Almost 200,000 Australians will have their robodebt reviews wiped as the federal government drops cases sparked by the bungled debt recovery program.

The relief covers 197,000 Australians subject to a robodebt review that was not yet finalised, having been put on hold in 2019 when the then-Coalition government stopped using the controversial practice to pursue new debts.

Public hearings in a $30 million royal commission into the scheme, which assessed annual income data from the Australian Tax Office against fortnightly Centrelink welfare payments, are expected to kick off later this month.

Loved ones of several people who took their own lives after receiving debt notices directly blamed robodebt for the suicides.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said she was happy to relieve the stress hanging over those affected.

“The robodebt fiasco is something that should be of deep concern to all Australians. It was meant to save money, however, we know it had a significant human cost,” she said, in a statement.

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