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Robodebt Class Action Settles for $1.2 Billion

About 400,000 Australians who had money taken from them unlawfully in the federal government’s robodebt scandal will share in a $1.2 billion court settlement. While not admitting legal liability, the commonwealth has settled a class action the day a Federal Court trial over the saga had been due to start. The government agreed on Nov. 16 to pay $112 million in compensation to about 400,000 individuals as well as legal costs. It also dropped $398 million in debts it had been pursing against class action members. This comes on top of $720 million in refunds announced in May over faulty income assessments. This involved matching Australian Taxation Office and Centrelink data to claw back welfare benefits the government said were overpaid. But the scheme was last year ruled unlawful, with the Federal Court saying Centrelink could not have been satisfied the debt was correct. Income averaging is no longer used …