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And just in case you missed it, the government announced it was restarting the Centrelink (now Services Australia) debt recovery process from next week.
If Services Australia thinks you may have a debt, they will start ‘debt raising’ with you from next week. If the debt is proven, you’ll have to start paying it back from February next year, when the debt recovery program re-starts.
The Greens senator Rachel Siewert said the social services estimates hearing has revealed that 74,434 payments have been suspended by Centrelink, less than a month after the government re-instated mutual obligations.
That’s not necessarily the number of people- many people have multiple payments (not that it ever adds up to much) and when they get suspended, each payment is considered separately.
Estimates has revealed that 12,137 First Nations peoples, 6,334 single parents, 13,169 disabled people, 9,100 homeless people and 12,135 culturally and linguistically diverse people are among those that have had a payment suspended within the first month of mutual obligations returning.
There are very clearly vulnerable people who are disproportionately impacted by the punitive mutual obligations system.