Cashless welfare card may be rolled out nationally

There have been talks for over a year now about a cashless welfare card, and it seems we’re getting even
Australia

There have been talks for over a year now about a cashless welfare card, and it seems we’re getting even closer to a national roll out.

According to The Australian, the card aimed at welfare recipients would be rolled out across the country under a welfare reform the Turnbull government is considering taking to the election.

However the plan feels a little optimistic: the Healthy Welfare Card is still yet to be trialled in regional areas.

The Australian understands the Coalition may seek an election mandate to extend the card to welfare recipients across regional Australia if they achieve positive results.

With the welfare card, 80 per cent of a person’s government cheque would be ­put on a bank card that could not be used to buy alcohol and gambling products, nor ­drawn from out of an ATM.

Last year, the government successfully passed legislation to allow the card to be trialled in three test sites, affecting up to 10,000 welfare recipients, beginning in the far-west South Australian town of Ceduna next month, and the East Kimberley in northern Western Australia in March.

Melissa Price, MP for Durack, is pushing for the regional centre of Geraldton in WA to become the third trial site, which would allow the government to test the card in a city where the majority of welfare recipients are non-indigenous.

“Obviously it is subject to the results of the trial, but it is very interesting to see how this could get rolled out in a major city as this is not just a problem in the bush,” she said.

And if the card were to be rolled out across all regional communities in Australia, up to 100,000 people on government income support could be affected.

Assistant Minister for Social Services Alan Tudge, said he hoped the card was the “solution” to alcohol abuse.

People drawing the age pension will not be forced onto the restrictions, but they would have the option to volunteer for the cashless card. “I believe that many people will,” Mr Tudge said.

“Because certainly amongst some communities they might get targeted or humbugged for money if they’re the only ones that have an access of money there.

“So we’re going to provide that opportunity for people to give them that protection should they choose to have it”.

One commenter on The Australian believes all pensioners should be given the card. “Shouldn’t ALL welfare recipients be given the card? I see no reason to exempt the unemployed or those on a disability pension, or similar taxpayer funded stipend”.

So we want to know today: do you agree with a cashless welfare card? Would you use it? Could it solve a larger problem in society?

 

  1. I just can’t get my head around this idea. I think it’s horrible.

  2. I don’t think it’s been explained fully.
    I think it’s a good idea for people who dont spend wisely and don’t pay bills etc. there are many people who but cigs first then if there’s enough money left over they will buy food.

  3. Would need to know more about how it works. Might make it harder to budget – if you need to put money aside for bills etc.

  4. It is all about control, them wanting to control our lives, in every area of our lives, we will lose what little independence we have The Government will know everything from when we get our haircut to who our bills are paid to, the sooner we vote them out the better

    • And yet another bloody plastic card “for my convenience” 🙂 I would need to know a whole lot more about exactly where the card can be used.

    • And yet another bloody plastic card “for my convenience” 🙂 I would need to know a whole lot more about exactly where the card can be used.

    • I would not vote for this Robert, I think it is taking people’s freedom of choice away and not all gamble or smoke or drink and that is their excuse, punish the many for a few

    • I would not vote for this Robert, I think it is taking people’s freedom of choice away and not all gamble or smoke or drink and that is their excuse, punish the many for a few

    • Libbi Elliot – I do agree with you on the basic control issue and I am against the idea for everybody, but perhaps for those who want it or for those who already have drug/alcohol or gambling problems. But so much easier for the gov’t to impose it on all so they can’t be accused of racism or any other ism.

    • Libbi Elliot – I do agree with you on the basic control issue and I am against the idea for everybody, but perhaps for those who want it or for those who already have drug/alcohol or gambling problems. But so much easier for the gov’t to impose it on all so they can’t be accused of racism or any other ism.

    • no idea Robert but I do not like it all all , we seem to be losing all freedom, and the meta data to the list that every man and his dog seems to want to access

    • no idea Robert but I do not like it all all , we seem to be losing all freedom, and the meta data to the list that every man and his dog seems to want to access

    • Perhaps if Centrelink have a record of those not paying their bills and are using their welfare money on GAMBLING, ALCOHOL OR DRUGS which I don’t believe they would. Then it SHOULD BE ISSUED TO THEM, however for most of us on the age pension we can manage our money very well and I wouldn’t like to see any age PENSIONER penalised for the sake of a few.

    • Perhaps if Centrelink have a record of those not paying their bills and are using their welfare money on GAMBLING, ALCOHOL OR DRUGS which I don’t believe they would. Then it SHOULD BE ISSUED TO THEM, however for most of us on the age pension we can manage our money very well and I wouldn’t like to see any age PENSIONER penalised for the sake of a few.

      • Margaret Mason  

        Trish, aged pensioners would exempt unless they volunteer to go on the program.

    • so npeople that work dont waste there money gambling drinking etc and have never been to charity to get help or arnt broke the next day mmmmm oh thats right they rack up there credit card

    • Nope don’t ever run up the credit card, I live within my means. If I can’t afford it I don’t buy it, thank you Elaine Grogan!

    • haha no Bruce I am not on a new card but he is sending me for blood tests, I asked do I have to pay? he told me there is still debate about it but he is not in favor of paying or for paying for pap tests, like he said to me, if the poor can’t afford the tests, they will die

    • Some would claim that Medicare is welfare for those lacking the foresight to join a health fund!

    • Please explain to me what rights you have when you are accepting money from the government and those people who work and pay taxes because you don’t. When I was on welfare for a short time, until I found a job, I was grateful that I had some money from Centrelink to help me with the bills and provide the basics for my children. Those that are complaining and whingeing are the ones that do not want to be accountable and continue to abuse the welfare system. Get in touch with the real world, where you have to work to get ahead or thank goodness you live in Australia where they support those that can’t or won’t help themselves.

  5. And the bibs don’t want a nanny state?? People with addictions will find a way around it, and decent people will be forced to do their shopping in certain places. I am sure independent small food retailers will have to invest in software to be able to take the card, most might not do it… Pushing people to shop at Coles and woollies..it should only be a voluntary option.

  6. The Healthy Welfare card I will not work. There will be higher crimes or other ways of getting high. The only way to stop alcohol abuse would be to ban alcohol. Even tax payers abuse alcohol and contribute to societal dysfunction by alcohol fuelled domestic violence and or drink driving. Why punish those on welfare for a problem that many in society are guilty of? Why punish those on welfare who don’t drink, smoke, take drugs or gamble? Those on welfare rely on purchasing secondhand goods and farmers markets.. 20% will limit the amount they can purchase via these methods forcing them into the larger shops and paying more which in turn increases their living costs. The Healthy Welfare Card is not the answer. Is this also to subtly bring in the Australian Card wanting to be introduced a while ago? There is something more sinister about this and all should be worried.

  7. The Healthy Welfare Card is blanketing all welfare rec. as problematic people in society & must be controlled. Disgraceful

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