Activists continue to organise against the cashless debit card, which is being rolled out in lower socio-economic communities. Bernadette Smith reports.
cashless welfare card
A protest against "cashless welfare" was organised by Sydney Coalition Against the Card outside a Centrelink office in Blacktown on October 19.
Of all the points raised by the federal government in its latest bid to drug test welfare recipients, no one seems willing to say the obvious: just let the unemployed get wasted if they want.
The federal government is spending up to $18.9 million to trial the cashless welfare card for 1850 people.
Data published by the Department of Social Services show the government is paying the debit card provider, Indue, at least $7.9 million, while the Social Service Department's administrative costs are $2.6 million. The government is also spending $2.6 million on additional supports, such as drug and alcohol services.
An extraordinary, radical experiment in welfare policy will begin on March 15 in the small town of Ceduna and several remote Aboriginal communities in south-western South Australia. The cashless debit card — or “Healthy Welfare Card” as it was dubbed by its leading advocate, billionaire miner Andrew Forrest — will be trialled for 12 months.