Election 2022: Do claims of a cashless welfare card for pensioners hold up?

Apr 19, 2022
Claims of a cashless welfare card for seniors have circulated during the 2022 Federal Election campaign. Source: Getty Images.

With this year’s Federal Election fast approaching and leaders of the major parties hitting the campaign trail a series of claims are being thrown around regarding each party’s priorities should they win the election.

One such claim by the Labor party is that the Coalition plans to expand the cashless welfare card to include pensioners. In the seat of Longman, a pamphlet has been circulating claiming the Coalition will “expand the cashless welfare card to include all aged pensioners”, as reported by The Courier-Mail. Longman Labor candidate Rebecca Fanning has also taken to social media to claim “Palmer, Morrison and Hanson want to tell Australian pensioners how they can spend their money”.

Similar claims have been made by other Labor politicians in the seats such as Lilley and Flinders. Labor has promised to remove the cashless debit card if it’s elected in 2022.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has slammed the claims, stating Labor are “trying to frighten pensions”.

“That’s just an out and out lie and it’s been pushed around on social media and I have no doubt they’re calling pensioners homes and telling them this and trying to frighten them,” he said.

The Cashless Debit Card was introduced in an attempt to ensure that welfare payments are spent in “responsible and meaningful ways”.

The back and forth between Labor and the Coalition over the possible introduction of the cashless card for pensioners comes as the latest Newspoll from The Australian shows support for the major parties has dropped.

First preference support for Labor has fallen to 36 per cent, dropping one point from last week’s poll, while the Coalition’s primary vote has also fallen one point to 35 per cent.

Although the poll showed satisfaction with Opposition Leader Albanese’s performance has fallen to a record low of minus 14, Labor holds a 53-47 lead over the Coalition in a two-party preferred vote.

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