The Robodebt settlement yesterday allowed the Prime Minister and Government Services Minister to walk away from responsibility for this sorry case and avoid facing court. It means we, the taxpayers, bear the cost and the victims, five years of pain and anxiety.
The Government was warned about the legality of auto-averaging Centrelink payments numerous times and it went ahead anyway. Most affected were the people trying to stitch together a life of irregular, part-time, casual work – something well-paid MPs do not apparently understand.
Neither do they seem to understand that trust in government is at an all time low because of what, in this case, was politically inspired, wilful mismanagement. Doubtless it played well with some voters to be seen as being tough with people on welfare. In this sense it is no different from sports rorts lavishing money on particular communities for political advantage. It was neither ethical nor fair.
As is usual in such settlements the government has not accepted or admitted any liability and it refuses to acknowledge the damage done or apologise to those affected.
The Nation however is demanding accountability and that means those ministers responsible must be stood down.