Scott Morrison’s government can no longer hide behind the Robodebt system. It blew up in its face. Now there is no choice but to scrap it under its current form. It is technically illegal and cannot continue.
A weak apology to those who were hurt is far from good enough. It’s even worse, when there is a refusal to rule out that such thing ever happening again. There even a refusal to guarantee that money wrongfully extracted will be paid back, or to stop hounding those the system has targeted.
Such meanness says a lot about how Scott and his mates see those who are not in their special club.
A leaked document obtain by The Guardian reveals that the illegal ‘income averaging’ method has been used widely. Staff at Centrelink were instructed to use the method in 2015,when the Robodebt system was put into operation. Although this was before Scott Morrison became the Prime Minister, he has continued it.
Since 2015, the number of claimed debts exploded, from around 20,000 a year to 20,000 a month.
Those without work and those without a decently paying job are seen as a resource to create an army of cheap labour, to pull down the wages of those who do have a proper job.
To do this effectively, a section of the population must be marginalised, have hope stripped away from them, and be made desperate enough to work for crumbs. Businesses can then demand more of their workers, with the promise that there are plenty of others prepared to do your job for less.
Rising unemployment and insecure work serve this purpose.
It’s a method that has been used through history and becomes more pronounced during times of economic difficulty. But this does not fit a society and economy that claims to be fair.
While some employers might benefit in the short-run, history has shown that when this persists and becomes the norm, the economy is undermined.
By aiding this Scott Morrison and those around him are betraying those they claim to serve and don’t really give a hoot about the future of Australia. They are there to serve the big end of town and line their own pockets.
The sooner everyone decides to consign this lot to history the better. Imagine if they were similarly chased to recover ill gotten gains.