Professor Peter Whiteford joins us to talk about the highly anticipated Robodebt Scheme Royal Commission report.

He breaks down some key items of the report, and how he thinks we can prevent a policy like this from happening again. It is clear that the scheme was made possible through years of attitude and policy changes that prevented access to social security and stigmatised those who received it.

Professor Whiteford also highlights that when Robodebt was active there was an ongoing pattern of deception to prevent results from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) being released to the public.

He recalls the disbelief he felt when he learned that DHS was averaging out income over a whole year. While Robodebt affected a vulnerable minority of the population, this government failure represents a risk to all Australians. “You are very lucky if you don’t have to call on social security at some time in your working life.”

Peter Whiteford is a Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy. He’s a member of the Interim Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee. His research focuses on social security policy in Australia and internationally. Peter was previously Principal Administrator in the Directorate of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Sharon Bessell is a Professor of Public Policy and Director of both the Children’s Policy Centre and the Poverty and Inequality Research Centre at ANU Crawford School of Public Policy.

Arnagretta Hunter is the Human Futures Fellow at ANU College of Health and Medicine, a cardiologist, physician, and a Senior Clinical Lecturer at ANU Medical School.

You can find full show notes on the Crawford School of Public Policy LinkedIn account.  

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