I thought the Morrison government couldn’t sink any lower. But they have, now that they are targeting aged pensioners with the Centrelink robo debt system.
A document leaked from the cabinet exposes a recommendation to target another 350,000 to achieve a $2.1 billion spending cut.
This cannot be achieved without spreading the robodebt to age pensioners, among others.
When the government was questioned in the Senate on whether older Australian will be targeted, there was a blanket refusal to rule it out. This is double speak, to admit it is being looked at.
As the age pension falls further and further behind the rise in the cost of living, older Australians are being increasingly pressured to go return to the workforce to supplement their meagre income. This makes then vulnerable.
Robodebt has been a nightmare for the unemployed and others who have previously been targeted. Many thousands have ended up with unjust debts that have made their lives a misery. This cash collection exercise to cut the government’s welfare bill has been a scandal.
Everyone else knows it isn’t fair. Even the Morrison government knows this. But there has so far been a refusal to backtrack. Now the intention to expand it has been revealed, they should to be condemned for their callous disregard for the well being of the vulnerable.
No one should be made to suffer the robodebt system. Targeting those who have given a lifetime to contribute to Australia through their work and taxes, and helped to build of Australia is a crime.
Elders should be respected. They have earned the right to be honoured and rewarded with security in the final stage of their life.
If there is one thing that shows how toxic the robodebt system is, it is that it has been used on 515 dead people. At least this is what has been admitted by department officials.
Negative reaction may well cause the government to backtrack for now. But it is likely that a way to roll it out not too far in the future will be looked for. It has not been ruled out.