Former Administrative Appeals Tribunal member says calculating income by averaging it ‘arguably breaches’ commonwealth policy

The Turnbull government’s robo-debt program involves enforcement of “illegal” debts that in some cases are inflated or nonexistent, a former member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has said.

The scathing indictment of the program is contained in an academic paper by Prof Terry Carney that also accuses Centrelink of failing to defend the legality of debts in the AAT and suggests the tribunal should set aside debts until the agency has proved the amounts are correct.

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