A "gross betrayal and a human tragedy" is how Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has described the former Government's robodebt scheme after a royal commission delivered scathing findings


A gross betrayal and a human tragedy. That's how Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has described the former government's robo debt scheme after a royal commission delivered scathing findings. Former ministers including XPM Scott Morrison 

were singled out for criticism with 20 unnamed people facing potential civil and criminal prosecution. Government Services Minister Bill Shorten was one of those who raised concerns about the scheme from opposition and he joins us now from Melbourne. 

Minister, good morning. Thank you so much for being with us. It's a pretty tough news this morning. These findings have been a long time coming. Closure for hundreds of thousands of victims, 

a lot of these victims ended their own lives. Has justice been served in your eyes? It is tough reading, I think, for the victims of the robo debt scheme. I've been speaking to the 

mothers of some of the young men who took their lives after receiving robo debt notices. Nothing can, unfortunately, turn back the clock and make it as it was before the previous government systemically broke the law and caused the harm. But it is vindication. I'm speaking 

to whistleblowers, you know, the frontline staff at Services Australia, great men and women, who spoke up to spoke truth to power. It is vindication. They feel that the royal commission 

has at least heard their side of the story and it does take a little bit of weight off people's shoulders because really, for the whole time this scheme was in for four and a half years, 

the old government used to say that the critics were wrong, that the government was right, there was nothing untoward to see here. And that the old government gas lit a nation and its citizens. 

And so now, yeah, I do think there's a sense of vindication. Well, speaking of those former ministers, they are all rejecting the report's findings this morning. Scott Morrison, particularly 

fighting back against the claim he allowed Cabinet to be misled. Just how serious are the claims against the former Prime Minister? Did he lie and should he resign from parliament? 

The royal commissioner is not a partisan, not a politician, just a very experienced lawyer who's heard it all in her courts and legal argument before. And so she weighed up the evidence 

and she just found the former Prime Minister Morrison's evidence wanting. She just didn't know about former coalition politicians, which any self -respecting politician will be humiliated 

to have said about them. This is their political tombstone. This is what's going to be etched on it, that a group of them just abused their power, that their evidence just wasn't believed. 

And so sure, it's the writer of Mr Morrison and his former ministerial colleagues to say they did nothing wrong. But I actually think the facts contradict their narrative. A group of them 

have got one side, but that hundreds of thousands of people who are the victims of having the law being broken against them by their own government, I think they would beg to differ with Mr Morrison. 

Holidaying in Italy at the moment, but we know of at least 800 people who took their own lives bill as a result of this scheme, it's far -reaching, far -reaching. It's not just financial, clearly. 

Any compensation, can there be any compensation that makes up for the damage this mess has caused? Well at the very human level what people really want is never to have had their own government break the law and raise unlawful dead notices against them. But we know the universe can't 

whine back time. There was a class action which I was involved in helping set up and establish. That class action run by Gordon Legal did go all the way to the door of the court and of course the government of the day then settled for $1 .7 billion of writing 

off unlawful debts of refunding money to people who have been compelled to pay it. There was $112 million in extra payments there. The commissioner says about compensation going forward that in her opinion she thinks that general scheme would be more cost to 

run than the money it would pay. She raises some other legal questions which I know the people of Robeau -Dead, the real issue is in my opinion their own government which is meant to be, governments are meant to be there to help people not hurt people. The Morrison 

government and even the Turnbull government by setting up and running the scheme it hurt people. It didn't help them. That's a massive breach of trust and citizens in this country allow, you know, support having governments and they pay their taxes. They transfer some of their individual agency to government but the deal is that the government won't break the law and this is what happened. There was a pathology of unlawfulness at the heart of 

the Morrison and former coalition governments

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