Cashless welfare card to be trialled

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A cashless welfare card designed to stop welfare recipients from spending their taxpayer-funded income on drugs, gambling and alcohol will be trialled in some states by the end of the year.

The card, a brainchild of mining magnate Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, aims to combat rising levels of domestic violence against women and children, and to prevent parents from spending their welfare income on ‘vices’ instead of food and clothes for their children. The trial locations will be decided through community consultation.

“Firstly, [ideal locations would be] where there is high welfare dependence and high harm caused by welfare-fuelled alcohol and drug abuse”, said Parliamentary secretary Alan Tudge. “Secondly, where there’s some community leadership which is at least open to trialling the card in their community.”

The biggest problem facing disadvantaged communities is alcohol abuse. Heavy drinking is a factor in half of all reported child abuse and domestic violence cases.

The welfare card would operate as a normal bank debit card, working similarly to VISA, Mastercard and EFTPOS. Cardholders will not be able to purchase alcohol in pubs, clubs or liquor outlets or on gambling.

“You could use it for anything, you could use it anywhere – but you simply could not purchase alcohol or gamble with it,” said Mr Alan Tudge.

“The objective is to address the enormous social harm of welfare-fuelled drug and alcohol use,” he continued. “I think this reform could absolutely change the lives of some women and children. This could have a dramatic impact on the community in terms of rates of violence and rates of assaults, particularly against women.”

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison says there are no plans to use the ‘Healthy Welfare Card’ in the wider community, but has confirmed the government will commence trials in both indigenous and non-indigenous disadvantaged communities later this year.

Mr Morrison said, “It’s there as a key tool to target particular areas of disadvantage and to see whether it can make the big difference that we believe and hope that it can.”

Read more at The Daily Telegraph

Read more at www.abc.net.au

Opinion: What do our friends say?

When I first read about the ‘Healthy Welfare Card’, my immediate reaction was that, if effectively managed, it could be good idea. At the same time, I think it is a little scary that a system such as this is being introduced and trialled in our community, specifically for the purpose of reducing the likelihood of alcoholism, domestic violence and child abuse. I mean, is a card really going to solve those problems?

Wouldn’t some sort of compulsory education and training system be more beneficial to disadvantaged people in the long run? Wouldn’t such a system also create jobs and also make people on welfare more attractive to employers? Wouldn’t people who are desperate enough for drink and drugs then turn to illegal methods in order to satisfy these needs?

Maybe I’m just being sceptical. To be honest, I’m not quite sure what I think about this new welfare payment system. But then I thought: “why not see what some of our Facebook friends are saying about this new cashless welfare card?” Here are some responses:

Please note: some comments have been slightly edited for readability.

Sally-anne Byrne says: “I think that if a welfare recipient has been charged with drug or alcohol offences, then it should be mandatory.”

Marian Cross says: “What an awesome idea. That way the taxpayers will only have to help the truly needy and not the addicts of unnecessary [items such as] drugs, alcohol, smokes and gambling. For those addictions they will have to find some other means, preferably not illegal.”

Fred Petersen says: “Does this include aged pensioners and disability pensioners? You know they already suffer enough hardship and an occasional drink never hurt anyone.”

Gina Winning says: “Demeaning to those already demeaned by unfortunate job loss, or other circumstances forcing them to have to collect welfare. It’s easy to write people off as collecting free money, but lots have worked, paid taxes and [still] been unfortunate to have something go wrong [of which] they have no control. Meanwhile, rich companies and shareholders [employ] creative accounting to ensure they pay very little tax, and no-one blinks an eye. The government push bad attitudes as [it] suits them so society can have a scapegoat on which to blame their poor management, and we keep accepting it. Could be anyone of us to lose our job next. Is this how you want to be treated?”

Colleen Mesiti says: “After they get control of your welfare, they will go after the working class tax paying people. They want control of how you spend your money too.”

Valerie Haigh says: “Sounds good in theory – I like the idea. The thing that frightens me is the fact that our crime rate will most likely sky rocket due to desperate people needing their drug or alcohol fix. Not saying everyone on welfare is in that category. I know a few people who have tried for work but there are few jobs available in country areas even if you are trained.”

Seems to be quite a polarising subject. What’s your opinion? Do you think a cashless welfare card is a good idea? Do you feel that a system such as this may benefit some but not others? 

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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482 Comments

Total Comments: 482
  1. 0
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    Great idea why should the Government pay for pensioners or dole bludgers excesses they should only be allowed to pay for the necessities of life, the rest needs to come from there own money.

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      Robbo; I’m a 86 y o pensioner; never lost a days work (by choice) in all my working years including military service., I paid for the Government all those years, that is why the Government should now support me.

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      The card is the first sensible idea I have heard for a long time to combat the apparent ‘rights’ to abuse welfare. For too long some welfare consume have spent taxpayer money on booze, gambling and other pursuits which have nothing to do with what the payments were designed to support.
      I can already hear the cries of ‘rights’ from those affected…with no acknowledgement of the reality that welfare come from somebody and that it needs to be used for SURVIVAL, not addiction and pleasure.
      I applaud the introduction of such a system and can only hope that it is not killed off by those who will use the individual rights rhetoric to continue the abuse of the welfare system which has needed reform for so many years but which has been ignored because both sides refuse to get a bipartisan agreement and both sides fear reprisal through the ballot box. But then what is government all about: getting re-elected or governing the country properly? I believe that making the right call will gain more votes than it will lose.

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      I agree all people on welfare should be given one. The pension should be used to sustain life not be used to play the pokies or any of the other vices not necessary to live.

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      Agree, Sen.Cit.84. My 90-year-old mother has been a pensioner for years, after working very hard for 40+ years, serving in the Land Army, and doing tens of thousands of hours of charity work. She has always been a responsible person, a good parent, and a careful financial manager, but she LOVES her sherry. Why the hell should someone like her be denied her only pleasure in life because some arrogant, self-opinionated privileged people think they have a right to dictate how pensions are spent? And who the hell are bureaucrats to decide who is a ”dole bludger” and who is an unfortunate or disadvantaged person struggling to find a place in a cruel and uncaring society. Oh, but what does it matter what someone is suffering, Robbo. Punish them anyway, because the privileged want to ensure that they are the only people who can enjoy life. Can’t have the disadvantaged actually getting pleasure out of existing in this world of vile elitists.

      I hope you never fall on hard times, mate!

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      Sorry Mick and Bonny. You are living in la-la land. Obviously you have no comprehension of the problem and no idea about solutions. It’s not about the ”rights” of those affected, nor the ”rights” of taxpayers. It’s about how you fix a problem. The most important factor in assisting someone who makes poor spending choices is building their self-respect and letting them feel empowered to improve. Give them education, guidance, and support – not a stick that demeans them and destroys their faith in human nature and their incentive to try. I do not support the ”individual rights” rhetoric. I just want to see common sense applied and working solutions devised – not wild fantasy ideas dreamed up by some privileged person who has no comprehension whatever of the problem and doesn’t give a damn for the welfare of those it affects.

      Andrew Forrest is the last person we should look to for advice about a problem from which he is so far removed that he might as well live on Mars. We need to talk to the people who work with addicts and spendthrifts every day – or people who have experienced the problem and beaten it, not idealists who see waving a big stick as the solution to every ill.

      Or perhaps the goal isn’t to help the affected at all? Perhaps it’s all about protecting the interests of the privileged, and doing that at any cost? In that case, the idea still fails because it’s been evidenced to cost more than it saves.

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      Sen.Cit 84…..your spot on mate yes we deserved the right and the respect to have our pensioner……….as far as some of you goodie goodie that are able to support yourself not every one was so lucky in life………BUT I say the younger generations who are the dole bludgers this type of card is an excellent choice for them

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      I certainly wouldn’t want to be that woman abused because I would give some over powering man my welfare payment in cash. If it’s not in cash then that is one less problem I have to deal with and my kids might just get a bit of what they need. Cash is the big problem here and no amount of education can fix that one.

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      Bonny I am not sure that your suggesting the retired pensioners she be given one if so …….what age group are you??? because show the retired pensioners with respect please………….many on this post are return veterans went with out a lot by protecting our country.

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      Good heaven if saying that people who get the privilege of welfare should get it with strings attached is not showing respect then I am not showing respect.

      If people do the right thing then I can’t see any problems with all welfare payments being attached to such a card.

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      I totally agree Robbo. What a lot of people in this country do not seem to realize is that the dole and single parent pension are there ONLY to tide you over until you get a job. It is not meant to be a handout that you can live the high life on. Restricting dole and single parent pensions to payment by a cashless welfare card is an absolutely excellent idea which should be extended to all dole & single parent recipients. Why should hard working tax payers have to fork out tax payments so that those who won’t work can bludge on the rest of us????

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      Rainey: if you want to fix the problem then cut off cash for the addiction. That is a start.
      Your spiel about Andrew Forrest shows little understanding. Has Forrest not EMPLOYED many Aboriginal workers to help this society?

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      You can’t cut off the cash to an addict, Mick. That’s what addiction is. They will do ANYTHING to get their fix. And I don’t care how many Aboriginal workers Forrest has employed, or what he has done to help society, he still doesn’t understand the problem he purports to be trying to solve. Hiring a few Aboriginals doesn’t give you an appreciation of the problems of the kind of people who are unemployable and desperate.

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      Obvious you know nothing of the life of women who are abused by addicted husbands, Bonny, or you’d know that they will be beaten senseless if they DON’T HAVE CASH TO HAND OVER WHEN IT’S WANTED. The card isn’t going to help these poor women at all. It will make their situation far, far worse.

      And as for ”strings” attached to the ”privilege of welfare”, that’s an elitist attitude from someone who clearly has no empathy for the vast majority of people who are on ”welfare” through no fault of their own, but generally through the gross failure of a sick elitist society. Good heavens, we even say people who worked for a pathetic pittance (making the more privileged rich!) and paid taxes for 40+ years and are now too old and crippled to work are on ”welfare”. This disgustingly elitist society of egotists can’t even acknowledge that our veterans and those who gave a lifetime working for their country have an ENTITLEMENT, let alone recognize the entitlement of those who were born disabled or suffer serious illness, or those who – try as they may – simply CANNOT find anyone to give them a chance to work in a cruel and evil world. Clearly, compassion and empathy are in short supply in this selfish world we live in.

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      Bonny cool down a little maybe we don’t agree but to be tarnish as to the dole bludgers……drugo…….gambling…..etc….. I do take this as an insult……….full stop.

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      Is ok with me we like most pensioner spend it on the right things

      what is that old saying some times you have to be cruel to be kind

      its only those that abuse the system and neglect their children that need to be brought into line the rest of us do a good job

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      Personally, I’d rather pay taxes for someone to spend on grog or gambling than for some rich and privileged person to get a tax cut for investing in negatively-geared property, or to pay for tax concessions on superannuation to someone earning $250,000 a year. If it’s about savings money for taxpayers, there are a thousand more effective and fairer ways to do that. Why are we always attacking the disadvantaged, when it’s the greed and excesses at the top that are the real problem?

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      Not only a great idea, but essential. There is no reason young families, struggling with the cost of mortgages & kids should be asked to pay for pensioners or bludgers to waste money they didn’t’\t earn.

      I live like a king on the pension, because I own everything I want, & don’t drink, smoke or gamble. It is so good I sometimes feel a little guilty at how much fun I have. I can chose any of my 3 old sports to go for a drive, & have no trouble maintaining them. They are not all that valuable models, but are great fun.

      Of course, I did own them before retirement, & can do most of the regular work myself. I have tried to get my 30 year old son, who is just a little jealous of the better one, to see it is worth about 2 years of his drinking & smoking expenditure, & I think he does.

      It is his choice to spend his hard earned that way, but it should never be someone else’s choice to spend his money that way.

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      Robbo are you trying to say that pensioners who have worked all their life but were unfortunate enough not to be in the superannuation time or work for the government should not be allowed to have a little leisure or entertainment sounds like you have a decent bank account and maybe a little small minded.

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      Robbo I think you will find that the problem is mostly with the unemployed, I worked with them for about five years trying to help them gain employment and the things I heard and saw would make one wonder why food coupons etc were not used instead of cash for unemployment benefits.

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      It is not welfare, it is social security, and is not a privilege or a gift – it is a bought and paid for Right out of a portion of income tax. I’ve posted that for you before – try to keep up in class.

      In that case, no government may decree how it is spent. If someone would prefer to starve than usetheir money for food etc.. that is their problem.

      There MAY be an argument – a very limited argument – for having such things for drug addicts and where it is a proven fact that dependents are missing out as a result. Otherwise there is no justification for this neo-Nazism of the poor.

      I’m with Sen.Cit.84…..

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      A lot of assumptions being made about the unemployed by some very over opinionated people on this thread.
      Firstly the vast majority of the unemployed ARE NOT abusing children, they are not abusing drugs, they are not abusing alcohol.
      This fact alone destroys the accusations made attacking the unemployed with thoughtless generalisations and outright lies.
      The broken moral compass of these cretinous “I’m alright jack” crowd here is disgusting.

      Judge Not – There, But for the Grace of God, Go I OR YOU!

    • 0
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      Thank you, Doug and Trebor. You are absolutely correct.

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      TREBOR
      I agree… it is neo-fascism.

      This proposal for a CashLess Card is only the first step – forcing social security recipients on this card (Pensioners will also be the next inclusion) – will give this fascist government absolute control over all social security recipients.
      The next step is to force others in the community on to this cashless card system, those that are in the lower echelons… again absolute control. The next step is to force everyone into a CASHLESS SOCIETY which gives absolute control to the likes of Abbott and is fascist mule carriers. I can image Dutton & Morrison & Hockey sitting with their snouts in the pig trough wallowing in OUR incapacity.

      IF you buck the system, your cashless card stops working for a day, week, month, year, forever!!! No one will know about it and if it does get out, they simply turn to their corporate controlled media mates and pump out some ‘terrorist’ story.

      It seems as if they are using George Orwells 1984 as a GUIDE, don’t you think.

      Oh! TREBOR you picked up an excellent example of Orwell 1984 tactic…. changing the title of ‘social security’ to WELFARE. It has a brilliant effect doesn’t it! Taking away our rights and the governments obligations towards some of the biggest tax contributors into bludger HANDOUTS, with a simple change of name!!

      The wealthy the smallest contributors to Australia’s coffers screaming the loudest to stop US the PEOPLE from providing for OUR OWN.

      For goodness sake people, do NOT get roped in, YET AGAIN!

    • 0
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      Why, Citizen Smith! I’m shocked.. just SHOCKED that you would compare our Benevolent Leader, Ministry of Truth etc with 1984…

      (**tongue in cheek**)

      In some ways 1984 has been upon us for a very long time, and we just haven’t noticed it… what we are seeing here is the stirrings of wakefulness… the Kraken may not be loosed yet, but it is definitely stirring….. rising knowledge and understanding by the many has created a nightmare for politicians these days….

      The words of the Prophets are written on the Internet walls………

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      TREBOR
      Indeed, 1984 has been with us “For a Long Tome” now and many mechanisms of control are already “In Place”.
      They just need the final pieces of “THE MATRIX” INSTALLED after which EVENT the “Pin if Pulled” and the Grenade is “Set to explode” in ONE FOUL SWOOP.
      We just won’t know what hit us!

      HELLO SERFDOM & SLAVERY

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      Please Explain their own money ????

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      particolor
      I think that some don’t see that, when these young-ones are refused entry into the “work Force” the MUST rely on the Government to supply the basics & that Goct money Rightfully becomes theirs.
      After all, Their & Our Servants have “Sold Them OUT” and – by supporting the ELITES – deprived them of the HUMAN RIGHT to be able to support themselves & a Family.
      In other words they deprived them to: “Have a Future”!!!

  2. 0
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    Personally, I would like to know what gives our Government the power to dictate how individuals live their lives.
    This card is not a means to an end, it is a means to so many other problems.

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      The answer is WHO PAYS. The public certainly has a right to demand that welfare is not abused.

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      If you rely on welfare then the Government has a right to have a say in how you spend the money and not abuse it.

    • 0
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      Bonny, we first should ask WHY a person relies on welfare. If it’s because of flawed Government policies, a failed social structure, stupid bureaucratic decisions, illness, disability, old age, or a multitude of other reasons that DO NOT reflect in any way on the person’s integrity or decency, then why should they forfeit their self respect and access to a few simple pleasures? It’s sad how privileged elitists judge and condemn without considering their own role in creating problems and with neither compassion not empathy for the victims of a cruel world and a very flawed system.

      When it comes to those few who really don’t have a moral entitlement to ”welfare” money, you have two choices: use the policeman and stick approach to compound problems and drive them to desperate measures like selling food and clothing or stealing; or get creative in offering support, education and guidance while allowing them to preserve their self-respect and feeling of having control over their own lives. The stick will fail every time!

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      Totally agree Rainey. The Gov’t is (pretty successfully it appears) trying to demonise all people who receive money from the Gov’t coffers unless it is giving handouts and tax relief to people who already have more than 2.5 million in their Super accounts.
      You really can’t dictate how people spend their Gov’t payments. Maybe they should extend this to more Gov’t payments. Who wants their Tax Return cheque in food stamps then?

    • 0
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      It’s not welfare, people – it’s bought and paid for social security….

      Let us begin by affirming that social security is a right in any civilised society, and as many, many times, has been shown to come from a part of income tax.

      Now you may argue that some have never worked – thank you for offering to my grand-children the title of ‘dole bludgers’ when they leave school and can find no work (they will – most likely in film work) – but the argument for a portion of Income Tax having been levied in the past to cater for social security, says that it come from the general revenue of income tax, and offers benefits to all of society. therefore the issue of whether or not a person has paid income tax yet, or even ever does, has no place in this discussion.

      Again – are you suggesting that the severely disabled girl whose parents care for her should pay income tax?

      Not only that – but most of you miss the point that income tax is only a portion of total tax……. EVERYONE is a taxpayer whenever they spend in any way.

    • 0
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      Mick and Bonny are acting out the new motto of Kick Down Kiss Up.

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      Doug

      Very, very nicely put!

    • 0
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      mick,
      The pension is NOT the public’s money !!
      It is rightfully theirs (as they have saved for it for many years)
      They should – within limits – be allowed to do with it as they like.

    • 0
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      Theo & TREBOR
      Both VERY CORRECT !!!

  3. 0
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    The welfare card is a goody two shoes way of trying to sweep a problem away with out trying to prevent the communities problems in the long term.
    W hat is to stop the card holders selling the items they can buy with card
    and buying acohol with the money they get ?
    John T (QLD)

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      JOHN T; selling off was my immediate thought; I wonder who would buy?

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      Good point. But would you sell your food and clothing if you could only get a pittance for it? Hard one though and no accounting for those who CHOOSE to destroy their lives and that of their families.

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      Many years ago when I was teaching some children were given some new clothes as they only had a coat. Next day they arrived in the coat again. Dad had sold the clothes for alcohol.

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      John that is exactly what I thought, or maybe even swopping food items for drugs and alcohol.

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      Your account Nanna52 is not the norm.

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      Actually, Mick, Nanna52’s account IS the norm. It’s EXACTLY what will happen if this card is introduced.

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      Some Rainey. Not all.

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      Oh, that’s okay then Mick. A few families might benefit, but many will suffer and violence and crime will rise, but that’s fine because NOT ALL victims of this cruel proposal will respond by selling the kids’ clothes or tucker or bashing someone to steal his wallet. Only SOME will respond that way, so that makes it okay.

      And you, of course, know the numbers? So you can tell us exactly how much benefit there will be vs the cost, yeah?

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      I predict some people will be able to buy their food with a welfare card they bought from someone at $0.50 in the dollar. This is how to make poor people poorer and easier for the rich.

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      Sen.Cit – there’s a nice cottage industry in getting viagra from a DVA doc, and then selling it on…. offered that I laughed.

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      JOHN T.. And that is exactly what they will do with it !! 🙂 The only way to beat them is to make them line up at the Soup Kitchen ! And no Take Away’s !! 🙂 :-)..for future Sales ! 🙂

  4. 0
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    Well for starter’s, I also thought it a good idea as I have a neighbor next door to me that drinks all day and is drunk by lunch time !! She has four children of those, three are still at home and the other went off the rails when he was only 15 yrs old as he had no parent figure to encourage him otherwise ! I now have a feeling the the second eldest is heading the same way as the older sibling!
    The Mother is on the single Parent pension and I don’t think has worked a day in her life, although her youngest is now going on 11 yrs old ! She has male visitors there every day and drinks with them consistently every day ! !
    So I thought to start, that this would be a great idea for someone in that situation!, But on further thoughts, I feel that this would cause her to then go to stealing etc to compensate for the lack of monies for Alcohol I I have since noted that there already seems to be a few of the later hanging around as I have noticed this type of underhanded passing off and monies being handed back in exchange !
    So the rot has already set in ! So where does that leave this new card ?? I wonder if it would solve the drug and Alcohol problem !! I think not !
    Dotty

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      It is a good idea for people like the above. Crime is pursued through the proper channels and children in these sort of families possibly need to be removed. There are plenty of people wanting to adopt children and unfit parents need to make a choice.
      Can’t win whatever you do I guess.

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      Mick, can I suggest you read ”The Pencil Case: They Stole Us White Kids too”? (It’s on Amazon). It might enlighten you as to what happens when you empower bureaucrats to take children from ”these sorts of families”. There are hundreds of thousands of instances of seriously damaged individuals out there today – many precisely the kind you are suggesting need to be ”policed” – because privileged elitists presumed to be capable of judging who was and who wasn’t fit to be a parent, and who should and who shouldn’t be entitled to receive money from the taxpayer to spend as they pleased.

      I’ve seen dozens of families that I would remove children from, if I hadn’t seen, first hand, just how much harm it does to deprive a child of their family, their heritage, and their sense of belonging. We are apologizing to the ”Stolen Generation” and ”Forgotten Australians” and dealing with demands for reparation from the people whose lives were destroyed by the very same policies you advocate. Have we learned nothing at all? Are we so damned self-righteous that we think we can ignore the lessons of the past and continue to play God, deciding who is and who isn’t entitled to enjoy the pleasures of life and on what terms? Who will decide who is ”unfit”? I’d love to make more children available for adoption. There are lots of people out there who desperately want, and deserve, a child to love. But even kids brought up in the best adoptive families often suffer hideous psychological damage through removal from their ”roots”, and I’ve seen kids dragged up in homes I would consider a disaster who grow up healthy, happy and well-adjusted.

      No, you can’t win, sadly! But please don’t advocate another Stolen Generation!

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      I am all for removing children from families where they are being abused. But ‘education’ by their parents is for the most case a waste of time because they do not want to change their way of life. That was my point.

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      I agree this card won’t stop this Dotty, it will escalate it and give a rise to crime. If this Mum is so bad have DOCs been informed, is there family or some organisation to help her and her kids? If she can’t get the alcohol then she’ll get the kids to steal from her neighbours to get money.

      It seems to be forgotten in countries such as the US that deal mainly in ‘food stamps’ that there’s more crime. And in one US state they now say food stamps can’t buy certain foods, such has steak or certain potatoes or shell fish. How much more do the haves want to bash the have nots?

      Personally I don’t want a cruel demeaning society, I want a more compassionate one and one that when people need help they get it without demeaning them. It’s hard enough for some to have to go to Centrelink and ask for help without this current attacking.

      While we like to think everyone is ‘rorting’ the system, the hard facts don’t bear that scream and our government yells ‘get a job bludger’ the truth is their aren’t enough jobs and industry and business are closing, and this government is bringing in record amounts of FIFO and 457 visa workers. So spare a thought everyone for those trying hard to get a head who are getting slapped down by a cruel and nasty government.

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      Spot on Rainey!

      mick when kids are taken from parents they can’t just be adopted! Even fostering these days leaves a lot to be desired, where some kids are moved from home to home until 18 and then they have no-where to go but the streets. Obviously there are parents that need help and kids sadly that need to be cared for until the parents are able to, and kids want their parents.

      It’s so easy to point the finger at someone that we don’t have a clue what’s going on, and no not everyone is deserving but boy we have to try don’t we?

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      I think you are talking about older children minnie. This needs to happens when they are young and wanted by a permanent family, not one which is just after carer payments.

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      Mick, how the hell would you know who does or doesn’t want to change their way of life?

      Yes, please remove abused children. Except in the past we’ve removed them to places where they suffered far worse abuse and deprivation. And kids were removed who weren’t being abused, but they sure copped abuse after removal. And today… well, we don’t really know what we’ve removed them to. We’ll find out when they grow up and tell us. What we do know is that a lot of them are being shuffled between foster homes and have no stability at all. And we know that even if parents are pathetically inadequate, kids love them and want to be close to them – and to their siblings. People want to grow up in the world they were born into.

      We also know that the ”deadbeats” you refer to nearly always have a sad story to tell about how society’s ills and evils pushed them to where they are today.

      Maybe if the privileged elitists took a little more responsibility for the social wrongs that they perpetrate and support, instead of judging the victims so harshly, we could improve things a bit? But that would involve being less selfish and greedy, and that’s never going to happen. Much easier to simply deny the victims of social wrongs any level of pleasure or self-respect. Sad thing is it doesn’t actually benefit anyone. ”The Card” has been shown to cost more than it saves!

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      Withholding alcohol does not FIX an alcoholic but just stimulates WORSE CRIME

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    Very Scary. IT is turning time back to the days where you had no pride and went to what was called the washhouse or workhouse. I agree that some people abuse the system, but if it is rolled out it will become the norm and another hard won freedom will be gone. Why punish the innocent because of a guilty few. We need to be vigilant where freedom is threatened. years ago wives did not receive welfare payments directly it was paid to the husband, and then when women started getting paid directly this was meant to stop this abuse of money being spent on smokes and alcohol and used instead to buy food for the kids. Looks like it did not work, but to co cashless is just another form of control,that does not address the real problem, lack or meaning for many when there is no work and no hope

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      Some people have no pride. What do you do?
      Maybe the card needs to be forced onto people via the courts only. That way you do not target those you are not misusing taxpayer funded welfare.

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      Some people have no pride, Mick? So let’s take away any chance they might have of developing some, shall we? Maybe we should resort to the American system of food stamps for the poor. No doubt the privileged elitists would LOVE that!

      Restricting the card to those who are evidenced to be misusing taxpayer funded welfare would be an improvement, for sure, but not a solution to anything. What we need to do is change our attitudes. How about we start by asking why people have no pride and what we, as a society, can do to help them develop some? What about we ask what is wrong with our society that drives people to make stupid and self-destructive choices and to lack personal pride. (Hmmm. We could start with institutional child abuse, sex abuse, bureaucratic bungling or political corruption that persecutes innocent people, government-condoned fraud that robs people of their savings, exploitation and abuse in the workplace… shall I go on?)

      I would much rather see work-for-the-dole programs introduced, and compulsory work programs for single parents (with childcare provided), so that recipients of taxpayer-funded payments (I refuse to call it ”welfare”, because that’s demeaning!) gain an understanding of the relationship between work and reward and can feel a sense of achievement. Then, give them access to education programs and budgeting advice. Show them what they can attain if they change their lifestyle, but don’t deprive them of everything that makes their current miserable life tolerable for them. All that will do is drive up suicide rates, crime rates, and domestic violence, and create an even more desperate underclass.

      Education, support and guidance won’t work every time, but it will do far less social damage than the policeman and stick approach.

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      Rainey: your ‘education’ rhetoric is the flavour of the month. Politicians of all sort love to use this rhetoric. All it does it to continually increase the workload of teachers who have to rob a real education from their classes.
      Provide a solution. Not a feel good rhetoric.
      I do agree with you about society and working for the dole. But you cannot fix society through feel good talking as those who abuse the system just laugh at that. A bit of hard love and the control of what funds can be used for are not out of order.

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      I’ve always said for the few that ‘rort’ I’m happy if being on Centrelink means, they stay out of crime and aren’t on the street knocking people on the head for their purses. The same as I was happy that the unmarried mothers pension came in and girls could keep their babies, yes some do the wrong thing, but I think of the girls I knew who had to give up their babies and the children now looking for their birth parents.

      I didn’t have kids so why should I care, because my level of compassion for others isn’t limited to my life and what I have it’s wanting everyone to have enough.

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      Fair enough minnie but the annual welfare budget just keeps growing. Perhaps you have a solution when schools, hospitals, police and all other social institutions are cut to the bone because THERE IS NO MONEY LEFT. I guess when you pension goes down you will then see red.
      The above issue is one of many in the welfare debate and there are many Australians who believe that governments in this country need to do something other than talk and pander to those who do not want proper change.
      It will be interesting to see what the above trial achieves. If for one think it is long overdue and believe that if properly administered there will be improvements. But the jury is out and we’ll have to wait and see.

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      Actually, Mick, the welfare budget in Australia is very small by comparison with other OECD countries. We have the most well-targeted and lowest cost system in the developed world, and our total spending on welfare is more than acceptable within the parameters of our federal budget. To reduce it, we need to create jobs – not hit the victims of social failure over the head. As to health and police spending etc., there would be plenty if the rich were taxed fairly and government waste stopped. It’s not welfare spending that’s the problem. That’s just a convenient lie told by politicians who don’t want to take responsibility for the real issues.

      Hockey is also saying the aged pension isn’t affordable and young people will suffer if retirees continue to receive pensions. Except he forgot to say that there was a multi-billion dollar ”Welfare fund” set up and paid into for generations to cover the cost of providing ALL retirees with a generous, non-means-tested pension. Only the Fraser Government stole all the money, didn’t they? And now it’s suddenly the fault of retirees that the country is in a mess and they have to sacrifice.

      If only people stopped believing politicians’ lies and started examining reality! Welfare fraud will never be wiped out. Like shoplifting, it’s a cost we have to live with in order to preserve the benefits of the system. But it’s a relatively small cost, and whacking addicts over the head with a stick isn’t going to reduce it. But it WILL drive up violence and crime.

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      Yes Travellersjoy totally agree.

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      Interesting Mick that you assume I’m on a pension because I care for other. Just goes to show those that only think about their own situation and don’t give a damn for anyone else. Rainey is spot on with our ‘welfare budget’. Maybe Mick if they stopped giving money to mining companies and big business and investing in our country we would see things improve. The ‘trickle’ needs to go up as it never comes down. People on low income or welfare spend all that money, normally locally and keep business going, unlike those with big money who spend more on their luxury cars, boats and overseas trips giving money to other countries tourism.

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      Rainly
      In My humble opinion, you understand the “Social Interactions” & associated issues very well.
      This is – ONCE AGAIN – a trick by Tony & Joe to OFFICIALLY get total control of the Australian population and deliver us into the “Hands of the Evil BANKSTERS”.

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      One thing I admire about older people of all kinds, is the way they have the pulse on issues such as where money goes.

      Well said, Minnie and Rainey as usual.

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      Discussion of the possibility that police etc could be cut…. never happen since it is a nice little earner for government, but still…

      Anyone stop to consider how, with all the plethora of ‘laws’ around these days, and the biting the pillow by the ‘courts’ to police assertions – a massive number of p0eople are rendered ‘unemployable’?

      As before – I run Australia’s Wrongfully Convicted – and it is a fact that some in that business run around ruining other people’s lives for no real reason.

      Operation Just Cause – Just ‘Cause We Can!

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    They haven’t advanced beyond the 1884 Poor Laws in England.

    Removing people’s citizenship rights and responsibilities is a pattern with this government.

    Next we will have people and not quite people. Now, just who did that last century? And where did it lead?

    I sure hope robbo never needs assistance from his fellow citizens, for, say, health care, or any of the other myriad problems that can blight a life. I would really really hate him to go without his tight little superiority security blanket.

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      Well said, Travellersjoy. My thoughts exactly! Robbo clearly has no concept of how decent people can end up, through no fault of their own, in difficult circumstances – and indeed, may even resort to unwise habits that develop addictions out of desperation, because they are not shown respect and given access to help when it is needed, but rather demeaned, ridiculed, and punished.

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      Some people should lose their rights. The children of some people have no rights…and should have the right to being properly fed and looked after.

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      Rainey: decent people should not be a target of this sort of card. Only the deadbeats should have it forced on them. Welfare is not meant for grog, cigarettes and gambling.

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      I agree, Mick, but the ”deadbeats” are precisely the people who will not accept the limitations of this sort of card but will steal, defraud, bash and cheat to get around the obstacles it presents.

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      So what do you do? Stand by and do nothing because some people are going to break the laws of the land. As much as I do not like jailing people there is a place for hard love and perhaps some education programs run in jails…..and a mandatory job when they get out.
      Its not a perfect world but there need to be rules and boundaries for all of us!

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      I’m the first to agree with ”tough love”, Mick, but it needs to be LOVE, not tough hatred, abuse, and degradation. Yes, we need jails. Society must be protected. But you don’t protect anyone by stopping an alcoholic from being able to buy that bottle of wine he craves or by barring the gambling addict from accessing coins to feed the poker machine if doing so makes the victim feel persecuted and punished. And education is much better BEFORE jail than inside it.

      Of course we need rules and boundaries. But they have to be implemented with an understanding of the problem we are dealing with and the consequences of particular measures, and with compassionate provision of viable alternatives for the people the measures affect. There needs to be quantifiable BENEFITS offered for compliance with rules and boundaries. That’s why I proposed a budget program rather than the Card. Similar cost to implement, but with clear benefits and something for people to strive for, and without the social stigma attached to it.

      The first essential to help people who can’t help themselves is to acknowledge society’s role in creating the problem and treat them compassion and respect. When you can say ”I’m sorry. It’s unfair that you suffer so, and I don’t blame you for feeling downtrodden and helpless. The world has dealt you a cruel blow” you have taken the first step to encouraging someone to help themselves up. When you say ”It’s your fault, deadbeat, and you must be restrained”, you might as well put your foot on them and grind them into the dirt like you would an ant.

      As for mandatory jobs, oh how we wish they were available! We’d have a far lower ”welfare” bill if we could offer jobs to people who need and want them. But instead, we brand them ”bludgers” and ”deadbeats” and threaten to withdraw the few small life pleasures they enjoy.

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      mick before we start about what ‘welfare’ is for, maybe we should look at the Politicians and ask they refrain from drinking when representing us, and maybe even attend Parliament when issues are discussed, we are after all paying them!

      You seem to have your very own judgement of what a ‘decent person’ is and what ‘well fed and looked after’ entail. Who are you to say a person isn’t feeding and caring for their family very well, and as a celebration of say Christmas or Birthday or Anniversary want to buy a bottle of bubbly or wine aren’t allowed to do that. This is wrong wrong wrong and it’s wrong wrong wrong that a billionaire miner is able to have our government do this! And also to displace people from the ancestral lands so he and Gina can mine it.

      Read what this is actually achieving Mick, you may be next or down the line but you will be on their list one day, never think you’re too special or privileged for that.

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      Bravo, Minnie. Well said. Nice to see someone with both compassion and common sense.

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      Travellersjoy
      You are so correct.
      Mick – On this issue I fiercely oppose your thinking!!!
      Rainy & Minni – So right!

      Please watch the 3 minutes on the link below.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16K6m3Ua2nw
      It provides a view of the USofA NOW – and sad enough, we are NOT FAR BEHIND
      If CRAP like this is implemented we’ll be “Right up There” very soon.

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      Many of our institutions, such as party-elected head of government, tax laws and concessions, industrial relations, and so forth, are stuck in the good old days of when only those with property could vote.

      Someone forgot to tell them that Australian men had universal suffrage in 1896 (from memory) and by the next election had voted for universal female suffrage as well. Bunch of chauvinists…. NOT!

      Now – how about a government of the people, for the people and by the people? and I’m not necessarily talking about a Republic here – same thing, different style.

      Simple enough – every election we hold a vote for Prime Minister and
      Deputy.. they can run as a team if they wish….

      At this point I doubt there is one politician who would get the nod…..

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    Wouldn’t some sort of compulsory education and training system be more beneficial to disadvantaged people in the long run? How long is a RUN some in the area I live have been on compulsory learning programs so long that it has become there career. A family who live down the road from me are losing there Government house because since there Mother passed away the Father keeps all the money what long term affect is that going to have on the children. So yes I support a welfare card.

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      Another job fro teachers? They just keep piling up.
      This has nothing to do with “education” because some people have decided how they are going to live. The trouble is that taxpayers are of the opinion that welfare is not designed for abuse and should be used for living. I am with taxpayers who provide the funding, not those who consume and have ‘rights’.

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      Mick you don’t like Rights?
      If I stood on your neck you’d change your mind about that.
      Oh you meant Rights for anyone poorer than you?
      You’re a grub.
      No one owes you a damn thing prick.

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      Doug,
      They are “On the way” to “put the “boot on Mick’s neck”.
      Unfortunately, We won’t escape either!!!

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      Amazing.. simply amazing….. the Russian Revolutionaries.. a middle class bunch.. even in their outstanding rhetoric of freedom for the people…. deemed those of their class and more to be ‘The People’ – the serfs were not included.

      An astonishing form of elitism from a group allegedly seeking freedom for all on equal terms.. and something that remains in vogue with the ‘middle classes’ etc to this day.

      The Peasants Don’t Count.. what Rights do they need other than to eat and breed for work?

      I think some here and elsewhere need some very serious mind-rectification…..

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    Excellent idea! It won’t cure domestic violence, but even a little help is a move in the right direction. And it’s not trying to control people “how you spend your money.” It’s telling people “how NOT to spend OUR money!”

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      It is likely to increase domestic violence, and crime. Have you any idea what lengths addicts will go to to get their ”fix”? Obviously not! Restrictions and penalties NEVER work to stop an addict spending ”our money”. They need guidance, education, support, and above all else to be treated with respect and allowed to make their own choices and decisions and to feel proud of their achievements when they make good ones. Anyone who understands addiction will not support this draconian, expensive, and inefficient proposal.

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      Unlikely Rainey. If people are not constantly drunk and/or on drugs it is probably going to have the opposite effect.
      Good post Giles.

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      You don’t get it, Mick. They WILL be constantly drunk or on drugs because addicts ALWAYS find ways around every obstacle. They will cheat, bash, defraud, steal, sell necessities – ANYTHING to get their fix. You cannot control an addict by taking his fix away. All you do is drive him to desperation.

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      Make it harder. Much harder. As long as you provide money for drugs and alcohol abuse YOU are the problem!

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      Mick, get real mate. Rainey is right on the money and today you are acting like a true Abbott squaddy. Deadbeats, as you call them, will do anything for money to buy grog. Step into the real world.

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      So lets do nothing? How do you stop the rot? Not education!

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      For the record Batara, read some of my other posts if you think that I am an “Abbott squaddy”. You’ll be surprised!

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      Mick you clearly feel entitled to attack those less well off than you.
      It doesn’t take Plato to know that you have no moral high ground.
      fancy attacking those of the under class.
      The world doesn’t need more people like you either.

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      Mick,
      You are very wrong & actions proposed will be very COUNTERPRODUCTIVE for ALL OF US.

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      The causes of FAMILY violence are manifold and pretty much equal from both men and women, and occasionally children. Let us not fall into the current mode of assuming, with no evidence whatsoever, that ‘domestic violence’ is purely the domain of violent men towards women.

      Ask any man who’s been married – how many times has HE been attacked physically.. whether he responds or not? How many times has he endured unbearable verbal attacks that can go on for days?

      This is an issue best left to the side here – we are talking about poverty and the constant and perpetual drive by government for Uberkontrol of the people, something that I’ve synthesised elsewhere as The Perpetual Civil War Between Elected Government and People, and The Divine Right (or otherwise) of Elected Government.

      DOES elected government enjoy the same Divine Right that caused the drive to elected government in the first place? Or is ALL government just a mirror of what it overthrew and merely a manifestation of the desire of a few to Uberkontrol others?

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      Oh – for the thinking person – the current mode of approach to FAMILY violence is one foothold in the door for that same government to derive one avenue of Uberkontrol.. the placing of legal sanctions on innocent people at whim and with recourse to Law.

      I was pleasantly surprised that A Man Named Vanstone came out against arbitrary cancellation of citizenship for ‘POSSIBLE terrorists – and said that it suffered the total lack of recourse to Law and to any oversight.

      Yet I will guarantee that she would unliterally support putting men in the cells for any possibility of violence in a dispute with a woman.

      We need to be ever vigilant so as to ensure that government does not achieve Uberkontrol… the price of Liverty is eternal vigilance.. and far too often the blood of many….

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    I think this is a great move and although it wont stop the problems, it will at least encourage better spending of welfare money. We all really want welfare funds to be spent on the essentials of life to give children and disadvantaged the nutrition and shelter they need.

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    We’re living in an increasingly fascist country where it’s all about government control. It’s a slippery slope and we’re sliding faster every day. I’ll fight this one tooth and nail.

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      have you ever lived….experienced a fascist country? just wondering!!

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      Yes it is happening in bits and pieces and most of us are too blind to see. The opal card is also taking a little piece of our freedom as well. What is that saying ,evil happens when good people stand by and do nothing

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      So are YOU paying taxes Renny? You fail to appreciate that SOMEBODY is paying and that this money IS MEANT FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE. Excessive grog, drugs, cigarettes and the Tab ARE NOT THE PURPOSE for which welfare has been made available. Never was.

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      Somebody is paying more so privileged negatively-geared property owners can pay less and to top up the superannuation accounts of $250000 a year salary earners, too, Mick. But I don’t hear you whining about that. We could save a lot more by addressing that than by hitting out at a few unfortunate addicts. But just keep attacking the disadvantaged. There’s nobody to lobby for them!

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      Somebody is paying more so privileged negatively-geared property owners can pay less and to top up the superannuation accounts of $250000 a year salary earners, too, Mick. But I don’t hear you whining about that. We could save a lot more by addressing that than by hitting out at a few unfortunate addicts. But just keep attacking the disadvantaged. There’s nobody to lobby for them!

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      Good on you Renny, survivor, & Rainey….

      mick it is NOT welfare…

      the wealthy elite and their corporations TAKE a great deal ‘more’ from government coffers than the they put in – remembering that taxes that corporations do pay are then removed by the shareholders of those same corporations (the owners) as Imputed Franking Credits – so they give with one hand and take back with the other!!

      These wealthy elite/corporations are parasitical and extract as much as possible which means ensuring that the people who do pay much, much more into government coffers, get less and less….. they consider that the people are also easier to control then, when they are on the bones of their a*ses and those that are in the middle are made to be terrified of having to join them, so become VERY malleable.

      It’s a neo fascist game, to keep everything for themselves. The neo fascists throw about the terms “freedom and democracy and equality” as if they are lollies to pacify the majority. The same majority that are productive, pay for infrastructure, pay for education system, pay for health system, pay for our social system, pay for community services and benefits.

      Corporate controlled media (mostly foreign), spew forth ONLY what they want you to THINK…. mick…. try to look further mate, these bast**ds will fill your head with so much contradictions you won’t know whether you are arthur or martha which is showing in your comments.

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      Mussitate & Others
      You’ve got the Opposition “Nailed & Done for”.
      It’s just that they don’t seem to “want to admit” and “Hit the Canvas”.

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      I will rpeat this in this germane post:-

      “we are talking about poverty and the constant and perpetual drive by government for Uberkontrol of the people, something that I’ve synthesised elsewhere as The Perpetual Civil War Between Elected Government and People, and The Divine Right (or otherwise) of Elected Government.

      DOES elected government enjoy the same Divine Right that caused the drive to elected government in the first place? Or is ALL government just a mirror of what it overthrew and merely a manifestation of the desire of a few to Uberkontrol others? “

      “I was pleasantly surprised that A Man Named Vanstone came out against arbitrary cancellation of citizenship for ‘POSSIBLE terrorists – and said that it suffered the total lack of recourse to Law and to any oversight.

      Yet I will guarantee that she would unliterally support putting men in the cells for any possibility of violence in a dispute with a woman.

      We need to be ever vigilant so as to ensure that government does not achieve Uberkontrol… the price of Liverty is eternal vigilance.. and far too often the blood of many…. “

      Mila – we have zero desire to EVER live in a fascist country… that is why we are here….. and why many here speak out without fear or favour.. in the eternal hope that such things will never come to that pass if we speak out now.

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      Trebor it was not a man named Vanstone but a woman, formerly a Liberal politician named Amanda Vanstone who wrote that article about citizenship.

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      Could’ve sworn they said “A Man Named Vanstone” – I thought it was one of those old Richard Harris movies…

      Thanks for correcting me over A Man Named Vanstone actually being Amanda Vanstone….. though I preferred the former….

      (**tickles your ribs**)

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