Federal Independent MP Andrew Wilkie is welcoming the fallout of the Robodebt royal commission, including adverse findings against senior bureaucrats who oversaw the botched welfare clawback.
Robodebt was linked to self-harm and suicides among welfare recipients, but there is no confirmation yet of any concrete action against those responsible.
Mr Wilkie has told the ABC it hit Tasmanians harder.
“We’re talking the most vulnerable people in the country, in Tasmania, so you can imagine the hurt it was causing,” he said.
“It was as much a philosophical vendetta against people on income support as much as it was some sort of genuine or well intentioned effort to reclaim overpayments.”
Mr Wilkie says he was among the first to raise the alarm about Robodebt when distressed constituents began visiting his office after receiving debt notices.
“The most memorable example would be a woman who was literally curled up in a ball on the floor of my waiting room bawling her eyes out,” said Mr Wilkie.
“She didn’t know if she owed money, didn’t know why she owed money, didn’t know how to deal with the very threatening letter that she had to pay money back.”
Anyone in distress can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.