Centrelink debt recovery drive has caused summer from hell, Bill Shorten says

By Matthew Knott
Updated January 9 2017 - 1:18am, first published 12:15am
Bill Shorten says Centrelink's automated debt recovery system is a 'toxic mix of incompetence and cruelty'. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Bill Shorten says Centrelink's automated debt recovery system is a 'toxic mix of incompetence and cruelty'. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Social Services Minister Christian Porter says only 276 complaints have been received and the system is working "incredibly well". Photo: Andrew Meares
Social Services Minister Christian Porter says only 276 complaints have been received and the system is working "incredibly well". Photo: Andrew Meares

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has called on the Turnbull government to immediately suspend Centrelink's controversial automated debt recovery program, describing it as a "toxic mix of incompetence and cruelty" that has ruined Christmas for vulnerable Australians.

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