Former PM Malcolm Turnbull appears before robodebt royal commission

The robodebt royal commision is questioning former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s knowledge on the failed Centrelink compliance scheme during histerm.

Mr. Turnbull, who is testifying via video connection, was questioned about what he knew about the botched Centrelink compliance programme.

As the robodebt crisis erupted in 2017, the Coalition government was forced into damage control.

Using data from the Australian Taxation Office, Robodebt was an automated technique of estimating welfare users’ claimed indebtedness by comparing their reported wages with their alleged yearly incomes.

The royal commission is examining why the scheme was set up and how it was allowed to run until to 2019 despite its serious flaws being widely known from early 2017.

By this point it had falsely accused thousands of people of owing the government money and been linked to suicides.

The program costed the commonwealth nearly $1.8bn in written-off debts and compensation paid to victims who mounted a class-action lawsuit.

The inquiry is conducting its final week of public hearings, with a final report is due to be handed down on June 30.