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Morrison government to repay $721 million


The government stopped using the income averaging method in November last year. It had been advised by the public service that it was “unlawful”.

Refunds will start being issued in July.

The class action was due to go to trial this year. Labor’s Bill Shorten, who has been a vocal critic of the scheme, had estimated the class action would recover hundreds of millions of dollars.

Last year Mr Robert said only a “small cohort” of people will be affected by reviews of the scheme, but Services Australia data provided to the Senate suggested at least 220,000 cases were likely to be re-examined. On Friday the government announced 470,000 debts would be refunded.

“It is important to note all other income compliance debts will continue to be subject to recovery, ensuring the integrity of Australia’s welfare system,” Mr Robert said.

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