OPINION: Centrelink debacle a repeat of Census disaster

I DON'T know too many other businesses who'd say a 20% failure rate is OK.

Imagine if 20% of the prescription medicine you took were duds, or if 20% of the nails you bought at Bunnings didn't work?

If we printed today's newspaper and 20% of the pages were torn or had pages missing, the phones would be running hot and everyone would want their money back.

If Maccas served 20% of their Big Macs with only one meat pattie, I'm sure they'd never hear the end of it.

So why would a government minister come out and say a 20% failure rate was an example of a system working well?

I'm talking about the Centrelink overpayments debacle which continues to unravel before the federal government's very eyes.

We here on the Northern Rivers have a higher than usual rate of dependency on Centrelink payments, so I am just wondering how many people got a nasty little letter in the mail over Christmas?

Some pretty vulnerable people in our community have probably suffered some unnnecessary heartache and financial stress all because of a computer glitch.

Judging by some of the cases exposed in the media, this automated debt recovery system is just a shambles.

Centrelink, the Australian Tax Office and the government are overseeing another cock-up the magnitude of the online Census shutdown.

Imagine if we sent the debt collectors in for overpayments to politicians for questionable travel expenses to footy matches.


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