Former Human Services Minister Alan Tudge.

The Coalition’s Centrelink robo-debt scheme has been absolutely riddled with controversies -- from the initial shadiness of a debt system relying on historical payment and tax records, all the way to recent reports of tax returns being seized from people challenging their debts.

How is it that the Coalition can continue to justify the scheme with anything resembling a straight face? Poring over the government's excuses, Crikey discovered the evolution of these excuses almost perfectly mirrors the (alleged) stages of grief.