be very hard to follow, but everybody’s been chased up for a late video at some point,” King said.
“So now imagine you’re being pursued for a decade old video carrying a huge fine, and you must prove your innocence.
“That’s unfair in anybody’s book. We think people will be horrified when they learn what’s being done in their name.”
It comes as the Australian Council of Social Service has penned a letter to the prime minister asking that he immediately end the program to prevent “further harm and distress” being caused.
The letter also called to properly resource Centrelink and convene a roundtable of stakeholders and experts to design a fairer method of debt collection.
CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie joined TasCOSS and local community organisations in Hobart on Wednesday to call for an immediate end to the Centrelink automated debt recovery program.
Meanwhile rallies were held across Australia on Tuesday with protesters in Melbourne, Hobart and Adelaide voicing their support for those affected and for Centrelink staff.