The Morrison ministry has voted narrowly overnight not to resign over the Robodebt scandal.
In a late-night conference call using Australia’s world-standard NBN network, all 30 members of the Cabinet and the outer ministry discussed for more than 90 minutes the recent decision by the Dutch government to resign en masse over a botched child welfare payment scheme that caused enormous stress to some 10,000 families throughout Holland.
It has been compared with Australia’s Robodebt disaster in that many of the claims for repayment, determined by a software program with no human oversight, have been shown to be totally false.
The Australian Government has already paid out $1.3 billion to falsely accused welfare recipients here over illegal repayment demands.
One senior Morrison Cabinet member who asked not to be named told The Bug this morning that to be fair, the situations in both countries were entirely different.
“We need to know more about the Dutch situation but it’s probably clear that some Dutch parents might have allegedly taken their own lives when faced with these allegedly bogus child welfare repayment claims,” Angus Taylor said.
“And my gut feeling from our online hookup last night is that we would have gladly resigned to a man and a woman as well if anyone could have provided proof that just one – just one, mind – Australian affected by false Robodebt demands had in fact d..d…d….”
The Bug: “Died?”
Angus Taylor: “…had in fact d…d…d…d…d…”
The Bug: “Died?”
That line fell out so we rang Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.
“Facts are sometimes contentious,” he told us from his Wagga Wagga electoral office.
“But I’m fairly confident we would have followed the Dutch lead if anyone could have provided absolute proof that just one – just one, mind – Australian victim of Robodebt has s…s…s…s….”
The Bug: “Suicided?”
“Had in fact s… s…. s…..”
That line fell out and when we phoned The Lodge, Mrs Morrison’s live-in helper and companion answered the call as one of her many duties and explained that the PM was not available for comment.
“The poor thing’s out on the back lawn in pouring rain, sobbing loudly and with an arm lifted to heaven pleading with Jesus Christ his Lord and Master to find a solution to the problem.”
The Bug: “Who can be his fall-guy over Robodebt?”
Live-in helper and companion: “I can’t be sure. He’s talking in tongues but I suspect it’s either that or that poor family locked away on Christmas Island. He’s always blubbering away over their plight.”
The Bug understands last night’s vote, taken in the wee hours of today, was 2-0 against a mass ministry resignation, with the audio and visual signals to all other ministers falling out before the final vote could be taken.