澳大利亚非法福利猎杀的人类代价

2020-11-19 07:39

The human cost of Australia's illegal 'robo' hunt for welfare cheats 9dt世界播

澳大利亚非法“机器人”追捕福利诈骗者的人力成本。9dt世界播


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Jarrad Madgwick's family say he felt immense financial pressure 9dt世界播

Jarrad Madgwick的家人说,他感到了巨大的经济压力9dt世界播


At the beginning of Australia's winter last year, Kath Madgwick read the last message she'd receive from her only child. 9dt世界播

去年澳大利亚入冬时,凯丝·马奇威克读到了她从独生子那里收到的最后一封信。9dt世界播


"I love you mum," her son Jarrad, 22, had texted. 9dt世界播

她22岁的儿子贾拉德发短信说:“我爱你,妈妈。”9dt世界播


Her son had made her extremely proud, wrote Ms Madgwick in a letter later read out to a parliamentary inquiry. A former school captain, and state-ranked swimmer, Jarrad had been a respectful young man, kind and helpful to others. 9dt世界播

她的儿子让她无比自豪,马奇威克在后来宣读给议会调查的一封信中写道。贾拉德曾是一名学校队长,也是一名州级游泳运动员,他是一个受人尊敬的年轻人,善良,乐于助人。9dt世界播


But in the year before his death, he had fallen on hard times. There had been a relationship break-up and bullying at work. Newly unemployed and struggling with his mental health, he moved back in with his mum. 9dt世界播

但在他去世的前一年,他陷入了困境。他们在工作中曾有过分手和欺凌行为。他刚失业,精神健康状况不佳,搬回家和母亲住在一起。9dt世界播


He applied to join the army around the same time he applied for unemployment benefit. 9dt世界播

他申请参军的时间大约与他申请失业救济金的时间相同。9dt世界播


When his claim was rejected, he was devastated. On the day of his suicide, he rang up Australia's welfare office to ask why. 9dt世界播

当他的要求被驳回时,他悲痛欲绝。自杀当天,他打电话给澳大利亚福利办公室,询问原因。9dt世界播


"Um hello. I'm like in a pretty desperate situation here," he told the Centrelink officer. 9dt世界播

“嗯,你好。我现在处于非常绝望的境地,”他告诉Centrelink官员。9dt世界播


"I've waited a month and I've jumped through all the hoops and I'm just wondering why I haven't even had an explanation? We can't afford rent and I'm thinking about stealing food… like, we need this money," he said. 9dt世界播

他说:“我等了一个月,经历了所有的难关,我只是在想,为什么我连个解释都没有?我们付不起房租,我在考虑偷吃的…,就像,我们需要这笔钱。”9dt世界播


After that call, Ms Madgwick says, Jarrad checked his welfare account. That was when he learnt that he owed A$2,000 (1,100; $1,500) to the government. The debt was an apparent overpayment of a previous student benefit he had received - and this had barred his new claim. 9dt世界播

马奇威克说,在那通电话之后,贾拉德查看了他的福利账户。就在那时,他得知自己欠政府2000澳元(1,100英磅;1,500美元)。这笔债务显然是他之前收到的一笔学生救济金的多付--这阻止了他的新索赔。9dt世界播


"From then on, he was just distressed and inconsolable. But he was still desperately trying for jobs right up until the moment he left the house," Ms Madgwick told the BBC. 9dt世界播

马奇威克告诉BBC:“从那时起,他就一直很痛苦和悲伤。但直到他离开家的那一刻,他都在拼命找工作。”9dt世界播


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Kath Madgwick with her son Jarrad 9dt世界播

Kath Madgwick和她的儿子Jarrad9dt世界播


Later, it would emerge that Jarrad was one of more than half a million Australians caught up in the nation's so-called "Robodebt" scandal, which ran from 2016 to 2019. 9dt世界播

后来,有消息称,2016年至2019年,有50多万澳大利亚人卷入了所谓的“机器人债务”丑闻,贾拉德就是其中之一。9dt世界播


This welfare policy, later ruled to be illegal, forced some of the county's poorest to pay off debts, many of which never existed in the first place. The government sent letters, often repeatedly, to citizens demanding they refund the "overpayments". 9dt世界播

这一福利政策后来被裁定为非法,迫使该县一些最贫穷的人偿还债务,其中许多债务从一开始就不存在。政府多次致函市民,要求他们退还“多付款项”。9dt世界播


For those that could afford it, they withdrew savings or started repayment plans to pay off what was often thousands of dollars. For others, the financial shock came at the worst point in their lives. 9dt世界播

对于那些负担得起的人,他们提取储蓄或开始还款计划,以偿还往往数千美元。对于其他人来说,金融冲击发生在他们生命中最糟糕的时刻。9dt世界播


Jarrad's mother contends that his debt was one of those that were miscalculated, but he did not live long enough to find this out. He died on 30 May 2019, taking his life in what his mother says was an impulsive act. 9dt世界播

贾拉德的母亲辩称,他的债务是计算错误的债务之一,但他活得还不够久,没有发现这一点。他于2019年5月30日去世,在他母亲所说的冲动行为中结束了自己的生命。9dt世界播


Ms Madgwick holds the government partly responsible for Jarrad's suicide. 9dt世界播

马奇威克女士认为政府对贾拉德的自杀负有部分责任。9dt世界播


"He just got himself worked up in those two hours over this proposed debt thinking that he wasn't going to get any Centrelink. He was desperate," she said. 9dt世界播

她说:“在那两个小时里,他只是为这笔拟议的债务而焦躁不安,以为他不会得到任何Centrelink。他绝望了。”9dt世界播


'Vilifying the poor' 9dt世界播

“贬低穷人”9dt世界播


Robodebt, officially known as the Online Compliance Intervention scheme, was introduced in 2015 by the conservative government, with the aim of saving A$1.7bn. 9dt世界播

RoboDebt的官方名称是在线合规干预计划,由保守党政府于2015年推出,目的是节省17亿澳元。9dt世界播


At the time, Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge said people were cheating the welfare system. "We'll find you, we'll track you down, you will have to pay those debts and you may end up in prison," he said. 9dt世界播

当时,英国公共服务部部长艾伦·塔吉表示,人们欺骗了福利体系。他说:“我们会找到你,我们会找到你,你将不得不偿还这些债务,最终可能会坐牢。”9dt世界播


But critics said the system was "a kind of criminalisation of those on welfare", part of a wider attempt by Australia's conservative government, prior to the pandemic, to slash the welfare net. The government was also criticised for upping requirements making it harder to receive a payment, controlling how recipients spend their money, and for proposals such as mandatory drug-testing of jobseekers. 9dt世界播

但批评人士表示,这一制度是“对领取福利者的一种刑事化”,这是澳大利亚保守派政府在疫情爆发前削减福利网络的更广泛尝试的一部分。政府还受到批评,因为提高了要求,增加了收到付款的难度,控制了受助人的花钱方式,以及强制对求职者进行药物测试等提议。9dt世界播


Robodebt was just another policy vilifying the poor and vulnerable, this time through the use of technology, said social policy professor Ruth Phillips from the University of Sydney. 9dt世界播

悉尼大学的社会政策教授露丝·菲利普斯表示,机器人债务只是又一项诋毁穷人和弱势群体的政策,这一次是通过使用技术。9dt世界播


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The need for welfare this year has spiked due to the pandemic 9dt世界播

由于流感大流行,今年对福利的需求激增9dt世界播


She notes it was part of a global trend of governments using tech to tighten their welfare systems. In India, the poor have to scan their fingerprints for food stamps. In the US, some states use a similar computer which trawls through decades of data to reclaim payments. 9dt世界播

她指出,这是各国政府利用科技来收紧福利体系的全球趋势的一部分。在印度,穷人必须扫描指纹才能获得食品券。在美国,一些州使用一台类似的电脑,从几十年的数据中收集数据来收回付款。9dt世界播


"It's all about the idea that we're surveilling you, and making sure you don't get overpaid your due," she told the BBC. "It's a terrible contradiction to the purpose of the welfare state [in Australia], which is actually to ensure that people have sufficient resources to survive in what is really a very wealthy country." 9dt世界播

她在接受BBC采访时表示:“这一切都是为了让我们监视你,确保你不会多拿应得的报酬。”“这与(澳大利亚)福利国家的目的是可怕的矛盾,而福利国家的目的实际上是确保人们在这个真正非常富裕的国家有足够的资源生存。”9dt世界播


'I knew I was innocent' 9dt世界播

“我知道我是无辜的。”9dt世界播


Robodebt replaced a previous system where bureaucrats had hand-checked records before contacting recipients. In Australia's means-based welfare system, people who receive a benefit typically have to report their income every two weeks. Robodebt matched those submissions with tax office data to find discrepancies. 9dt世界播

RoboDebt取代了以前官僚在联系收件人之前手工检查记录的系统。在澳大利亚以经济状况为基础的福利体系中,领取救济金的人通常必须每两周报告一次他们的收入。RoboDebt将这些提交的文件与税务局的数据进行了匹配,以找出差异。9dt世界播


Within the first year of its use, it found 10 times more instances of "cheating". 9dt世界播

在使用的第一年内,它就发现了10倍以上的“作弊”案例。9dt世界播


However, the vast majority of these cases were people who had done nothing wrong. Rather, the algorithm had relied on flawed maths: averaging the fortnightly income of a recipient. 9dt世界播

然而,这些案件中的绝大多数都是没有做错任何事情的人。相反,该算法依赖于有缺陷的数学运算:取受助者每两周的平均收入。9dt世界播


But this simply did not work for people whose pay slips differed from week to week, like students working irregular shifts. 9dt世界播

但这对那些每周工资条不同的人来说是行不通的,比如不定期轮班的学生。9dt世界播


It was these people who were now accused of owing debt - and the onus was on them to prove that they had done nothing wrong. 9dt世界播

现在被指控欠债的正是这些人--他们有责任证明自己没有做错任何事。9dt世界播


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Katherine Prygodicz had briefly received an unemployment benefit before finding her teaching job 9dt世界播

凯瑟琳·普雷戈迪茨在找到教书工作之前曾短暂领取过失业救济金9dt世界播


School teacher Katherine Prygodicz, 43, had been at first puzzled by the night-time phone calls she began receiving in January 2019. When they asked for her bank details and personal information, she thought it was a scam. 9dt世界播

43岁的学校教师凯瑟琳·普雷戈迪茨(Katherine Prygodicz)一开始对2019年1月开始接到的夜间电话感到困惑。当他们询问她的银行信息和个人信息时,她认为这是个骗局。9dt世界播


Only months later, when her entire tax return was confiscated, did she realise she owed money to the government. Other stories have been reported of people going to the shops and discovering their bank accounts drained, as part of the debt collecting. 9dt世界播

仅仅几个月后,当她的整个纳税申报单被没收时,她才意识到自己欠了政府的钱。另有报道称,作为讨债的一部分,人们去商店时发现自己的银行账户被掏空了。9dt世界播


"I couldn't understand why I had a debt," Ms Prygodicz told the BBC. "I'm a maths and science teacher. So I couldn't understand how I could have reported the numbers wrong because that's what my thing is. 9dt世界播

普雷戈迪茨告诉BBC:“我不明白为什么我要欠下一笔债。”“我是一名数学和科学老师。所以我不明白为什么我会报错数字,因为这就是我的专长。”9dt世界播


"What upset me was that they were implying that I hadn't reported my income properly - that I was committing welfare fraud. But I knew I was innocent." 9dt世界播

“让我感到不安的是,他们暗示我没有正确申报收入--我在进行福利欺诈。但我知道我是无辜的。”9dt世界播


She began challenging the claim, but encountered stigma around her fight. Most of her family were supportive. "But some thought that I must have done something wrong, or that if it was a government misunderstanding, it could be easily cleared up." 9dt世界播

她开始挑战这一说法,但她的斗争遭到了耻辱。她的大多数家人都很支持她。“但有些人认为,我肯定做错了什么,或者如果是政府误会,那很容易澄清。”9dt世界播


'Exonerated' 9dt世界播

“无罪释放”9dt世界播


Ms Prygodicz faced a battle that has been shared by thousands of other Australians. 9dt世界播

普里戈迪茨女士面临着成千上万其他澳大利亚人共同经历的一场战斗。9dt世界播


In late 2016, people began reporting complaints to their local MPs and media, leading to wider scrutiny. There have been ombudsman reports, legal analysis, court challenges and two parliamentary inquiries which heard from families who said Robodebt was a factor in their loved ones' deaths. 9dt世界播

2016年末,人们开始向当地议员和媒体举报投诉,导致更广泛的审查。已经有监察员报告、法律分析、法庭质疑和两次议会调查,这些调查都来自家庭,他们说机器人债务是导致亲人死亡的一个因素。9dt世界播


Throughout it all, the government staunchly defended the programme's legality. Bureaucrats expressed sympathy for families like the Madgwicks, but refused to say whether they accepted that Robodebt had been a suicidal pressure. 9dt世界播

在整个过程中,政府坚定不移地为该计划的合法性辩护。官员们对像马奇威克这样的家庭表示同情,但拒绝透露他们是否接受机器人债务是一种自杀压力。9dt世界播


Then in November last year, a few months after Jarrad Madgwick died, the Federal Court of Australia ruled it was illegal. 9dt世界播

去年11月,在贾拉德·马奇威克(Jarrad Madgwick)去世几个月后,澳大利亚联邦法院(Federal Court Of Australia)裁定这是非法的。9dt世界播


Six months later, affected recipients were told by the government they were part of a court case suing the state - believed to be the largest class action in Australia. 9dt世界播

六个月后,受影响的接受者被政府告知,他们是起诉该州的法庭案件的一部分-据信这是澳大利亚最大的集体诉讼。9dt世界播


Days later the government abolished Robodebt, and announced it would refund more than A$721m of paid debts to everyone who had paid up. 9dt世界播

几天后,澳大利亚政府废除了RoboDebt,并宣布将向所有还清债务的人退还逾7.21亿澳元的已偿还债务。9dt世界播


The class action was settled on Monday, with the government agreeing to pay A$1.2bn. This sum includes A$112m in compensation, and dropping A$379m in fake debts challenged by people like Ms Prygodciz. 9dt世界播

这起集体诉讼于周一达成和解,政府同意支付12亿澳元。这笔款项包括1.12亿澳元的赔偿,以及免除普莱戈茨等人质疑的3.79亿澳元的虚假债务。9dt世界播


"I feel exonerated, even though I didn't do anything wrong," she told the BBC. 9dt世界播

她告诉BBC:“尽管我没有做错任何事,但我觉得自己是清白的。”9dt世界播


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Jarrad Madgwick and Kath Madgwick 9dt世界播

Jarrad Madgwick和Kath Madgwick9dt世界播


But the government has refused to admitted liability as part of case's settlement. And many are still calling for proper accountability. The government imposed a system - that was not only illegal - but targeted the most vulnerable and poor, and caused widescale suffering and hardship. 9dt世界播

但政府拒绝承认责任,作为案件和解的一部分。许多人仍在呼吁适当的责任追究。政府强加了一套制度,这不仅是非法的,而且针对的是最脆弱和最贫穷的人,并造成了广泛的痛苦和困难。9dt世界播


"You're dealing with people that are down on their luck and already not feeling good because they've got to go to the government to get help. It's not right to be using an automated system to go after them," said Ms Madgwick. 9dt世界播

马奇威克表示:“你要对付的是那些运气不佳、已经感觉不好的人,因为他们不得不去政府寻求帮助。用自动化系统来对付他们是不对的。”9dt世界播


Australia's Labor and Greens political opposition are leading calls for a royal commission - the top form of public inquiry - to determine who was responsible for what they described as a "government scam", arguing they knew about the system's problems before it was ruled illegal. 9dt世界播

澳大利亚工党和绿党的政治反对党带头呼吁成立一个皇家委员会--公开调查的最高形式--以确定谁应该为他们所说的“政府骗局”负责,他们辩称,在该系统被裁定为非法之前,他们就知道该系统存在的问题。9dt世界播


Ms Madgwick also wants someone held accountable. In June, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he "would apologise for any hurt or harm" caused by the scheme. But Ms Madgwick says this isn't a true apology, and notes no government figures have lost their jobs. 9dt世界播

马奇威克还希望有人被追究责任。今年6月,英国首相斯科特·莫里森(Scott Morrison)表示,他将为该计划造成的任何伤害或伤害道歉。但马奇威克表示,这不是真正的道歉,并指出没有政府官员丢掉工作。9dt世界播


"Why didn't the government treat people like they're people?" she asked the BBC. "He hasn't acknowledged the damage that this system has caused to so many Australians, not just myself. 9dt世界播

“为什么政府不像对待人民一样对待人民?”她问BBC。“他没有承认这一制度给这么多澳大利亚人造成的损害,不仅仅是我自己。9dt世界播


"There was no empathy in this scheme, this was just about the dollar for them." 9dt世界播

“这一计划没有任何同情心,对他们来说,这只是为了美元。”9dt世界播


bbc.co.uk/actionline. 9dt世界播

Bbc.co.uk/actionline。9dt世界播


Beyond Blue website. 9dt世界播

超越蓝色网站。9dt世界播

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