This week in welfare

A former member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal said the government's robo-debt system often calculates debts that are inflated or non-existent.

A 17-year old girl with leukaemia was ordered to visit Centrelink in her wheelchair so staff could “sight her” despite her mother’s protests that she was immunosuppressed.

The girl and her mother have made several attempts in the last 18 months to obtain a Health Care card which would make her chemotherapy drugs more affordable.

The requests have been repeated knocked back with the girl deemed either too old, too young or “not sick enough”.

New legislation introduced by the Government now requires single parents seeking the single-parent payment or Newstart to find a person who is not related to them to sign legal documents confirming the recipient is single.

Making a false or misleading statement carries a 12 month prison sentence.

The Department of Finance announced it would be waiving the debts accrued by Barnaby Joyce and five former MPs during the time the High Court ruled they were ineligible to sit in Parliament.

Richard O'Brien, April 5

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