All words directly attributable to Brian Mitchell MP, federal member for Lyons.
“Confusion surrounds the Morrison Government’s intentions following its admission that its Robodebt scheme was unlawful.
“Prime Minister Morrison and Minister Stuart Robert continue to refuse to apologise for the discredited scheme, which stole money from Australians, but now they’re not coming clean on the next step.
“Many have assumed that the Government’s admission meant it would refund the $721 million it took from hundreds of thousands of Australians, and wipe their debts, but that is now not clear.
“Neither Prime Minister Morrison nor Minister Robert are stating clearly what is going to happen with the money.
“Scott Morrison admits Robodebt was illegal but is hedging his bets on wiping it.
“In a lengthy article this week, Robodebt activist Royce Kurmelovos wrote:
‘The key detail – that has gone somewhat overlooked over the last few days of coverage – is that the department weren’t exactly wiping the slate clean on those debts. It would instead be returning those debts to ‘zero’ while keeping them on the books in case it eventually found another creative way to claw that money back’
“Mr Morrison and Mr Robert must come clean with Australians. Are they returning the money they took, or are they keeping it. Are their wiping the Robodebt, or are they keeping it on the books.
“If they are returning debts to zero but “keeping them on the books” do they intend to put these Australians through this turmoil again.
“I called in the parliament for the suspension of Robodebt in February 2017 because it was clear that it was operating illegally by taking money from people who may not have owed it. It has taken more than three years for the Government to admit its wrong-doing, but it seems it still can’t help itself when it comes to being unnecessarily spiteful.
“Mr Morrison and Mr Robert must come clean. They must apologise for ever allowing this disgraceful scheme to be foisted upon vulnerable Australians, and they must clearly explain, without spin, their intentions regarding the debts that were levied.”