The Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) said on March 7 it feared the system’s treatment of welfare recipients was scaring individuals away from exercising their right to claim income support.
Speaking as the Senate inquiry into the Centrelink debt recovery system began, ACT ACOSS Director Susan Helyar described the system as an abuse of government power that was undermining confidence in public administration.
“Some of our members have wondered whether individuals are being encouraged to stay out of the welfare system,” she said.
“They are being discouraged from exercising their entitlements in the income support system by this poor public administration.
“Some people cynically suggest that might be the point of the process.”