25 August 2022
ACOSS welcomes the announcement of the Robodebt Royal Commission today as an important step to getting answers, accountability, and better social security protections following this appalling abuse of government power.
Edwina MacDonald, Acting ACOSS CEO said:
“It is six years since people began receiving Robodebt notices, and the Australian public still have no answers regarding who is accountable, who knew what when, and how something that was unlawful and caused so much harm was allowed to continue for so long.
“Hundreds of thousands of people were victims of Robodebt and we are yet to see anyone held to account. This Royal Commission is for the victims, and we welcome that there will be support for people who share their story.
“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.
“In allowing an algorithm to make crude decisions about an essential human service, Robodebt revealed disdain and contempt for people receiving social security payments.
“This Royal Commission must eliminate any possibility of Robodebt happening again and focus on improving protections for people receiving social security. We stand ready to work with the Royal Commission in its investigation.”