Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declared the Federal Government’s cashless welfare card trials a “success” and “an exercise in compassion and in love”.
A third trial is already planned for another region in Western Australia.
A reduction in alcohol consumption, illegal drug use and gambling are just some of the reasons behind the Federal Government advocating the cashless welfare card.
“Almost half of all drinkers are drinking less, almost half of all gamblers are gambling less and the same with the drug users,” said Human Services Minister Alan Tudge.
A 300-page report released last Friday revealed that the card had considerable positive effects on both the Ceduna and Kununurra communities. As a result, a third trial site has already been chosen in Western Australia’s Goldfields region.
However, the report showed that one third of participants felt that their lives had worsened with the welfare card system and only 17 per cent of participants felt their children’s lives had improved.
WA Council of Social Services Chief Louise Giolitto said the trials of the cards had shown mixed results and the cards carried negative connotations.
“What you are finding is that people who have addictions, alcohol addictions, they’ll sell the cards that maybe are worth $200 for $100 and they are leaving themselves with a lot less cash,” said Ms Giolitto.
The Federal Government said that trials of the welfare card would be region by region instead of an entire country roll-out.
What do you think of the welfare card? Should it be rolled out faster nationwide or is the Federal Government taking the right course of action in slowly rolling out the welfare card?