Justin Reads The #notmydebt Centrelink Senate Inquiry Report: Part 1

This series was originally posted to Storify and has been reproduced here after Storify was shut down. Unfortunately a lot of the inline images I originally tweeted have been lost, but you can still get the gist of which paragraphs of the report I’m talking about.

In this episode of Too Long; Justin Read, Justin reads the first two chapters of the Senate Inquiry into the Online Compliance Intervention.

After waiting most of the day, the report was finally tabled around 8pm.

Cookie Monster waits

The report itself can be found here if you want to read the source text.

Right, I shall fire up the Too Long; Justin Read engines and get stuck into this #notmydebt report. #tljr

To save precious characters, I’ll tag this stuff with #tljr instead of tagging all of my tweets with #notmydebt

Report gets straight to the heart of things. The data matching with ATO is not new, but the OCI process is new. #tljr

The process “has been outsourced to the individual income payment support recipients.” #tljr

This right here is at the heart of the matter: individual citizens, many of them vulnerable people. They’re receiving welfare payments! Not the supplementary Family Tax Benefits ones, the ones designed to help them get a job, like Newstart. The work that used to be done by a government agency has been foisted onto the general public.

This approach is what has made Facebook and Twitter so mercifully free of Nazis.

A bunch of foreshadowing about details on the problems in Chapter 3. Oooh, anticipation! #tljr

Shoutout to #notmydebt which has been a catalyst and gathering point for a bunch of people directly affected by this system, or who are appalled at the brokenness and want it fixed. (As I do.)

#notmydebt and the website https://www.notmydebt.com.au get a mention. #tljr

Whether the budget objective will even be achieved is called into question. #tljr pic.twitter.com/sNPjDE2DSv

Chapter 4 will go into people paying when they (probably) don’t actually owe anything. #tljr pic.twitter.com/m3rjXBJURb

Report notes that no one ever suggested that people should be able to rort the system, or that overpayments shouldn’t be paid back. #tljr

That people have to take care to point this out shows how insidious the rhetoric from certain quarters has been. #tljr

“each chapter includes evidence of how all aspects of the OCI program have had a profoundly negative impact on the lives of thousands of Australians.” #tljr #notmydebt

You’d think that would be a cause for concern.

Some procedural stuff about how the inquiry was run. I’ll spare you. #tljr

The report mentions the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s report [PDF here] and its recommendations. #tljr

Multiple people, including #notmydebt, noted that these recommendations didn’t address the core issues of OCI. #tljr

Alas portions of the archive of the original post relating to reading chapter 2 of the report appear to be missing. #sadface

Read part 2 of this TL;JR here.

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