Cashless welfare card trial in SA

The Federal Government has found its testing ground for a new cashless welfare card.

Cashless welfare card trial in SA
The South Australian town of Ceduna will be the first to trial the Healthy Welfare Card.

The Federal Government has found its first testing ground for a trial of its new cashless welfare card.

In the hope of breaking the cycle of alcoholism and domestic violence prevalent in the small community, an agreement has been reached between the government and the Mayor of the South Australian town of Ceduna to trial the Healthy Welfare Card from February next year.

Ceduna has been heralded as an ideal target for testing, because it has an alcohol-related hospitalisation rate that is 68 times the national level. The community also had 4500 admissions to its ‘sobering up centre’ – even though the small community consists of only 4000 people.

According to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister Alan Tudge, it is hoped that the trial will help to address the high rate of alcohol-related illness in Ceduna.

“We’re very happy to support what we think will be a huge improvement for our community generally,” said Mayor of Ceduna Mr Allan Suter. “The principal concern we were trying to address was the very sad situation where a very small minority of people are spending the bulk of the benefits that they receive on the purchase of alcohol or gambling services.”

Welfare recipients in the community will have 80 per cent of their benefits placed in a cashless debit card, with the rest deposited into an ordinary cash account. This means that participants will still have $60 to $150 in accessible cash available to them each week, depending on their circumstances.

The Government has said the card will not be aimed solely at the Indigenous community, but rather would affect all welfare recipients in the areas participating in the trial.

“This was always supposed to be a trial which will cover high welfare communities where there are serious alcohol and drug problems. That’s the intent,” said Mr Tudge. “Overall, the key objective is to reduce the harm caused by welfare-fuelled alcohol, gambling and drug abuse. And we’re hoping that those harm indicators will decline over time.”

Age Pensioners and veterans will also have the option to volunteer for the cashless card, in an effort to protect them from becoming targets for criminals looking to swindle them out of their cash.

“[And] I believe that many people will,” said Mr Tudge. “Because certainly amongst some communities they might get targeted or humbugged for money if they’re the only ones that have an access to money there.”

The Federal Government is still negotiating with the communities of Halls Creek and Kununurra in Western Australia about participating in the trial.

State and federal governments have also said they will provide additional funding to the community to assist the townspeople with substance abuse education and to help improve their job prospects.

Read more at www.abc.net.au
Read more at The Australian
Read the transcript of Michael Brissenden’s interview with Alan Tudge.
Read the transcript of Sarah Sedghi’s interview with Allan Suter.

Opinion: Could this be a positive step?

If correctly implemented, the Healthy Welfare Card could be an effective weapon in the fight against drug abuse and domestic violence.

There is little doubt that there are many welfare recipients in poorer and middle-class communities who could actually benefit from such a scheme. And although this trial is a ‘blanket’ test, if correctly targeted at specific welfare abusers, we could see positive results through breaking the cycle of alcoholism and violence.

But how to target those who need it most, without making this cashless welfare card something that all welfare recipients and pensioners are forced to use, is a question that still needs to be answered. And that solution should be a primary concern for government and community leaders throughout this trial.

Orwellian paranoia aside, this system could be a positive step towards rehabilitating and retraining those who do misuse taxpayer-funded welfare payments. Especially when this misuse leads to the physical abuse of spouses, partners and community members, as well as alcohol-related illness and crippling debt incurred through gambling addiction.

What do you think? Is the Healthy Welfare Card a good idea? Or do you worry that, should such a scheme become all encompassing, that the rights of those who do not misuse their benefits will come under unnecessary government scrutiny and control? Will you be affected by the implementation of the cashless welfare card? Would you volunteer for the ‘protection’ being offered through signing up for such a system?





    COMMENTS

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    meow
    6th Aug 2015
    10:30am
    its a great solution for those who need it but the majority of careful pensioners , like myself, who budget and don't drink or smoke would be horrified to have their lives managed in this way. We lose enough as we get older in the way of independence by suffering illnesses that reduce what we can do physically, even though our minds are still alert and young in 60+ bodies.
    Queensland Diva
    6th Aug 2015
    10:34am
    I totally agree with you meow. There is a loss of dignity attached to this which should not be forced upon people like yourself.
    Daffoir
    6th Aug 2015
    12:00pm
    No wonder con men rip pensioners off: how about you read the article beyond the headline. Age Pensioners and veterans will also have the option to volunteer for the cashless card, in an effort to protect them from becoming targets for criminals looking to swindle them out of their cash.
    Paulodapotter
    6th Aug 2015
    12:16pm
    Well said Leila. This is not a blanket idea for all receivers of welfare payments. Pensioners are not included in this program, nor are the disabled or sick.
    maelcolium
    6th Aug 2015
    12:37pm
    It's like food stamps in the USA which initially was introduced for the same reasons and then expanded so that they are now traded and form a currency in their own right. It has also introduced a level of poverty and embarrassment to people which is not something a society wants.It would be better to have intervention programs for people at risk. It is possible now that the Drug and Alcohol Council can apply for an order to garnish a person's pension and have it managed by a third party.
    This is just the thin edge of the wedge in my opinion.
    tia-maria
    6th Aug 2015
    12:58pm
    Be very weary of our darling politicians if they can they will try very hard in time to impose this on all of us............I feel the retired pensioners should be left alone and keep the same system........... as we deserve more respect than the younger generation on the unemployed payments.
    particolor
    6th Aug 2015
    1:35pm
    I agree Tia ! :-) And Alan Tudge has volunteered to give The Card a one Year trial personally and forgo His Ludicrous Parliamentary Salary for the trial period ! :-)
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    5:30pm
    I agree tia apart from the younger generation comment.. they are entitled to respect as part of any positive campaign to get them onto some meaningful path in life... if the stupid governments we suffer will stop wrecking the castle for them and start genuinely creating opportunities.

    What is this presumption that the younger generation forced onto social security are 'leaners' and bludgers etc? What utter nonsense in a society where one in twelve of the workforce is acknowledged to be unemployed, and that figures goes up to one in four, in some areas, for younger people struggling to get a direction in life.

    Shame! J'Accuse!
    Pass the Ductape
    6th Aug 2015
    6:08pm
    Well I wouldn't call you a 'bitch' Leila ( what happened to the site rules on this Drew) but knowing how todays corrupt politicians think and the lies they tell - I think Diva makes a good point.
    buby
    9th Aug 2015
    4:18pm
    Your absolutely right there Tia-maria, i feel like its just the tip of the iceberg.
    and you know what i believe some of our Politicians should also be given such a card to help curb their spending?????????????????
    Queensland Diva
    6th Aug 2015
    10:32am
    I am in two minds about this - I can see the benefits for some, but I am pretty sure if the government has its way, it will be everyone who gets stuck with it. That being said, if it's not all-encompassing then those who are forced to use it will be recognisable everywhere they shop, which is not good either. I will reserve judgement, but call me paranoid, I think this is the slippery slope for all those "leaners" out there who have the temerity to require assistance from the government.
    Paulodapotter
    6th Aug 2015
    12:24pm
    This should not be confused with welfare by coupon, though in some instances, this would be useful. As students in the US, my wife and I were given coupons for food and baby necessities as part of support for students with infants on low incomes. This way, nobody could use welfare for any other purpose. I think it would be a valuable means of ensuring infants get the nutrition they need in situations where child neglect is likely. We never felt embarrassed by using them. On the contrary, it said we had a baby which everyone was happy to contribute towards.
    MICK
    7th Aug 2015
    10:54pm
    Its a tough one Diva. On the one hand you have the no hopers who cannot do what is good for them. On the other side you have those of us who do not need to be controlled. And on the third side you have government which wants to more and more pry into the lives of ordinary citizens. Damned if you do, damned if you don't!
    worker
    6th Aug 2015
    10:43am
    this amounts to individuals of the peoples government starting to control and manage the lives of Australian citizens. What would how services people think that gave their lives for this nation and the Australia way I suggest they would be turning over in their graves.

    Before starting this type of control on citizens Control of members parliament with use and misuse of citizens monies should occur including the removal of life long forms of pensions
    and other perks when they are no longer a employee of the citizens member of parliament .
    Blossom
    6th Aug 2015
    11:09am
    Before long we won't be able to afford graves or headstones either for that matter. A basic headstone with only a few words isn't cheap. A basic service with celebrant and grave burial can cost about $7,800.00 upwards. We had a basic sheath of flowers on the coffin (nice but basic - no decoration on it-that is what my Mum wanted) which was donated to a nursing facility afterwards. We had to extend the lease on an existing grave. Even the paperwork for transfer of responsibility wasn't free. Fortunately there was a pre-paid funeral plan or it would have been even more expensive. Yes, they would be spinning in their graves.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    11:32am
    I just don't understand why anyone would even want a grave stone. Such a dreadful waste of money and land.
    Old Silver Fox
    6th Aug 2015
    11:45am
    I agree Bonny. It's like death insurance, a total waste of money; when I'm dead disposal of my body isn't my problem.
    Paulodapotter
    6th Aug 2015
    12:25pm
    Yep, they should turn us into biscuits to feed the starving.
    Adrianus
    6th Aug 2015
    12:48pm
    Blossom, while travelling through some remote areas I was told how a mans widow received $12k from the government to arrange for his burial. The $12,000 was used for an ongoing wake which lasted about 3 weeks. During this time the poor old codger had taken up long term residence in the mortuary. An argument developed with the widow wanting more government funds for the burial. Eventually sanity prevailed and the landlord, who was totally unrelated, ran a chook raffle as well as tipping in a bit themselves for a modest ceremony. The widow did not attend.
    PlanB
    7th Aug 2015
    7:31am
    No grave stone for me --I might leave the body to the Uni - if not a cardboard coffin and cremation. No fuss for me I will be remembered by those that care.

    Graves will be dug up 25 years after if they need the land and they are an eye sore anyway
    Radish
    6th Aug 2015
    11:01am
    This article says it is "voluntary" for Aged Pensioners and Veterans so I would not be concerned at all.

    The whole concept is aimed at those who just cannot handle their money in a responsible manner. I think it should be given a go and see how it works.

    I find it shocking that Ceduna has 4000 inhabitants and yet there are 4,500 admissions to the sobering up shelter.
    Renny
    6th Aug 2015
    11:28am
    Do we really live in Orwell's 1984? When will people wake up and realise that we are being moved towards a fascist state? Happy for it to happen to others - but what about yourself? And perhaps it's because all hope has been removed from small towns through government actions and inaction? Sit on your high horse and be shocked. That is what this government thrives - building a very clear us and them.
    minnie
    6th Aug 2015
    11:53am
    In total agreement Renny, it's time people stopped and said well it's not me so who cares. The old adage 'first they came for the gypsies but I wasn't a gypsy so didn't care, then they came for the jews and I wasn't a jew so didn't care, and so it goes" in the end they come for you, so stick by others and step away from fascism.
    Dors
    6th Aug 2015
    11:02am
    This is not new in the NT they have the basic card. My son has one and it is a pain in the B##. I help my son with caring for his four children and they all live with me. So i have become his nominee. He has the end of the year payments for the children paid into this account. to organise for anything to be paid- other than shopping - such as repairs at home, getting a bin to do a clean up takes me a 45 minute wait on the phone to talk to Centrelink.
    jackie
    6th Aug 2015
    11:10am
    One needs to be implemented on our politicians.
    pete@nakedhydroponics
    6th Aug 2015
    1:00pm
    Hear Hear. Leaders by example (I think not) Give our Reps an expenditures card, and make it Law that the monthly account be made public on the individual's web page.
    tia-maria
    6th Aug 2015
    1:00pm
    Jackie, fully agree on that .......Politicians when retired should stand down from office and receive the same pension as the rest of us......AND NO MORE PERKS.......AND IF THEY CHEAT THE TAXPAYERS THEY SHOULD FACE FRAUD CHARGES...........JUST LIKE Pauline Hanson did
    Sen.Cit.90
    6th Aug 2015
    1:49pm
    Yes Jacki, Pete and Tia-maria in particular YES YES.
    I'm of the age group that the Government of the day Stole my National Insurance that had been taken out of my wages by the Government to provide for our future..
    tia-maria
    6th Aug 2015
    7:25pm
    Jackie Our Politicians have so much to answer for......... that all their hidden perks they keep taking from us........... has fully blown out of control.
    marls
    7th Aug 2015
    5:33pm
    this is the biggest area where it is needed.
    Blossom
    6th Aug 2015
    11:17am
    I don't know how they re going to work this out for people in Nursing Homes where fees are more expensive that the pension is.
    There are those who struggle but manage to have Private Health Cover because the Public Health Sector is so slow in providing treatment for some illnesses. Not all Drs. bulk bill even for pensioners.Some own their own homes and pay Rates & Taxes which are more than the amount of money they would receive into their ordianry bank account or rent they pay. (rent is only subsidised in some cases). Sadly there are lot of most nationalities who spend their pensions on smoking, alcohol, drugs, gambling etc.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    11:34am
    Nursing home fees will just be paid like they are now but form the card instead of bank account. No problem there.
    buby
    9th Aug 2015
    4:25pm
    i am getting that feeling that perhaps they are trying to cut the banks out of collecting money by doing this!!!
    I wonder!!!!
    Blossom
    6th Aug 2015
    11:19am
    There are plenty of other areas - country and metropolitan that should be trialled if it goes ahead. Why single out that one.
    Radish
    6th Aug 2015
    11:24am
    Having been to Ceduna a number of times I totally understand why. They need to break the cycle of alcohol abuse.

    People who have never been there ought to go and have a look.
    KSS
    6th Aug 2015
    1:31pm
    Blossom because the problems there are 68 times the national average with the same problems elsewhere, it is a relatively small community and more than 100% of them have been in treatment for alcohol related problems. And the Mayor agreed!
    Theo1943
    6th Aug 2015
    8:40pm
    That's an inaccurate reading of the stats KSS. It could be that 500 people have been treated 9 times each. The other 3500 had no problem at all.
    Anonymous
    12th Aug 2015
    11:45pm
    Radish, anyone who knows anything about alcoholism knows restrictions create greater problems and solve nothing. This system has been trialled before and proved a very expensive failure. It will fail again. Our politicians need to learn from people who have achieved success in helping alcoholics. Rule 1: DON'T try to use any form of compulsion. It will NEVER work.
    Anonymous
    12th Aug 2015
    11:45pm
    Radish, anyone who knows anything about alcoholism knows restrictions create greater problems and solve nothing. This system has been trialled before and proved a very expensive failure. It will fail again. Our politicians need to learn from people who have achieved success in helping alcoholics. Rule 1: DON'T try to use any form of compulsion. It will NEVER work.
    dougie
    6th Aug 2015
    11:24am
    Unfortunately when ones ability to access ones own money occurs in a small section of society this means only one thing, I need money for drugs or alcohol or for whatever and if my access is restricted I will find some. This is generally by such means as Break and Enter or Car Stealing and Wrecking. I have been told by one of these young lads whom I had dealings with that he could steal a car and remove all saleable - untraceable items removed in less than 20 minutes. He further commented that he could earn more in this time than the dole was worth. He also stated that he knew my vehicle and it may be on his list.
    Whilst I endorse the proposed actions I do have my reservations and I look to the examples that we have had over the past weeks of snouts in troughs and I wonder how we can blame them.
    It is a problem that not even Solomon could solve.
    Grateful
    6th Aug 2015
    11:33am
    I sadly think you are very right there Dougie. The "problems" that are supposedly being addressed by this trail is aimed at three issues, alcohol, drugs and gambling. All of these are deep rooted ADDICTIONs and unless there is a complementary system to cater for the effects of loss of access to those addictions, the inevitable will happen, those addicted will find ways!! Prostitution, breaking and entries, violence against those that dare walk around with cash, vandalism etc etc. Let's see how it works and if it's "voluntary" how many addicts will volunteer???
    Paicey58
    6th Aug 2015
    11:44am
    I would say that the young lad you are referring to Dougie probably already does All the criminal acts that you have outlined. Stopping him receiving a few extra dollars from his welfare payment is not going to change his attitude.
    dougie
    6th Aug 2015
    1:11pm
    Paicey58,
    You are so right in your thoughts about this lad, however the same thing will apply to a small number of those in the community who will be affected by this change who will resort to this unsocial behaviour. There are many who it will help and in particular those who are victims of abuse and deprivation because of these addictions. These are the ones I really feel for and who must be protected. The few in the minority are purely barnacles on the backside of a good community and should be dealt with in a different way to those who can be helped.
    Renny
    6th Aug 2015
    11:25am
    No - it further demonises and marginalises the poor. How about a special license plate so we know who the wealthy muckers who are avoiding tax through Superannuation deductions? Then we might have enough money to lift these people up instead of kicking them down further.
    Radish
    6th Aug 2015
    11:41am
    The alternative is just to accept the status quo...let people drink or drug themselves to death.

    Ok, fine by me...I am not personally affected as I do not live in Ceduna but I think it would be irresponsible for any government not to try and help those who cannot help themselves.
    minnie
    6th Aug 2015
    11:58am
    This doesn't stop drinking or domestic violence, and I'd imagine in some cases accelerates it! This is about government control over the poorest in our community so they won't stand up for themselves against government. So much for democracy. I don't understand those that say on the one had they need it in 'those' places and then well 'I don't care, doesn't affect me' so community minded, not!
    minnie
    6th Aug 2015
    12:04pm
    I read some time back another country town they were 'trialling' these cards a fellow couldn't buy shorts from Kmart and had to go the Centrelink and try and get his card to include shorts at Kmart. I can't see a CC will be acceptable to have under this scheme, you could buy grog or smokes on the CC and then pay with the Basic Card.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    12:12pm
    You can still buy grog and smokes with the cash but you can't use all your welfare to buy grog, drugs, smokes etc. Have you ever seen people lined up at ATMs in the very early morning just waiting to get heir hands on their welfare money so that they can buy drugs?
    Radish
    6th Aug 2015
    12:52pm
    There is probably no answer to the drug and alcohol problem. The people will just have a lower life span and during that time will inflict a lot of hell on themselves and others.

    We will just have to learn to live with the physical,emotional and financial problems this will cause in society if people do not want to tackle the problem.

    I am glad I will not be alive in 30 years time.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    11:30am
    It's a good idea and should be given to all those on welfare including age pensioners. The government has the right on behalf of the taxpayers to have a say in how the welfare money is spent. If you are doing the right thing then what's the problem. I can't see one.
    minnie
    6th Aug 2015
    12:00pm
    And the people have a right to say how MP spend our taxes, so if it's okay for all on benefits that should include MPs who are their with their publicly funded benefits and entitlements.
    roccy
    6th Aug 2015
    12:57pm
    Some people would question my statement but here goes, MP's are working and have to spend taxpayers money to get the job done, I know some abuse their position at times and they will be found out, but to compare their spending employed to do a job (that some don't do very well) and the spending by pensioners and benefit recipients, who are paid a benefit of taxpayers money to live is a bit different. one is employed to do a job the other is being supported
    genimi
    6th Aug 2015
    2:48pm
    Well Bonny, I am my son's nominee. I manage his disability pension (and subsidise a bit so he can have health insurance) anyway, through my excellent management of his money he was able to buy a car when he needed one, buy art supplies when he needs them - he is an excellent artist and this pursuit helps his state of mind and therefore his general health. I am wondering if he were forced to have a card would he ever have the money for these things? He cannot use public transport due to his mental health so he would be isolated and couldn't go anywhere, and if he couldn't pursue his art his mental health would be further eroded. Somehow I cannot see the card system allowing for savings to cover annual bills like registration, occasional bills like phone credit (I buy him credit every two months), and other things like art supplies that crop up from time to time. So basically a blanket approach such as you propose would be deleterious to my son and many like him who have someone to manage for them, or others who manage very well on their own. I sincerely hope that if they introduce this in the wider community it is through a targetted approach. BTW, being on the dole is never going to support a drug habit, I used to work for Centrelink and quite a few young people told me that the only reason they are on the dole is to show the cops a legitimate means of support. They don't need it because they 'earn' far more from other means, so bringing this in will definitely NOT curtail their activities, may not result in additional crime either because those already so engaged (drugs, etc) are usually already engaged in crime.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    3:18pm
    I don't see what your problem is Genimi because I personally don't use cash any more. I doubt that if you didn't spend they money on the card it would just disappear but accumulate so that you can just use the card to spend it on all those things you have listed. Cash is the currency of drug dealing etc so without cash these activities would be curtailed. Unless you need cash for such activities as those which are not allowed on the card I cannot see where you would have a problem. I have no problems not using cash any more myself. Best part is if someone steals my wallet they only get hold of some discount cards and no cash.
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    5:36pm
    Wrong, roccy - we pensioners are paid in return for the raises in income tax that have been set in place by several governments since around 1920 or earlier. We are not being paid by taxpayers - we were and remain taxpayers ourselves, and our retirement funding comes out of that portion of consolidated revenues that should have been set aside in a safe place out of the hands of dumb politicians for exactly that retirement funding.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    6:28pm
    If you are a pensioner you are on welfare which is paid for by the taxpayers. There is not mythical fund that pays the pensioners. End of fairy story.
    Theo1943
    6th Aug 2015
    8:46pm
    Bonny, pensioners are not on welfare.
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    9:48pm
    It is not welfare - it is social security - and the myth that there is no fund other than 'consolidated revenue' is just the politician's way of trying to get away with the lie that a portion of income tax was to pay for social security. That includes pensions.

    I previously posted an ATO document that outlined these, and specifically pointed to the Whitlam years, when a rise in income taxes was set in place specifically to cover social security.

    That is precisely why I forever advocate that the money paid FOR that fund be set aside into a sovereign fund out of the clutches of politicians, who assume that 'consolidated revenue' is just one massive slush fund for their personal use and abuse, and with which to pursue whatever ideology they choose.

    I will now go further - and say that funds collected via specific taxation/levy paths needs to be placed into an account specifically FOR the things it is meant to cover. Road taxes etc go into the Roads account and are not used to fund fat jobs for people to take on as a retirement package from politics - such as 'board' positions on QANGOs, and directorships of museums...and so forth.
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    9:50pm
    And for the umpteenth time, Bonny - we all pay taxes. Every time you buy petrol or pay for electricity or gas, or buy food - you are paying taxes.

    There are NO 'taxpayers and others'...... once you get your mind around that simple reality, your entire perspective should take on a new life.
    Anonymous
    13th Aug 2015
    9:59pm
    Bonny, today in northern WA, I saw an example of ''welfare'' paid for by taxpayers. The roads are dreadful because they are ripped up by road trains from the mines. The mine owners make a fortune, but who pays for the roads they destroy? Taxpayers! And they couldn't make money without those roads, and a lot of other infrastructure provided by ordinary working Australians who both work for low wages and pay taxes that fund the infrastructure. Then ''holier than though'' selfish people claim aged pensions paid to those who gave all this ''welfare'' to the rich are ''welfare'' and how pension money is spent should be controlled. Then let's have some controls over how the rich and privileged spend their welfare. Let's see them pay for the roads they rip up and fund retirement for the workers whose health they destroy making them work in unhealthy conditions and for far too little pay. Let's see them pay at real value for electricity and communication facilities and port facilities.

    The ''leaners'' in this nation are the snout-in-the-trough and user rich and privileged, and they OWE ordinary Australians a huge debt for building a society that enables the wealthy to prosper. The age pension is NOT welfare - it's a token payment off a massive debt owed by the leaning rich to the real lifters and givers.
    Paicey58
    6th Aug 2015
    11:33am
    Sounds like a great idea. If the card is able to be used like a debit card you can just swipe it purchase your goods or pay your bills etc. I also noted that they are still allowing 20% of the benefit To be in cash form. I really don't see how this would make it any harder to do your every day things. If and when I begin to receive an age pension I would not have a problem receiving it in this format.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    11:38am
    I do the same today with my credit and debit cards so I too think it's a good idea. The only downside would be that a pensioner now using a credit card would not get their reward points. it will also help the government get more revenue from the black economy as people will have to accept the card in lieu of cash.
    Paicey58
    6th Aug 2015
    11:50am
    You would probably find that a credit card payment is a genuine bill so this card could be used to pay it therefore you could continue to obtain your frequent flyer points anyway Bonny.
    minnie
    6th Aug 2015
    12:02pm
    What about farmers markets, farm gate, small co-ops you can't spend at those places where you can get better quality cheaper food. What about something comes up such as a car break down that your 20% doesn't cover, and you need more cash. It labels people publicly and once again punishes the most poor in our society.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    12:08pm
    Simple the farmers markets etc will have to accept plastic or do less business. Same with car breaks downs etc. That's another benefit of such a card transactions will be traceable and we will all benefit for the extra revenue generated for the government in the way of taxes and GST.
    genimi
    6th Aug 2015
    2:54pm
    Bonny, the cards would probably not be able to be used just anywhere. The basics card that was introduced in the NT was registered at particular stores where the recipient would then have to shop. Not sure whether this would be the same in a card in wider use or not. Still say why punish everyone for the 'sins' of a few.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    3:21pm
    I have heard that the banks were helping Centrelink with cards that could be used like any other debit card. If so there should not be a problem. The sooner we all move to a cashless society the better off we all will be.
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    10:50pm
    OK, then - you're all on $800 a fortnight and 80% is on a card. Done deal!

    Get back to me when you find you need a new washing machine or car repair or whatever... need to take a trip to visit a sick grand-kid or something....
    roccy
    6th Aug 2015
    11:45am
    I don't see the problem with issuing a debit card system for all benefit recipients after all it is taxpayers money that they are being paid to be able to live, not to smoke, drink, and gamble it away and then look for more assistance from either benefits and charities who are stretched as it is, most people use a credit card system every day already, and even they have a restriction put on how much they can draw out at gambling venues, the amount of pension is a living allowance and is not calculated to include smoking, drinking and gambling, just saying
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    5:37pm
    See above roccy - we are paying ourselves since we paid taxes all our lives and still do. There is absolutely no argument for any government to even suggest pensions are some form of handout - they are a Right bought and paid for.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    6:31pm
    The payment of pensions is in no way linked to what a person has paid in tax throughout their life. It is is a welfare payment paid for by the generosity of today's taxpayers. That said the government representing the taxpayers has the right to set rule in place around that welfare privilege.
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    10:53pm
    The income tax component dedicated to social security is a lump fund, accumulated from income tax, and there is no calculation on the amount contributed by any one individual. It is a general component of income tax to be used for social security - and the governments have placed it into consolidated revenue and no complain that the bill is due.

    It is NOT a welfare payment and it is not a handout, and once again we are all taxpayers every day.

    Perhaps another of your secrets is that you pay no taxes on your petrol, food and so forth - but everyone else does.
    Radish
    7th Aug 2015
    9:56am
    I am wondering if people have actually read the article. It said that $80 to $150 a week will be in CASH.

    You can spend this how you see fit; surely that is enough to buy wine and beer each week for an average person; or am I missing something??
    solmon52
    6th Aug 2015
    11:45am
    I dont feel a need for a trial. The trial will be on the system not the people. There will be ways around it. 80% held on the cashless card is far to high.
    The trial should not be on aboriginal areas. It should be on those with dissability pensions. I know many on it. They work for cash and are drunk every day while they limit their wives from working full time hours so they have the full pension for their alchohol and smokes. How much do we need to tell polies before action.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    11:59am
    Have you been to the NT lately? If you want to buy alcholol the shops only open after 2 pm for a few hours and then you have to have your drivers licence scanned and only when you get a green light can you make the purchase. If someone doesn't get a green light the arguments then follow and the line get longer with the police being sometimes called to evict the person from the shop so that others can be served. Do you want that to happen in other states as well?
    genimi
    6th Aug 2015
    2:55pm
    again, why punish everyone for the 'sins' of a few
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    3:25pm
    I think is would be a lot easier having such a card than cash. To me cash is a pain so I no longer use it. I see the card as a positive not a punishment unless you want to buy the things that you are barred from buying.
    Anonymous
    9th Aug 2015
    11:27pm
    Bonny, I've just left NT and am now in an alcohol restricted area of northern WA and I assure you the people who have a problem with addiction and managing money get around any and all regulations and restrictions. Today, I talked to Aboriginals who paid $100 for a $54 case of grog ''on the black market'', because it wasn't available to them legally. So their families suffered an unnecessary loss of $46 because of dumb laws, and NOTHING was achieved.

    As anyone who understands addiction knows, restrictions and regulations simply drive addicts to theft, fraud, and aggression. They make them pay more to obtain what they want illegally. The cashless welfare card has already been trialed extensively and was proved a very expensive failure. Only the uninformed and arrogant think that trying to control the behavior of others is helpful. It is stupid, destructive, and a major threat to our freedom - resulting in loss of dignity and rights and a major loss of lifestyle. It is socially destructive. One would think the fools who conceive these ''thought bubbles'' would have learned from history. Prohibition was a dismal failure! Addicts will get their fix by whatever means necessary - and trying to stop them will only compound problems. Ask those who have succeeded in helping addicts how to go about offering assistance. They will tell you that the very WORST thing you can do is try to impose limitations.

    As for controlling aged pensioner spending - how dare you imply that people who slogged their guts out for 40+ years building this nation and paying taxes should not be allowed the freedom to spend their hard-earned retirement income - to which they are fully entitled by every moral and ethical standard - as they please? What a disgracefully arrogant and contemptuous suggestion you make! You should be ashamed of your disrespect for the people whose hard work enabled folk like you to enjoy the opportunity to accumulate wealth. Without their endeavors, you and the politicians and bureaucrats and all the well-to-do would have nothing and your lives would be utterly miserable.
    mariac
    6th Aug 2015
    11:57am
    Bonny everything is a waste of money even the food we eat because it goes in one way and goes out another way. Sorry if I sound rude but these are facts. And who are we to judge what people want to do. I think there is more than enough land in Australia.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    12:04pm
    I suppose graves do make nice flat beds for the homeless so the land isn't really wasted.
    BolshyDiva
    6th Aug 2015
    12:30pm
    I'm very disappointed, Your Life Choices, that this article comes from an assumption that such a card would be beneficial to some people, and only questions its application to all. It smacks of privilege and not really understanding or caring what happens to those 'other' people.

    The problems in Ceduna and many other places cannot be solved by this simplistic big brother approach, which is actually a strategy based on the inability to see and unwillingness to tackle the bigger issues, while appealing to many in the community because 'the government is doing something about those bludgers' - kind of hypocritical coming from a government with such outrageous rules regarding their own spending.

    Let's be courageous, and tackle the ingrained issues that lead to these kinds of community problems. Let's be informed - research shows that addiction is directly linked to despair and lack of hope. Let's be human - any one of us could be in 'those' people's shoes at some time; let them keep what shreds of dignity they may still have.
    Radish
    6th Aug 2015
    12:54pm
    What practical solution do you think would work then?
    Anonymous
    13th Aug 2015
    9:50pm
    Change the system to eliminate handouts' designed to rob people of incentive and self-respect and replace it with a system that rewards endeavor and offers people hope and dignity.

    Let people take control of their own lives. Offer them help on terms that allow them to develop pride.

    The first positive step would be for ''leaders'' to show leadership instead of greedily stealing from taxpayers. Then let's acknowledge the contribution of ordinary working Australians and the dependence of the privileged on ordinary workers who provide essential infrastructure and services that ALLOW the rich and privileged to prosper.

    When people like Bonny stop ranting about aged pensions being ''welfare'' and denigrating those who worked for decades to build the society that enables the privileged to prosper - recognizing that nobody could earn anything without the roads and power lines and shipping ports etc etc etc etc that are facilitated by TAXPAYING WORKERS who are paid a tiny fraction of what they deserve, and who thus are ENTITLED to a dignified retirement funded by society - we might have some hope of helping those who have lost hope. When the privileged stop claiming superiority and humble themselves, recognizing that their inhumanity to the less fortunate has caused the hopelessness that leads to addiction and inability to manage spending, we might have a hope. What we need is a social conscience, not ''holier than though'' dictatorial controls by privileged people who have no clue what it is like to struggle with despair and hopelessness.
    World Prophet
    14th Aug 2015
    9:21am
    I must admit, Rainey, there is merit in your view.
    Morgan
    6th Aug 2015
    1:01pm
    You need to live in a place with an abuse problem, as I have, to see the problems. Why should welfare moneys be spent on abuse items? There 4 basic needs of for people, food, shelter, clothing and transport. If you gave many needy people cash, it would spent on non needed items in a lot of cases. Go and stay in an affected town and see. No cash!
    Radish
    6th Aug 2015
    1:42pm
    You are quite correct Morgan. I would suggest many have not been to the places where alcohol, drug and domestic abuse are rife. For instance Wilcannia, Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing, Katherine.

    When people live in major towns they are oblivious to what really happens in some of these remote places in Australia. Many would have an entirely different opinion, in would suggest, if they witnessed the problems first hand.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    2:12pm
    I agree I'm all for a cashless society because all money can be traced which would go a long way towards helping stamp out the many problem areas of society as they are underpinned by cash.
    stake
    6th Aug 2015
    1:14pm
    I am a pensioner(aged) and would not like to have these restrictions placed on me, mabe this sort of system could be adopted for people that cannot control their intake of harmfull substances but I am certain that you would alienate everyone that you applied it to
    particolor
    6th Aug 2015
    1:19pm
    I want $255.000 a Year Pension and a Chopper Card !! I know My Rights and Entitlements !!
    So There ! :-(
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    2:08pm
    Isn't that what a pensioner gets these days?
    particolor
    7th Aug 2015
    5:32pm
    Yes ! :-) Divided by 10 And take 3 more Shovelfuls out !! :(
    KSS
    6th Aug 2015
    1:28pm
    Welfare of any type comes with conditions attached. There are 'rules', terms and conditions you have to accept and comply with in order to continue to receive the payments. If one of those 'rules' is that the money will be credited to a debit card, then so be it. I can't really see an issue. Think back to when pensions were collected in cash at the post office every Thursday. Or when welfare cheques were sent to the recipient who than had to deposit it in a bank (or possible cash it immediately). Over time this was changed to having to have it paid into a bank account. Everyone whinged about that change yet now it is unthinkable to do it any other way.

    However, perhaps instead of restricting where you CAN use the welfare card, better restrict it to where you can't. So prohibit their use in the TAB and grog shops for example, or specifically for tobacco products and lottery tickets in newsagents, supermarkets, service stations, pubs and clubs etc. This would still allow the money to be used everywhere else even on-line. Think about how many vendors/trades/services do not accept Diners Club or Amex cards and no-one complains - it just is. Well the same could be said of the welfare card. If you are trying to buy grog or bet on-line for example, your card would not be accepted. If you are using it to do your weekly grocery shop, no problem. Need the car serviced or need petrol? No problem. Want cigarettes with your petrol? Well sorry Madam you can't put the smokes on the card. Need kids shoes or pay the vet's bill no problem there either. And the list goes on.

    Given over time we will in all likelihood eventually become a cashless society, this trial will show us all how it will work in the future.
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    5:38pm
    Not welfare KSS - it's bought and paid for social security.... thanks for coming.. again.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    6:35pm
    It is welfare and not a right. If you accept the pension you accept the rules. Break those rules and you suffer the consequences.
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    11:00pm
    It is social security and a Right and paid for - nobody has the right to dictate how you will spend YOUR money. Who ever told you any differently?

    How dare you even begin to suggest that aged pensioners have no right to a pension? By what right do you even suggest that?

    I've argued that cases of genuine need properly proven to be so may require some measure of control - but under no circumstances can this kind of thing ever be allowed to become a general thing.
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    11:10pm
    "There was a further development of specific relevance to social security in 1945. The Commonwealth split the personal income tax into two components. One, the social services contribution, was to be used exclusively to finance social security cash payments."

    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/94713ad445ff1425ca25682000192af2/8e72c4526a94aaedca2569de00296978!OpenDocument

    Read it and weep... now - have you caught up with the rest of the class yet? I do apologise - it wasn't the ATO - it was the ABS.

    A little more might help:"-

    " Revenue from the contribution was paid into the National Welfare Fund, from which all such cash payments were to be made, but there was no link between personal contributions and entitlements. The fund was supplemented by subventions from payroll tax and general revenue. In the event, the social services contribution was again merged into a single personal income tax in 1950. All cash payments are now made direct from general revenue."

    Note the important parts about funding - and do try to get you8r mind around the reality that we all pay taxes every day.

    Good question for you - how is drinking away your pension 'breaking the rules' for receiving the pension? I'd be fascinated to hear how that one comes up.
    roccy
    6th Aug 2015
    1:31pm
    Really we are so privileged in Australia to be able to get a pension regardless weather we have worked and contributed to our retirement or not, in some European countries if you have not worked and contributed you don't receive a pension, and have to live off handouts or other family members that work or get a pension, just saying
    KSS
    6th Aug 2015
    1:35pm
    Not only in European countries roccy, in most Asian countries if you don't work you don't eat. Simple!
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    5:41pm
    That is precisely why we've all been paying taxes all those years and actually lining up to pay our parents and grandparents their Pension Entitlement Rights.... without a murmur of complaint. We all still pay taxes on every movement of our money - so there is no 'us and them' between 'taxpayers' and 'pensioners etc'.

    Now it is our turn.... if you have a problem with it you are always welcome to refuse your pension Rights.... but what is emphatically not acceptable is for self-interested and selfish politicians to label pensioners as a burden on society and seek to alter how they can spend THEIR money.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    6:37pm
    Politicians representing taxpayers have a right to set rules on how welfare is spent. Welfare is not a right but comes thankfully with string attached.
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    11:12pm
    Read above Bonny - you've been bested by the government itself. Now get your mind right....

    Politicians have NO right to dictate how money will be spent by anyone, other than the mandatory taxes paid by all. We do not yet live in a concentration camp or a gulag.
    oceanblue30
    6th Aug 2015
    2:03pm
    Pensioners shouldn't have to put up with that crap just cause some idiots spend it all on grog and fags doesn't mean others have to have our money controlled I have lots of things come out of my money like car insurance health costs etc what about going on holidays? It's just bullshit to bloody bad if people spend it on crap everyone else that is responsible with their money should have to suffer
    bandy
    6th Aug 2015
    2:18pm
    Thats got to be some kind of record. Ceduna 4000 residents 4500 sobering up admissions.
    Anonymous
    6th Aug 2015
    5:31pm
    I believe it was because 12.5% of them were too Franz Liszt to get out of the revolving door on the first try.
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    5:42pm
    Does that include the Lord Mayor.... local magistrate in the (hic) highest court in the (hic) land?
    catsahoy
    6th Aug 2015
    2:54pm
    while part of me says this is a good thing for some, such as the pnes who spend on drink and ciggies, i also think ,i myself would not like to be dictated to and told how to spend my money, we have enough rules and regulations now , and as a smoker myself wouldnt want someone telling me when i could light up or not, however there are famuilys who have children lacking the bare neccessities, enough food, clothing , access to school outings and such, as the money goes on drink and smokes and heaven knows what else. but there are also those who just dont manage money well. some have no idea of careful spending or how to make a little go a long way, i could get 1kg of mince steak and have half a dozen ways of making a meal for 4/6 people , not everyne can do his, i could get a large tin of tuna and make a meal for 4/6 people again, with very little effort, some have no idea how to do this, not becauce of there situation, but they have never been taught the basics of home economy, it is a hard one to come up with an answer for,
    Foxy
    6th Aug 2015
    2:58pm
    I think the idea is total rubbish and an affront to people's responsibility and integrity! We have enough of our lives already controlled by total "strangers" as it is - without the "do-gooders" sticking their noses in once again and deciding as to how "other" people handle their finances and run their lives! Stick it in the bin! :-)

    6th Aug 2015
    3:15pm
    As I have said in the past don"t get on the pension and you won"t have to worry.
    But if you are on the pension what you do with your money should be controlled so as it is not wasted.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    3:28pm
    I agree. To me if you are on welfare your dignity goes the minute you apply for it. It is not a right but a privilege to be able to get it and should only be available to those who need it and not to those who get it because they can even though they don't need it.
    genimi
    6th Aug 2015
    3:34pm
    yeah but 'wasted' is such a relative term. what one considers to be waste another doesn't. do we then start saying they can't shop at certain stores cos they don't have as cheap products as somewhere else? is maybe an occasional bottle of sugary crap (and no, I don't drink soft drink) a waste of money and therefore banned from purchase on the card? What about if you wanted to buy a bottle of reasonable priced wine as a birthday gift for someone? Doesn't mean you or the recipient is an alcoholic, but it would not be allowed. Who exactly determines waste? And why is it anyone's business what I may choose to buy a friend as a gift? Or are pensioners not allowed to buy a gift? There are just so many situations that may occur and it is just too hard to determine what is waste, what is addiction and what is reasonable.
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    5:43pm
    Not on welfare - on a bought and paid for pension as a Right... part of social security bought and paid for.
    Wader
    6th Aug 2015
    3:34pm
    As someone who tries to assist those who have so often blown their cash on drugs, ciggies and treats for kids and dependents who actually need basic good food, reading all the "dignity" based comment here makes me loose hope too. If this is a no-goer, what is??
    How about putting your clever minds to suggesting a better way to solve a tragic problem for people who just can't manage to do it themselves. A solution is urgently needed.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    4:03pm
    Cash is just too easy to use to hide transactions and is what runs the black economy and other problem areas of our economy. To me it is a no brainer. Take away the cash and it takes away a lot of the ability to tracts in secret.
    Anonymous
    6th Aug 2015
    5:34pm
    Those with a cashless card will be buying groceries the selling them at a further discounted price for cash to spend on drink and drugs.
    particolor
    8th Aug 2015
    1:37pm
    You NAILED IT there Eddie ! :-)
    Swap You Keelo of Snags for a Bottle of XXXX ! :-)
    Tassie
    6th Aug 2015
    4:00pm
    It's done in NZ..this way for some youth!! long term unemployed .They also have case managers too who they have to meet with on a regular basis and show how they are trying to help themselves..they even help get them into housing/units..I think it's great to trial it..it us mega successful in NZ...as long as pensioners etc..have the right to decline...welfare assistance is not a right it's a privilege and it's about time some people living on a generational cycle realised it..well done I say...
    Anonymous
    6th Aug 2015
    6:07pm
    Tassie

    Govt assistance in Australia is definitely a RIGHT and NOT a privilege.

    That is what we pay our taxes for, to support those of us that are disadvantaged, we do NOT pay taxes to put PUBLIC money in Mining and other Megacorps pockets, nor to pay our politicians to take more and more money for themselves.

    It is the ORDINARY TAXPAYERS who pay for:
    - our benefits (disadvantaged,education,health);
    - our infrastructure (bridges, roads, hospitals, etc);
    - our services (research, science, environment) ETC ETC.

    We do NOT pay taxes to put PUBLIC money in Mining and other Megacorps pockets, nor to pay our politicians to take more and more money for themselves.

    It is to be noted that Corporations may pay money to the government (a mere 30%) BUT that their OWNERS/INVESTORS take that same amount back again as if they themselves have paid the tax and for which they get a tax credit AND even get refunded IF they don't have a taxable income. Hence, Corporations who have such a say in our government do NOT contribute anything to our NATION.

    Hence, WE do have a RIGHT to govt assistance, should be fall on hard times.

    Re: the card.... look at my comment below... you obviously have NOT been unemployed!
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    6:25pm
    Not welfare - it's a bought and paid for pension.. all signed and sealed.

    I, for one, refuse the label of 'welfare recipient' especially when it is no such thing, and it is most definitely not a handout - it is a bought and paid for Right.

    Sorry to disillusion you. I sincerely doubt we could learn much from New Zealand - though Mike Baird seems to think so with his coming trip to discuss infrastructure (wow - how relevant) and maybe catch a Rugby match or two.

    More waste.
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    5:22pm
    First of all it's not welfare - it's social security bought and paid for out of income taxes since the early 1900s. It is therefore a right and not a privilege.

    There may be an argument for using such a system in cases of clear misuse of funds etc, and deprivation for others as a result, after proper and full investigation - but no way is there any argument for the majority to be under this draconian regime.

    Aged pensioners should never e under this scheme - they've paid for their pension and it is their right.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    7:44pm
    If that's the case I paid for my pension too so why don't I get one? I don't get one because paying for the pension is not the criteria of our pension welfare system. So I can't be a welfare precipitant as it is not a right.
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    11:15pm
    You love to harp on non-existent rules - so try a genuine one - you have too much to be getting a pension. If you read that government paper I linked above it will tell you why, when, where and how.

    Would you prefer to receive a pension but be taxed on every cent earned over and above the pension? That's one suggestion mooted to cut out all the rorting of super etc.

    If and when you fall below a certain level of income, you Right to a pension kicks in. What is your argument?
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    5:26pm
    Here's the rub and it is nothing new from government here in Oz. The rate of drunken admissions in this one tiny town is 68 times the national average, so there may be some argument for restricting cash.

    Problem then is that the Neo-Socio-Fascists who make up government in this country will then say it was such a wonderful success that it will be extended nationwide and encompass a wider range of people.

    I will fight its introduction to aged pensioners tooth and nail... I've earned my right to spend MY pension as I choose. In fact I'm off to the bottle-o for some beer right now... and some petrol in the car.. too late to pick up that script I need - tomorrow will have to do while I contemplate prawns or steak for dinner... sick of both.
    Paicey58
    6th Aug 2015
    6:15pm
    No need to worry Trebor the article say age pensioners don't have to use this card unless they want to!
    Paulodapotter
    6th Aug 2015
    6:35pm
    Forget it Paicey58. Trebor doesn't get it. He/she thinks people will agree to have pensioners survive on coupons.
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    7:36pm
    Such limited thinking. I merely point out the standard operating procedures of governments here - take a dreadful community, look at its problems, find some solution to that specific dreadful problem area - then find an excuse to say that everywhere and everyone else is the same.

    You are correct - there will be NO introduction of any such idiotic measure to pensioners. I will not permit it in my country.

    You haven't been listening to and watching the antics of politicians over the 'burden' of an aging population, have you Paula?
    TREBOR
    7th Aug 2015
    11:32am
    Paulo - beware of freaks bearing grift - and these people are freaks and they always bear grift. Your profound naivety in the leadership quality and moral certitude of our political leaders does you credit, but I fear it is mislead.

    6th Aug 2015
    5:54pm
    What a lot of TOTAL hog sh*t!!!!!

    Sorry LEON, I am NOT in the mood for NON-THINKERS who advocate a system for others that is DRACONIC and has NOT shown and will NOT assist in any way, the objectives of that proposed system:

    This card has nothing to do with being effective against drugs, alcoholism, and certainly not domestic violence (disgusted about the adding of domestic violence to this topic).

    1.WHY are you agreeing that approx. 94% of the people on govt assistance should be treated like, and thought of, as drug addicts and alcoholics when ONLY about 6% of those on govt. assistance are bludgers, alcoholics & drug users. You are recommending that those on govt assistance severely disadvantaged when they are already finding it difficult to rise above their LABEL of ‘unemployed’, let alone being clearly labelled as drug addicts and alcoholics. Everyday when they go to the supermarket, etc, they will be identified by their card as having NO WORTH and even worse be a CURSE on SOCIETY. Those real bludgers, alcoholics & drug users make up about 6% which is way less than the current unemployment rate, so they have NO effect on that aspect of things, leave them unemployed, it does not affect the economy unless, of course, you take into consideration the cost of my next point…

    2.There is VERY LITTLE in place to assist drug addicts and alcoholics overcome their addictions and little help from health centres or professionals available…. HENCE these cards will simply mean MORE CRIME in suburbs which are already under pressure.

    3.FAMILIES of drug addicts and alcoholics are usually on SEPARATE govt. assistance and the card system will simply putting those families already under stress into MORE hardship - besides, drug addicts and alcoholics are usually alone BECAUSE of their disabilities.

    4.Domestic violence is prevalent in the whole population, in greater numbers than merely in those on govt. assistance. Are you advocating that ALL persons who perpetrate domestic violence should have their WAGES frozen and put on a card system…. well that will help, won’t it, those families would be without ANY flexibility to remove themselves from these perpetrators of domestic violence, unless they join the ranks of those on govt assistance and become known as drug addicts and alcoholics and are unable to get their kids educated or employed because they are govt assisted kids.

    5.As a side issue, these ‘welfare’ cards will also breed CORRUPTION from businesses who will claim more than they should from govt…. actually INCREASING our tax cost of govt assistance. For instance, a drug addict or alcoholic won’t know how much is taken from their cards and nor would the 94% be able to challenge businesses who STEAL their money…. because they are now LABELLED as drug addicts and alcoholics, they would have NO sway over anything.

    OVERALL, this ‘welfare’ card is simply using the terms alcoholics, drug users and now domestic violence perpetrators, to abuse and put greater hardship on those that are most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society. Those of our own that we pay taxes for….. NOT for politicians and corporations to line their pockets.

    Believe me life is already tough for those on govt assistance … they are not there because they want to be, they are there because they have no choice.
    corruption retailers.
    Anonymous
    6th Aug 2015
    7:01pm
    I, too, can see this system being abused by the retailers, much like employers have cheated on the government employment initiatives by employing the out of work, over-claiming their wages and then getting rid of the workers when their contract time is up. The controls on ANY scheme like this have to be monitored all the time and the government is not enthusiastic enough for being concerned with what happens to taxpayers' money - just as we are now seeing how it is spent by politicians on travel. There are no checks and balances as these take too much time and effort for the government, cause "temporary" red faces and pseudo embarrassment to the politicians, while putting a damper on making overly generous claims for taxpayer-funded trips for the politicians and their families. It' shuts another token gesture to show "something is being done address the problem".
    Anonymous
    6th Aug 2015
    7:08pm
    oops, "huts" above is meant to be "just". My proof-reader is asleep.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    7:32pm
    Good heavens you bank account doesn't get abused by the retailers so why would your pension debit card get abused by the retailers. I think I heard all these arguments before when Centrelink wanted to deposit pensions into bank accounts. Look how successful that has been. With the money on a card you will not have to worry about getting cash or carrying cash or transferring money from one account to another etc. If I got a pension it would be a big positive for me.
    Anonymous
    6th Aug 2015
    7:46pm
    Arrrh! my favourite Abbott/Corporate bunny... Bonny.

    Placing money in a bank account and allowing retailers to extract money from a welfare card are worlds apart, dear Bonny and you know it. This card puts the onus on the recipient to PROVE that they did NOT spend that much. Who would you believe.... drug addicts, alcoholics, wife bashers or the retailer?!

    As for you having a card instead of cash, what a smile that brings to my face... no more saving (by missing a meal or so) for that trip to see your kids or family, then Bonny! Ow well, tough luck.... 'welfare' recipients don't deserve family OR kids... apparently!!

    Oh! Don't forget Bonny, people won't know that you are a pensioner, they may treat you like a piece of rubbish because they think you are a drug addict or alcoholic or partner basher....
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2015
    8:05pm
    Rubbish the card will be like any other bank debit card (that's why the banks are involved in changing their system to take them). No one will know what it is unless you buy a prohibited item and then a code (similar to the one that comes up now when you don't have enough money in your account ) will be displayed and you will be told you can't buy that item or use that card. The shop will not know that it is a welfare card unless you buy a prohibited item so how can they overcharge you. You will be able to save money on it like a bank account and spend it on family or kits etc.

    By the way it's not hard to work out who are pensioners and who are not now. That why I get away with just acting like one and just get given pensioner discounts without showing any evidence. I just smile and say thankyou as to say I'm not would only cause them embarrassment.
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    11:17pm
    A card that specifies what you can buy is in no way like an ordinary bank card. I can go into a bottle-o if I wish and spend every cent in my bank account if I choose - I can't do that with a handout or food stamp card....
    Anonymous
    7th Aug 2015
    1:54pm
    What Mussitate, Trebor, and I have said is correct. You've got your cards (debit, credit, and cashless) confused, mate!
    Pass the Ductape
    6th Aug 2015
    6:02pm
    The thin end of the wedge. Big brother is getting bigger every day. I heard someone on the radio today suggesting that donating body parts and organs after death, should not be a choice of wether we sign up for it - but rather, it would simply become a matter of course. One would have to sign up NOT to have their body parts used as donor material.
    Paulodapotter
    6th Aug 2015
    6:32pm
    So? Put a price on your parts so your surviving family can have a beer at your wake.
    Anonymous
    6th Aug 2015
    7:11pm
    Ductape, I have heard this is standard procedure performed on deceased prisoners in China.
    Anonymous
    6th Aug 2015
    7:36pm
    Fast Eddie

    Prisoners donating their organs seems a reasonable idea because once in gaol, as in Australia, they lose many rights. Can't see it abused too much, as the wealthy Chinese can go to Israel to jump queues, etc. should they require a body parts.
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    7:38pm
    I see many of you missed the endless questions raised and unanswered about the dreadful rate of wrongful conviction....

    People are in prison as punishment - not for punishment, and they don't lose all rights.
    Anonymous
    6th Aug 2015
    8:18pm
    TREBOR
    Agree about "People are in prison as punishment", sorry, got a bit blasé BUT the discussion was about AFTER they were deceased. That is my only defence!

    In Australia, prisoners do lose some rights that ordinary citizens have. Right to vote - "You have the right to vote if on parole, on periodic detention or leave, or in custody for less than 5 years (State and Council elections) or 3 years (Federal elections)". http://prisonerlaw.org/prisoner/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70&Itemid=80

    This one was also interesting, as it details some history.
    http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/Publications_Archive/CIB/cib0304/04cib12

    Well spoken Trebor. I do actually agree with you full heartedly. People who break the law and do their time should not be treated any differently. For instance that Q&A audience person who once said he would 'kill' an AFP officer when they did a spectacular MEDIA raid on his home and put him in 'special' detention for terrorism, did his time and was completely CLEARED of any terrorist charge (which is amazing that they couldn't get anything on him given the broadness of the term terrorist, NOT to mention the HUGE scope the AFP have to getting information), had every right to be part of the audience on Q&A.

    Unfortunately, as can be seen in that example, these people are open to being abused and suffering disparagement for the rest of their lives..... especially when the PM who should know better, leads the strike against them AND calls for a Welfare Card for everyone, because a small minority on govt. assistance are drug addicts and alcoholics and wife bashers.
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    11:23pm
    It's OK, Mussi - I just like to debate a bit... I was as amazed as you that guy got off, but who am I to say? His right to state his position was as solid as the politician who said he should be out of the country and got it back... good laugh there for me. I might agree he should leave, but again - who am I to say? He might have gotten over his big mouth time of life and maybe will become a model citizen.

    Yes - the majority should not be publicly humiliated to satisfy the blood lust of a primitive prime minister and his lackeys, and those foolish enough to be obsessed by the same Fascist lack of reasoning.

    Read the link I put up above - it tells the story of how we are Entitled to pension.

    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/94713ad445ff1425ca25682000192af2/8e72c4526a94aaedca2569de00296978!OpenDocument

    Hope that works...
    TREBOR
    6th Aug 2015
    11:27pm
    Oh - and I run Australia's Wrongfully Convicted - or used to before heart laid me low and slowed me down. I assemble a heap of stuff on wrongful and erroneous conviction - unlike others I separate carefully deliberately false and accidental convictions. Most simply address the issues as 'wrongful' - and the Innocence Projects aim at fish in a barrel with DNA clearances and such - but do not address the entrenched issues of wrongful convictions here in Oz. They are run by lawyers after all.... too frightened of the Law's shadow to actually say when it is being abused as a matter of policy.
    Anonymous
    7th Aug 2015
    12:53am
    TREBOR
    I defend that Q&A person's right to be there because he was obviously INNOCENT of any form of terrorist charges... otherwise the AFP would have displayed him as a trophy for the Fed.Govt. Additionally, he would NOT have been convicted of ANY charges of threatening to 'kill' a Fed. copper IF they hadn't staged a MEDIA raid for political reasons and terrified the poor bugger. Unfortunately, most young men will try and fight back against unfairness and because he was a Muslim, they booked him instead of giving him an extra clip around the ear.

    I would have defended in the same capacity as 'aggravated assault' ... if the AFP had not got it wrong and raided his house (for political reasons) he would not now have a criminal record!!

    What a great job you had TREBOR!

    The article you posted was very interesting, thank you. It is interesting to see that as Australia got more wealthy the more assistance/benefits were given which contrasts drastically with todays govt. who are reducing assistance/benefits simply because they have mismanaged Australia and Australia's budget. Instead of making the wealthy pay they have attacked our own who are the most disadvantaged. Sickening.

    I didn't read an account of the Pension Trust fund established by Chiffley and removed by Menzies. Here is a brief account by 'the voice of the people lobby group' who I have NO idea who they are, just search for the Pension Trust and this popped up but it does give some facts about OUR RIGHT to a pension.

    THE TRUTH ABOUT PENSIONS

    TO DISPEL MISINFORMATION CURRENTLY PROMOTED BY PARTY POLITICIANS AND THEIR SPIN-DOCTORS, THE FOLLOWING SYNOPSIS IS FACT:

    1939 TO 1945 World War II.

    1942 to 1943 As a wartime measure, the Federal Government gained sole control over Australia Income Tax.

    1944 Labor Prime Minister, Ben Chifley, introduced 3 Bills to establish the National Welfare Fund, to be financed by a compulsory contribution levy of 1 and 6 in the pound on all personal income. Opposition Leader, Robert Menzies, stated that the compulsory contribution levy should be kept completely separate. That it should be shown separately on the taxation assessment and paid straight into a "Trust" account, and not mixed with the general revenue. Menzies said, "The stigma of charity should be removed from the Age Pension. It should be an entitlement earned by the person's personal contribution to the fund."

    1946 Prime minister Chifley agreed and established, as from January 1, 1946, the National Welfare Fund - a "Trust" fund with the Parliament as "Trustee." The compulsory contributions levy commenced on January 1, 1946. It was shown separately on the personal tax assessments for 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950, and the compulsory levy was properly paid straight into the special "Trust" fund, and welfare claims were paid out of the fund. The balance in the fund in 1950 was almost 100 million pond.

    1949 Robert Menzies became Prime Minister, and he introduced Bills to amend the Acts governing the National Welfare Fund. The compulsory social contributions levy was then grouped with the taxation assessment and appeared as one amount on the taxation assessments, and was paid as one amount straight into Consolidated Revenue. The sabotage of the National Welfare Fund had commenced. The opposition Labor Party had collaborated in this sabotage by remaining silent instead of opposing Menzie action.

    1951 to 1985 The compulsory levy of 7.5% now included in the tax continued to be collected and placed in Consolidated Revenue, and treated as general revenue and spent, until 1985.

    1974 to 1975 Labor Leader, Mr. Whitlam, abolished income tests for all persons 70 years of age and over, and paid pensions to all people over that age.

    1976 The newly-elected Coalition Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, cancelled the Whitlam achievement of abolishing the tests for all who were 70 years and over.

    1977 Malcolm Fraser with Treasurer Philip Lynch transferred the balance in the Welfare Fund account (approx. 470 million dollars) to the Consolidated Revenue account.

    1985 The Hawke-Keating Labor Government repealed acts Numbers 39, 40 and 41 of 1945 (the National Welfare Fund Acts). Thus the funds finally ceased to exist. Yet the 7.55 levy continues to be collected as a proportion of the Income Tax Revenue. It also introduced the much-maligned Income and Assets Test, thereby excluding millions of levy and tax-paying Australians from receiving Social Services pensions. This money - these self-funded contributions - paid as a percentage of the total income tax collections - are to-day worth more than the amount of means-tested pensions paid out. Actuaries have calculated the non-means-tested ENTITLEMENT due to EACH retiree to-day is in excess of $500 per week.

    This surely debunks the politicians and their parties' claims that the younger generation are paying a proportion of their current taxes to cover the payments made to pensioners. The obvious shortfall has been swallowed by the government's taxation black hole.



    INTERESTING but still don't know who or what this Group represents, went to their website but not a lot the wiser.... could be fascists for all I know.
    PlanB
    7th Aug 2015
    9:14am
    Re the Body parts and China, I also read somewhere that the info on all "plebs" (poor) were kept and the Government also had ALL their DNA and if a body part was wanted by the rich --they were taken form the "suitable Pleb" if I find the article I will post it
    TREBOR
    7th Aug 2015
    11:43am
    Well done, Mussitate. That and the article I published should put to rest all the assertions that government 'owns' the pleb's payout, but I fear thre are some who will never be persuaded by fact.

    As for that young guy - I agree - a startling raid that lead to nothing is bound to bring a defense response from a man - especially a young man - and that is clearly what happened there. It is a natural response of a man to defend home and hearth, and that is very, very often abused by those vested with the upholding of law, for several ends, and is something entrenched in 'domestic violence' legislation - the right of the State to attack a man without proper cause and generate that natural response, and then condemn him for it. Very cunning stuff, and a prison officer I spoke to said his facility had around 25% of priusoner in on DV issues - most of them technical or 'corollary charges' such as 'assault police' 'intimidate police' etc, rather than actually hitting someone.

    The issue of men as victims of DIRECT DV (genuine assault) was covered on A Current Affair last night - you can argue the virtue of the program, but the facts remain - a man stabbed by a female partner is still a victim of DV.

    Anyway - too much digression here. I cop flak for these kinds of comments all the time.
    Theo1943
    6th Aug 2015
    9:03pm
    I'm sure there will be a queue of people waiting to offer a welfare recipient $400 cash for their $500 debit card. And many will take it with both hands.
    Anonymous
    7th Aug 2015
    12:19am
    Theo1943
    You devious bugger..... absolutely right. Well done mate.
    CindyLou
    6th Aug 2015
    9:58pm
    Let me get it straight, nobody gets less money, the only change is the form this cash is in...you can buy food, fuel, pay rent and utilities. I wouldn't care, I hardly ever use cash. I'd be grateful to get any benefit...
    PlanB
    7th Aug 2015
    7:26am
    It might be a help for those that spend all the money on booze etc however if those that don't

    --I do not drink or smoke and save to up keep my home and feed myself and pay my bills on time --

    anyone that allows this to happen when there is NO need is a fool as it is the thin end of the wedge, another step towards a BIGGER BROTHER
    Radish
    7th Aug 2015
    11:22am
    I think it would be wise for people to do a bit of research before going off half cocked about what you can or cannot buy with the basics card. A reading of this article below is quite informative.

    We have to bear in mind that it is "voluntary" for pensioners if they wish to have a basics card it is NOT compulsory and it is only a trial at Ceduna at the moment.

    https://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/families-and-children/programs-services/income-management/myths-and-facts-about-income-management
    TREBOR
    7th Aug 2015
    11:45am
    'voluntary' at this time.... watch this space. Best to be prepared than caught sleeping.
    Radish
    7th Aug 2015
    2:45pm
    Too much scaremongering going on here so I am bowing out of this discussion and will leave it to the experts.
    LiveItUp
    7th Aug 2015
    3:01pm
    It should be compulsory for anyone on welfare payments including the age pension. Anything else is discrimination.
    TREBOR
    7th Aug 2015
    7:17pm
    Read the link above, Bonny - then come back to the class room. Take your time.
    bud.pratt37@gmail.com
    7th Aug 2015
    8:24am
    Elderly pensions are not welfare.
    Radish
    7th Aug 2015
    10:12am
    I have done extensive searches on Google and the aged pension is always termed Welfare and it is included as such in the Budget. Welfare payments of all types take up 35% of the yearly Budget.

    If the spending is not reigned in I have read that in 30 years time it will swallow up the whole Budget!

    It is not a right as everyone would get it, wouldn't they! There would be no need for Assets and Income testing. We could change the name of Australia to Greece.
    TREBOR
    7th Aug 2015
    11:56am
    Pensions etc are ONLY termed 'welfare' by those who wish to place them into a handout category rather than an earned Right. What politicians choose to call it is their problem and for obvious political reasons, specifically asserting that they have some 'right' to control it totally - everyone else in government calls it Social Security.

    As above for Bonny - the REAL rules surrounding pensions are that if you have income and assets above a certain amount, you do not qualify - you Retain the Right to the pension IF and WHEN your income falls below a certain level. Capisce? You have the RIGHT to a pension - you simply don't quality if you have too much (shades of Monty Python)....

    Read the link I posted above from the ABS on the History of SOCIAL SECURITY, and the post by Mussitate above as well. Clearly shows you that Australians as a group have contributed all their lives to Social Security through income tax and other taxes, and thus Social Security is a right, and it is the politicians who have failed in their duty to protect, preserve, and extend that quasi-superannuation scheme, by assuming that the 'consolidated revenue' that they poured it in to is just a huge slush fund and has no clear requirements to meet bills.

    If you ran your household that way, you'd be living on the streets, not in palaces with fat retirement packages.

    Radish - you have re-entered here the discussion of HOW retirement funding (pensions and super - and under the system clearly outlined by myself and Mussitate, pension IS (as previously stated) a form of super) should be handled, not the discussion of Entitlement to a pension.

    Let us then pay everyone a Pension as an absolute Right, and treat all income above Pension the exact same for everyone. Think how much we would recoup from politicians past etc...... they'd be paying a tidy little sum in tax in return for getting $20k a year... I'm almost drooling at the idea... thank you for bringing it up again.
    Anonymous
    7th Aug 2015
    1:25pm
    Since the topic is about a "Cashless Welfare Card" - let me say I am in complete agreement with its trial and hope that it proves successful. Too many welfare recipients use taxpayers' money for purposes other than the reasons it was intended, i.e. food, rent, looking after the kids etc. If they are not capable or cannot be trusted,then they must be monitored. Nothing wrong with that IMO.

    Would also like to add that no one is entitled to a pension regardless what many people think - it is not a "right" but a privilege..
    Radish
    7th Aug 2015
    2:23pm
    Agree Ray. I honestly cannot see the problem...there is still cash paid into peoples' account every week/fortnight (20%).

    I find using my debit card to pay for everything is a great idea...I hate carrying cash.
    LiveItUp
    7th Aug 2015
    3:00pm
    Yes agree card is great idea and should be given to all those on welfare including age pensioners. Let's face it some of those are addicted to pokies and then get handouts for food etc when they have gambled the lot. What about the pensioner is a 5 million dollar house that just uses the pension for spending money whilst their kids pay all the bills. Know a few of these too.

    If you get a pension of any sort from the government it is welfare. If you don't want welfare then just simply don't collect it.
    TREBOR
    7th Aug 2015
    7:24pm
    I've already said that in cases of genuine need, there MAY be a requirement for control over spending, but it needs to be on a case by case basis, and not some general over-riding imposition from government at its whim.

    As for 'welfare' - pensioners are not on welfare and you obviously have no intention of reading the history of welfare put out by the government itself, which clearly shows that pensions are a paid for Right.

    It is paid for Social Security and is a form of superannuation scheme installed decades ago - people can spend their pension as they wish. It is also no fault of those people that successive governments have firstly hijacked it into 'consolidated revenue' and then spent it.

    If you borrowed money from a bank and said you'd pay it back when the bank turned 65, at the going rate after inflation and interest - and then reneged on the deal - how do you think you'd go?

    Governments accepted fifty plus years of contributions at the relevant rate at the time - meaning the actual contribution was even throughout - and now you Philistines amongst us wish to claim that the Right to a fair pension for perhaps twenty years is not a valid claim?

    What planet are you from - it's not Earth!
    Anonymous
    7th Aug 2015
    8:38pm
    Ray

    This current government has mismanaged Australia's budget and affairs, have given HUGE HANDOUTS to mining megacorps, used taxpayers funds extravagantly in addition to the speaker of the house going that far overboard with her expenditure, that in 'normal' circumstances this would be called fraudulent and criminal action taken for fraud (put it this way, IF a single mother on Centrelink payments put in an incorrect claim, that could not be substantiated, she would definitely face CRIMINAL charges).

    I would definitely recommend that all representatives of this government be put on a cashless card and every bit of THEIR expenditure examined and checked.

    I am sure you will agree! Particularly as these (greedy) people are earning over three (3) hundred thousand with huge benefits and are living the high life..... whereas, those on benefits are hardly managing on the creasing worth of their payments.
    Anonymous
    7th Aug 2015
    9:50pm
    I do agree with what you say about the present govt Mussitate, and would add the Opposition is not much better. Thanks to dear Bronnie however, the ball has now finally started to roll and I firmly believe we shall see huge reform where these "entitlements" are concerned.

    Although what BB did is of course disgustingly dishonest, it might not be considered criminal by the Courts, since the guidelines surrounding pollies perks are very cloudy. Until this is rectified, I doubt whether any of them will be punished.

    Coming back to your example of a single mother putting in a fraudulent claim, well consider this (don't quote me on this percentage), but I believe almost 40% of Australians receive some form of welfare. Now if they all put in incorrect claims, the system would collapse much sooner than it is headed. So steps to deter people from doing this is IMO quite necessary.
    Anonymous
    7th Aug 2015
    10:09pm
    Trebor

    Both Bonny and Radish are correct when they refer to the pension as "welfare" - although you may object to that term, that's how the govt refers to it. I have copied extracts from two articles for you to have a look, there are many, many more, if you care to do some researching:

    "The Government will continue to provide assistance for families, seniors, people with a disability and carers, and those most in need.The 2014 /15 Budget includes $146 billion of welfare spending, or 35 per cent of Budget expenditure.
    This includes pensions, family payments, unemployment benefits and childcare support.

    http://budget.gov.au/2014-15/content/glossy/welfare/html/welfare_01.htm

    "Even within the welfare budget, the focus areas of the review – disability and workforce payments – are not the main game. The Age Pension costs about $36 billion a year, or one-third of the welfare budget and almost 10% of the entire Commonwealth budget. Payments to families (such as Family Tax Benefit, paid parental leave and childcare support) cost another $26 billion.

    https://theconversation.com/age-pension-reform-needed-for-a-fair-sustainable-welfare-system-22313
    TREBOR
    8th Aug 2015
    11:13am
    Well - I and all my confreres in Australia - many millions of them - paid into a Social Security policy. Whatever some jumped-up twerp chooses to try to re-name it so as to point a finger at it as some 'leaner' handout is not my problem - it is and will remain theirs.

    The long term historical documents refer to it as Social Security - newspaper comments are as worthless as yesterday's fish wrappers.
    TREBOR
    7th Aug 2015
    10:28pm
    W-ELL! That was a good argument! Perhaps the finest thing to come out of this is the solid reality that the current lot of pensioners have contributed to the coffers via income tax for fifty odd years of working life - and that this government superannuation scheme has been hijacked into 'consolidated (or general) revenue' - and has been subverted by politicians of all stamps for several decades now into areas of THEIR ideological governance that it was never meant to be used for!

    It therefore follows that not only is the Pension a Right Bought And Paid For By Contributions for Fifty Years, and is therefore an absolute and unassaillable Right not subject to any government whim - but it is the equivalent of a superannuation scheme - which leads us to the position that all Retirees should be treated equally!

    Can anyone argue that a woman who married and raised a family and kept the home fires burning for fifty years is less entitled to that Superannuation Scheme than any other active contributor to this society and economy?

    On top of that we have arrived at the indisputable conclusion that ALL participants in this society are Taxpayers - and there is ZERO difference between any one individual.

    Now we come to the nub of the matter:- All retirees should be treated equally - in which case all should be receivers of government bought and paid for Pension - and then be treated equally in terms of taxation on excess income.

    There endeth the lesson - and it is the true and final outcome of this policy of 'user pays' for retirement.

    I thank you all for coming.
    TREBOR
    7th Aug 2015
    10:37pm
    I am fully aware that this has nothing to do with the current position of government - of applying restrictions to use of funded moneys in certain circumstances - but the dispute arose, yet again, over Pensioners and Pensioners Rights - and grievously hath the opponents of such answered it! In answering it they have been sent to the gallows of public opinion and of FACT.

    Regardless of whether or not our current Fascist style of government of both parties feels that it has the absolute right to impose at whim and will on the people - it has no such right, and has, rather, a total obligation to abide by the rules.

    We pay for fifty years - we,The Pensioners, are Entitled - and are in no way a 'burden' on following generations! We paid for our forebears and their Pension Entitlements without a complaint - let the current lot do the same or .. piss off!
    LiveItUp
    11th Aug 2015
    12:54pm
    Done all of the above myself so where is my pension? Nope don't get one so it's definitely not a right. That's because it is welfare and only given to those who qualify for it not to all those who have paid for it.
    geomac
    9th Aug 2015
    5:01pm
    Instead of concerning themselves with how welfare recipients spend their small income it might be better if the govt acted on the costly travel rorts by MPs. One Pyne and Hockey trip of a week gets you a dole income for a year. For the one eyed mob one Hockey and Bourke trip and you have the same outcome.
    Its tragically weird that the same ones who scream nanny state seem to be the loudest supporters of a cashless welfare card. It might help say 10% while punishing the other ninety. Pity more thought wasn,t put into retaining local jobs or creating employment with unemployment at 6.3%.
    catsahoy
    9th Aug 2015
    7:35pm
    it probably wont be long before all of us have to do this, we are not meant to enjoy ourselves
    catsahoy
    9th Aug 2015
    8:39pm
    if YOUNG SIMMO IS OUT THERE, PLEASE JOHN, CAN YOU EMAIL ME, URGENT, CANT GET INTO CHOICES SITE AND DONT KNOW WHY, IT IS TELLING ME MY EMAIL IS INVALD AND WONT LET ME TYPE INTO THE OTHER SITE, NEED YOUR HELP DESPERATLY, THANKS, I
    catsahoy
    9th Aug 2015
    8:50pm
    GEOMAC, WILL YOU EMAIL ME PLEASE, HAVING TROUBLE AND NEED SOMEONES HELP, CANT ACESS THE OTHER SIGHT, EMAIL IS harveycat@outlook.com

    9th Aug 2015
    9:13pm
    Today, I saw classic evidence of the ignorance and stupidity of those who conceive these ''thought bubbles'' and try to regulate the lives of others. In a town in northern WA, where alcohol sales are heavily restricted, Aborigines were drinking on a Sunday afternoon. Asked where they got the grog, they replied laughingly, ''the black market'', explaining that they bought a case of alcohol that normally sells for $54 but paid $100 because they bought it illegally. So the family were deprived of $46 more than they would have been deprived of if the grog were legally accessible! Great outcome, fools!

    Is anyone dumb enough to actually believe that people won't find a way around a ''cashless welfare card'' if they have an addiction? Really, people should do their homework before implementing dumb attempts to control the behaviour of others by force or restriction. Cashless welfare cards have been tried and have failed. Costs have been proved excessive and benefit minimal. Why try again? Unless the real goal is, as many suspect, to phase in a food-stamp type system in place of pensions.

    You cannot stop an addict being an addict by trying to prevent access to what feeds his/her addiction. Anyone who understands addiction knows that. And the WORST thing you can do is take away dignity and freedom. The resulting anger and resentment leads to violence and greater cravings. Cravings that can't be satisfied lead to illegal trading, fraud, theft and aggression. The suffering of families increases dramatically. There is no good outcome from measures like this. One would think that Prohibition would have been adequate proof that you cannot control the lives of others by legislation.

    Some day, hopefully, the fools making laws will wake up and consult those who have genuine answers - people who successfully treat addiction. But then, since the real objective is almost always unstated and sinister, it's highly unlikely we will ever see common sense prevail. Instead, we will watch, helpless and frustrated, while ignorant do-gooders and idealists stupidly support programs that are designed to deprive us of our freedom and dignity, downgrade our society, and destroy the way of life we value,
    Sconny
    10th Aug 2015
    11:44am
    agree with all you say meow...because of past bad government I personally am suspicious about motive for any new policy that this rotten government tries to implement...Ceduna is a trial run for something more sinister perhaps ??
    Anonymous
    11th Aug 2015
    10:45am
    What's sinister about wanting to see people get off alcohol and feed their children,what's wrong with trying to curb the misuse of taxpayers' money???
    World Prophet
    10th Aug 2015
    3:42pm
    Holy Moses! I started to read the comments, but ended up scrolling through them. It went from looking at whether the card trial in Ceduna was a good or bad idea, to rants about when the Social Security system started and how it was mutilated over the years that followed, to how bad politicians are and how they should be run out of town, deviated somewhere to stating how Bonny the 'silvertail' didn't understand that what the pension is called makes the world of difference, and through some well founded comments about how any system is open to abuse, to end up who knows where.
    Phew. Back to the card. There is, as far as I'm aware, no actual or implied right that the money given to benefit recipients can be spent at will on anything that takes their fancy. I think it shows a degree of social responsibility on the part of the benefit providers as well as the local government in Ceduna that they want the benefits to be spent on properly sustaining people whilst they are in need. The provision of the benefit is a social contract between those of us who can still contribute and those who are in need, but like all contracts it has two sides. As consideration for getting a helping hand, the recipient should spend it wisely and ethically. Since some haven't, measures are put in place to ensure that the expectations of the givers are met in some way. If recipients don't want to keep to their side of the bargain, should we then be equally entitled abandon ours (e.g. stop contributing to their benefit)?
    geomac
    10th Aug 2015
    5:32pm
    On your logic all travel expenses should be stopped because some MPs rort the system. Good luck getting that logic through with them. It is not a social contract ( your term ) it is a practical and ethical necessity for social cohesion.
    JAID
    11th Aug 2015
    9:23am
    Geomac, it may be a practical necessity or near that but any conduct and ethical position participated in volunarily for social cohesion complies exactly with my understanding of social contract theory. It could be argued that volition is not a significant part of our participation in society but in the face of the potential in this wide land to exit or just go bush and live off the land that does not wash with me. We attach ourselves to this society sometimes unthinking but there is always the potential to balance the value and resist. That resistance is reflected primarily in just the slight sway of superficially different political leaderdship indicates the strength of this slowly evolving contract.
    JAID
    10th Aug 2015
    7:52pm
    The sentiment this approach rides on is laudable. There are people being seriously damaged by abuse of substances who could find this a solution. There are also taxpayers burdened not only by payments to those who cannot find or don't wish to find work who have good reason to expect their generosity not to be wasted or reflected in higher costs again for medical costs to those abused.

    At the same time we all operate differently. Some may, for example, grow their own food, use bulk foods and other materials and make lean demands on other provisioning; they may employ cash in other ways completely without negative impact upon society. Whether they do or not nearly all benefit by learning to deal with their environment. While the aged may feel little need to change, the young grow by it. In this respect the control appears defective.

    That is not to say that it could not be massaged to a useful fit. The extreme example above could simply save their credits and be able to exchange them for cash at regular intervals. A while at that and it would be reasonable to excuse them from the system.

    Waste is rife in our society and a form of debit card would be one way of dealing with that. What would really be necessary for that to work would be a dramatic change in the way we choose and our performance of buyers. That is a change which is unlikely and I think inappropriate in the face of our diversity. I do respect that taxpayers will increasingly need to keep a tighter rein on government spending as demand rises and productive numbers decrease. A tighter rein will not encourage people away from media-supported association of the use of unnecessary products with self worth. It will not encourage purchasing of more wholesome products or more appropriate bulk...it will simply leave some people further in the doldrums of perceived disadvantage.

    I say 'perceived' because a good healthy existence on little income is possible in this time of relatively available and free information and in this land of good health care, space and air.

    This is a test. If used scientifically, while in theory it doesn't sing with me, the only fault I can find in a test is if its subjects have no greater choice than guinea pigs and as constituents apparently don't 'opt-in' I suspect they have no such greater choice. If it is to be I hope results are clear and beneficial.

    As to the ability for the elderly to 'opt-in' that is only a good thing. Choice is always good. Pensioners in the workforce etc. prior to this thinking should never be required to move from the present form.
    World Prophet
    11th Aug 2015
    8:36am
    An eloquent and well balanced post.
    geomac
    11th Aug 2015
    11:41am
    That's the context for Jason Murphy's revelation in Crikey that, on top of their salaries, Australian politicians are spending a staggering half a billion dollars in entitlements each year. Yes, that's right. Half a billion dollars, each and every year.

    To see the consequences of the social gulf between the political class and the rest of the country, you only have to turn from the discussion of parliamentary entitlements to the treatment of welfare recipients, a shift from matters affecting some of the nation's wealthiest people to its very poorest.

    For some time now, the Government has been declaring war on so-called "welfare cheats", with Scott Morrison promising that, after his supposed success with boat turnbacks, he'll now "stop the bludgers". He says he's imposing a tough "welfare cop", and that he's "cracking down on those who want to game the system".

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-11/sparrow-why-were-right-to-maintain-the-entitlements-rage/6687292
    JAID
    11th Aug 2015
    12:38pm
    OT. It seems to me that the only way liberty, harmony and progress can prevail with equity is through enlightened purchasing. Multiples between bottom and top of the tree incomes are silly; thousands of times but they do demonstrably work to improve overall living standards.

    Reducing the differential can come about by fiat but that will not produce happy result Far better to buy knowledgeably; buy right. Every time somebody buys that chocolate at the checkout at tripple a fair price they support this abandonment of commonsense responsibility.

    Political incomes are not really any different. We seek high capability and should pay for it. It makes no sense to single those who have most impact upon our future out for what we may think appropriate balance. That will come if we are smart enough to achieve more appropriate balance across the board.

    To appreciate what an appropriate balance may be we could look at common services. Take dentistry. If a single worker's income satisfactory to basic maintenance of a happy city life were say, $35,000, the average dentist earns 10 to 15 times that, many 20 to 30 times that. With changed expectation, double the basic maintenance level could be thought of as amazing wealth and recompense for what may be achieved. That is only a matter of outlook. The mechanism only a matter of paying what you think a service may be worth while agitating for lowering protection and increasing intermediate trade or professional capability. The buyer has the power.

    In my opinion whatever the differential politicians should be high on the tree and expected to live up to it.

    PS If the half billion figure is correct, the per federal politician cost would be about 2.2 million in so-called 'entitlements'. That is breathtaking or... unbelieveable.
    World Prophet
    11th Aug 2015
    1:30pm
    Try unbelievable
    JAID
    11th Aug 2015
    1:49pm
    Quite right W.P. well caught but that is not the only typo, missed word or other mistake in my messages. A fast but innaccurate typist and idle proof reader even if I could see the text at the resolution and distance my screen is ste. Thanks
    geomac
    11th Aug 2015
    2:16pm
    Crikey
    That $505.5 million represents a significant chunk of the federal budget.

    More than enough to fund the new additions to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme ($375 million in 2015-16); and more than the proposed saving from removing “double dipping” on paid parental leave in 2016-17 ($474 million.)

    It works out at $2.24 million per elected representative. When you consider their base pay is $195,000 (more for ministers/shadow ministers), it suggests around 80% of MPs’ costs are non-salary.

    Of course an MP needs an office, and of course they need to travel for work.

    But we could pay every backbencher $200,000, give them all a budget of half a million dollars for office, travel and staff expenses, then pay 50 ministers and shadow ministers an additional $300,000, and come out at $173 million. That would be a third of the actual cost to taxpayers.

    So what’s happening with that additional $330 million?
    paywall so not much use to some.
    http://www.crikey.com.au/2015/08/10/pollies-spent-506m-on-entitlements-in-2015-16-2-2m-per-mp/
    World Prophet
    11th Aug 2015
    2:22pm
    Ha ha Jaid, I didn't mean a correction. I meant $ 2.2m per pollie in entitlement is a stretch. And FYI, I think it is BOTH breathtaking AND unbelievable.
    Denzel
    11th Aug 2015
    5:58pm
    Its just a card

    Same as cash - but safer

    Get over it people
    LiveItUp
    11th Aug 2015
    7:11pm
    Agree
    geomac
    11th Aug 2015
    7:17pm
    Thats incorrect. Its a restriction of discretion on purchases and a restriction on personal freedom imposed because of circumstance ( welfare ) not necessity. Its a way of saying you are poor and deserve nothing and we know what is good for you even though the we would be outraged at any restriction of any type placed on them. Its the old ploy of kicking the unemployed and the like while doing nothing to create jobs or removing funds for rehabilitation services.
    The same people who are indignant at the suggestion of removing negative gearing or the rent seekers such as Gina and Twiggy are all for restrictions on others but horrified when the gaze goes to them. Its beyond the pale that they should do anything because they are such national treasures at least in their own minds.
    World Prophet
    12th Aug 2015
    8:42am
    Who cares. I'm going to have a glass of wine. Maybe a bit of cheese.
    JAID
    12th Aug 2015
    8:58am
    Sounds good even if a fairly early start W.P.
    World Prophet
    12th Aug 2015
    9:16am
    Well Jaid, as they say - age gets better with wine...

    4th Mar 2017
    8:38am
    Wow! I just found an enlightening article that reveals that this card is all about profit for the LNP. You may have to join to read it at https://theaimn.com/lnp-welfare-card-true-facts-exposed-corruption-disguised-philanthropy/ but it's very revealing.

    Nobody with a conscience would support the idea after reading this.