The Federal Government has announced it will refund $721 million worth of debts it clawed back through its controversial Robodebt scheme.
Services Australia said in a statement that 470,000 debts would be waived, with refunds to be rolled out from July.
“Refunds will also be made for any interest charges and/or recovery fees paid on related debts,” Human Services Minister Stuart Robert said in a statement.
The decision comes after the Department of Human Services halted a key part of the scheme last year and said it would require additional proof before it used income averaging to identify over-payments.
The scheme saw hundreds of thousands of people issued with computer-generated debt notices.
Robodebt was the name given to an averaging process which saw data from the Australian Tax Office matched with income reported to Centrelink by welfare recipients.
But concerns were quickly raised that the process was faulty, sending out automated demands for payment from people who did not owe the Government any money.
Lawyers for people with the debts argued the system lacked human oversight, and said it reversed the burden of proof.
The decision comes after the Department of Human Services halted a key part of the scheme last year and said it would require additional proof before it used income averaging to identify over payments.
- Almost half a million debts will be waived or refunded by the Government
- The computer-generated demands for payment will be refunded if they were already paid
- The scheme began requiring additional proof last year
Original Source: ABC News