Early report reveals signs that cashless welfare card trial is working

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The cashless welfare card being trialled in Ceduna, SA, and East Kimberley, WA, has shown signs of promise, with pokie spending down 15 per cent and reduced rates of drug-taking and alcoholism, but is it enough to warrant the program being expanded across Australia?

Early reports seem to suggest that it may well be enough, with around half of the Ceduna community noticing less drinking in the area – in fact, eight out of 10 card users now say they drink less. Around one in five say that they are using illegal drugs less.

The Mayor of Ceduna, Allan Suter, claims that the cashless welfare card is “the best thing we’ve ever had”.

Figures from the report show that spending on pokies has decreased by around $100,000 since the card was introduced to the area. There was also a noticeable decrease in people accessing homelessness services, with 253 seeking help during the last quarter, compared to 491 in the same period last year.

Other positive effects of the trial include more spending on fresh fruit and vegetables, fewer admissions to the sobering-up unit and decreased admissions to the emergency department for alcohol-related issues.

It is worth pointing out, however, that the preliminary report is based on small numbers and specific timeframes. The cashless welfare trial is due to finish in two months, and a full report will be compiled mid-year.

Welfare recipients on the cashless welfare card trial have 80 per cent of their benefits deposited into a debit card. Those benefits cannot be withdrawn as cash, leaving only 20 per cent available to them in physical money. The card, co-designed by indigenous leaders concerned by drug and alcohol dependency and gambling problems in the community, has been widely accepted in Ceduna and the East Kimberley.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge is encouraged by the positive early signs.

“The document is not public yet, but we are encouraged by the progress being made in reducing the gambling and alcohol consumption which underpins so much of the social problems,” said Mr Tudge.

Although the trial exhibits many positive signs, there are still some negative effects. There have been reports of recipients changing their address to bypass the trial, concerns about a black market for cash and instances where a recipient asks a cab driver to charge them double for a fare then requests the difference in cash.

The Greens are concerned that the drop in alcoholism and drug use could lead to increased instances of domestic violence.

“I’d also be very interested to see if there’s any information around the reported rates of domestic violence,” said Independent South Australian Senator Sky Kakoshke-Moore.

Despite mixed reports about the trial’s efficacy and protestors saying that the card is a breach of human rights, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is reported to be considering rolling it out across the country.

Read the Cashless Debit Card Trial overview
Read the Ceduna Mayor’s message

What do you think of the early findings? Would you be happy having your benefits deposited in such a card? Do you think the card is a breach of human rights?

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Cashless welfare card trial in SA

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

Cashless welfare card to be trialled

The government will trial a cashless welfare card in some areas later this year.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

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

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225 Comments

Total Comments: 225
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    Yes – just get on with it.

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    The cashless welfare card should be rolled out to everyone on welfare including OAPs.

    It would help stop women lining up in their PJs at ATMs in the early hours of the morning to get their partners cash for drugs as they fear being beaten themselves or worse still their kids. It would also stop those shonky door to door salesmen preying on OAPs if they couldn’t be taken to the bank to get cash.

    It would also go a long way to help curtail the cash or black economy.

    I’ve heard all those arguments against it before when they wanted everyone to put their welfare money into bank accounts.

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      That won’t cover many at all, OG – since the vast majority are on Social Security and not welfare – only a very few who receive no income etc and no Social Security actually receive welfare assistance via help from charities etc as their means of existence.

      Who are you to even begin to suggest that The Honourable Pensioner or The Honourable Unemployed should be dictated to by Big Brother over how he/she spends his/her money?

      “It would help stop women lining up in their PJs at ATMs in the early hours of the morning to get their partners cash for drugs as they fear being beaten themselves or worse still their kids.”

      Where DO you live, mah man? That is far from the reality for the very vast majority.

      Sometimes you make sense – other time you are just another thieving, closet Fascist who imagines himself better than others – just another one with the snout in the trough from your own reports.

      And a troll to boot.

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      All social security is welfare Trebor.

      Obviously since you are tucked up in a nice warm bed in the wee hours of the morning you would have no notion of people lined up at ATMs.

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      How many such actually do that, and where in Hell (true position) do you live to even begin to see such things? What’s more – how do you KNOW all those women are getting their ‘pay’ to buy drugs or risk bashing, etc?

      You really paint a very wide brush with not paint there, mister.

      THE ONLY WAY YOU COULD KNOW THESE THINGS IS IF YOU ARE PART OF THEM.

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      I’ve seen a lot of CCTV footage of this happening in many areas. When I first saw it I couldn’t understand why these women were so desperate until I was told what was happening.

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      Once again – so this miniscule percentage in that kind of situation (of which you still know next to nothing, since they could be drawing money to buy supplies at 7-11) – means the Big Brother Guv should stamp down on all Social Security recipients?

      The serfs should do as they are told, eh?

      Truly some of you are lost souls….

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      Social Security is bought and paid for – it is not welfare.

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      Nope social security has not been bought and paid for so it is welfare.

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      It’s been explained to you a thousand times – get over it and get back to work, pay some taxes.

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      So we agree social security including the OAP is welfare. Good.

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      Will someone explain to me why OAP is welfare but judges, bureaucrats, ex politicians’ are not. Old Geezer, maybe…

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      Judges, bureaucrats etc are paid for work done whereas OAP is welfare because it is paid for no work done and it’s aim is to help those who have no other means to support themselves.

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      What do you mean, Old Geezer? Age pensioners have worked all their lives, just like judges, etc, what is the difference? The money comes out of the same taxpayers money it is just called by a different name, and remember, the government had to pass an act of parliament to give judges access to a non-contributory pension scheme.

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      You don’t have to have worked to get the OAP but to get the one for judges etc you have to have worked as a judge etc. One is tied to a job whereas the OAP one has nothing to do with a job at all. So OAP is welfare.

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      Try getting your mind around the concept of the communal pot, OG…. the fact of working as a judge does not mean that your current remuneration etc should remain as is.. everything is up for review, you know, in these dire economic times.

      What was set in place in the past must approach reality in the current day – and such things as a lifetime income for politicians is long gone in this day of ‘part-time casual’…….

      Judges are paid enough along to way to fund their own retirement – there is zero requirement to pay them for life……

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      Sorry Trebor. OAP IS WELFARE!
      It’s got NOTHING to do with “working all your life”. I’ve worked all my life and I don’t get the OAP. Why? Because the WELFARE department assess my income and assets and deem that I don’t need WELFARE support!
      Also to quote you “Who are you to even begin to suggest that The Honourable Pensioner or The Honourable Unemployed should be dictated to by Big Brother over how he/she spends his/her money?”

      It’s not THEIR money that they’re spending! It’s money taken from hard working tax payers and given to the needy for the basics of life. If they are spending it on booze, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, or gambling then it needs to be controlled so it is spent on the essentials of life, not products that destroy life!
      If you don’t like the money you receive being controlled then GET A JOB! Then you can spend YOUR money how and on whatever you like!
      Grey Viper

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      Well said GreyViper. I agree. Earn it and then you can spend it how you wish. Welfare is certainly not earned at all.

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      Wrong, Grey Viper. People who need an OAP (as opposed to people who receive one – many of whom shouldn’t) have worked hard all their lives FOR FAR LESS THAN THEY WERE PAID because doing so served the interests of the greedy capitalist masters and enabled overpaid incompetent underperforming arrogant pigs to claim far more pay than they earned.

      Those who were underpaid for their labour for decades DESERVE BOTH SUSTENANCE AND DIGNITY in their old age, and anyone who denies it them is VILE SCUM.

      When our society stops exploiting and pays people what they worth, then your argument will be valid. Not until.

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      Sorry Rainey but you lost me ?? If they got paid what they got paid then how did they work for far less than that? And if they didn’t like working for “greedy capitalist masters” then why did they? No one made them work for them, it was their free choice. If you don’t like it then go and start your own business and work for yourself! No one forces you to work for somebody or company.
      Next, no one is suggesting taking the pension away from anybody, especially those that need it and I don’t see where I, or anyone else, has suggested such a thing. I am happy for the OAP to be paid to our older people when they have reached pension age, I just wish the tax payers were able to afford to pay pensioners more! I am also extremely glad that I worked hard, saved and invested all my life and I don’t need to rely on the OAP. I am in a very fortunate position to be able to support myself and my wife and live a good lifestyle but luck had very little to do with it. I started planning for my retirement when I was 17 and didn’t leave it until I was in my late 50’s when it is too late!
      Who are these “greedy capitalist masters” and “overpaid incompetent underperforming arrogant pigs” who claimed “far more pay than they earned” that you worked for? And why would anyone work for decades for someone who was underpaying them? You’re certainly bitter and angry at someone and you have my sympathies.
      However, it doesn’t alter the fact that some people are spending their welfare on the wrong things and the government has a right to try and ensure that tax payers money (remember the government doesn’t have any money that it didn’t take from somebody else or borrow overseas) is being spent on appropriate things. I don’t want to take away ANYBODY’S OAP!

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      GreyViper, you have to excuse Rainey, if you had the opportunity to have read previous posts by this Muppet you would have come to the undeniable conclusion that Rainey’s only purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others.

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      GreyViper, you are being rather absurd! Firstly, it people don’t work, how do they exist in this capitalist society? On ”welfare”? If they don’t work, they have to evidence disability or trying unsuccessfully to find work, and accept whatever the system deems they should accept, or they are cut off and starve.

      They DON’T HAVE CHOICES. The less advantaged HAVE TO WORK IN SHIT UNDERPAID JOBS ALL THEIR LIVES, because the system denies them any other option.

      Secondly, most of the lower paid work for far less than they contribute. If they didn’t, the capitalist system would fail because the capitalist masters couldn’t make any profit.
      Anyone in this country who doesn’t know who the ”greedy capitalist masters” and ”overpaid incompetent underperforming arrogant pigs” are is bat-eyed and ignorant in the extreme. I wouldn’t even bother to answer such an idiotic question.
      As for your claim of superiority – lucky you to have been ABLE to plan and save from age 17. You are VERY lucky that somehow you were able to acquire knowledge to do that.

      You seem to think that it’s only the irresponsible who don’t. You are wrong. Plenty of folk CAN’T save because they are paid too little, they have illness or disability that stops them earning and/or imposes huge costs, they have very sick children who cost the earth, a bushfire or flood wipes out their assets…. it goes on and on an on. Egomaniacs will continue to denigrate the battlers, but your chest beating only identifies you as selfish and vile and thoroughly dishonest (intentionally or simply out of sublime ignorance!)

      As to spending welfare on the wrong things – many do. Many also spend wages and business profits on the wrong things. And many claim tax benefits dishonestly or unethically to spend on the wrong things. Come to that, though, who the hell made you GOD, and allowed you to determine what spending is wrong. I have a friend who was given a death sentence from cancer 19 years ago – told he had 1 year at best. He started taking cannibas in large quantities, and he’s alive and well and working part time today. Take his Cannibas because his spending is ”wrong”? Another friend drinks a lot of alcohol, with his doctor’s approval as it happens, because it kills physical and mental pain and makes him sleep. Alternative is expensive and harmful prescription drugs. Take his ”medicine” away because society thinks it’s wrong to drink? Leave him in agony? Why? He’s hurting nobody, and he will still draw the exact same pension if he stops drinking and takes prescribed drugs instead. Oh, but he’ll suffer like hell and probably die younger, and arrogant ego-inflated arseholes would be happy about that!

      Stop making it all about the less well off! The government CAN’T regulate what people spend on because the privileged would never allow their spending to be regulated. And they take just as much, if not more, from the public purse as anyone claiming a pension. Superannuation tax concessions cost MORE than the aged pension. Negative gearing concessions are expensive for the nation.

      Pensioners pay tax too – a much higher proportion of their lifetime income, in most cases, than the better off. Afford them some dignity.

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      Typical moronic rant,but good comic value

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      I’d like to know who those ”greedy capitalist masters” and ”overpaid incompetent underperforming arrogant pigs” are too as I have never come across any of them myself.

      Genuine wealthy people are some of the generous people I know. My best friend is a very wealth person and very generous to many people.

      Your rants do however give me my daily dose of laughter medicine.

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      Rainey, I am really shocked when I read some comments by the callousness, ignorance and selfishness of some people here. No wonder the world is going to hell now that there are so many people all over the world for who have no hearts. They must be incredibly unhappy individuals. Compassion and a “fair go” seem to have disappeared from the Australian culture but fortunately there are still some good people in the world. I’m just glad I’m old and will be dead before long because it is painful to watch what has been happening in Australia for the last 30 years or so.

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      Rainey, you poor sad little man. Suppressed by THE MAN, forced to work in the salt mines for 14 hours a day for threepence halfpenny a week, living in a tea chest at the end of a dark alley and living on food scraps thrown out by others. It must have been a tough life and now you’re bitter at the world and anyone who was successful and made a few dollars is a “greedy capitalist master” or an “overpaid incompetent underperforming arrrogant pig”. There’s no discussing things with someone as bitter and twisted as you so I will not be wasting anymore of my less than valuable time bothering to read any of the drivel posted by you. I feel sorry for people who blame everybody else for their own problems!

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      I’m not bitter or twisted GreyViper. I’ve had a tough life, but a good life and I’m in a great place now and very happy. I just hate the egomaniacal narcissists who can’t tell it like it is but try to excuse a vile and disgusting society in which the rich claim all and treat those who work to keep the nation going as slaves.

      I don’t blame anyone for my problems. I actually don’t have many problems. But I know how many people in this nation do have problems because of vile greedy self-serving narcissistic egomaniacs who rort the system for their own gain and then treat the less fortunate with contempt.

      No, not everyone who makes a few dollars is a ”greedy capitalist master” or an ”overpaid incompetent underperforming arrogant pig”, but a great many are. Enough, it seems, to drive government to think it’s acceptable to treat pensioners with contempt and strip them of their self respect, steal their houses, and bash them down every time they try to get up.

      Shame on you for defending the indefensible and lacking the integrity, respect and human decency to recognize that the real value in this society is from the low paid battling workers, and not the wealthy SCUM.

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      Rainey I agree with GreyViper you certainly have an axe to grind with someone or something from the past. You are very jealous of anyone that has succeeded in life but peace will only come when you realise that there will always be people who have done better than you.

      One’s worries and concerns are still there as they always have been but age has taught me the wisdom of using them to my advantage. Patience and belief in what you are doing are such powerful tools and help me overcome what many others seem to fail to do. You can call me all the names you can think of and try to put me down but my own personal belief system allows me to rise above such things. It also allow me to say what I think not what I think others want me to say as I don’t crave the gratitude of others.

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      Congratulations, OG. What a pity your experience doesn’t help you to think logically and make intelligent comment, rather than ill-informed rubbish!

      I am not jealous of anyone. I have no reason to be. I have everything in life that is worthwhile and brings happiness INCLUDING experiences of hardship, crisis, trauma, and extreme hurt that enable me to be tolerant, understanding, empathetic and compassionate towards those not so well off, and to have respect for the people who make this nation great.

      I condemn the greedy, selfish, arrogant bastards who make life miserable for others – you included. And I will never stop defending the rights of workers to retain the homes they spend 3+ decades paying for, the right to a dignified retirement after 4 or 5 decades of hard work and paying taxes, and the right of the disadvantaged to live with dignity and in reasonable comfort at the expense of the more fortunate. Neither will I ever stop accusing and denigrating the selfish, arrogant mongrels and the cheats and manipulators who make life in our society unpleasant and who seek to retain an unjust and destructive social and economic system.

      I don’t crave the gratitude of anyone, nor their approval. I just tell it like it is – like it REALLY is, and not how the LNP trolls and Neoliberals would like us to believe it is.

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      Rainey I agree with GreyViper and OG you need help to resolve all those issues you have that are affecting your life. You need to be able to put all the bad stuff behind you to be able to enjoy the rest of your life few of that bitterness you have stored up. I certainly admire OG as he obviuosly has overcome what you need to overcome.

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    This is almost a bigger joke than Turnbull being the PM. The tossers with th cashless welfare cards wil buy groceries and sell them at a discounted price for cash for buying grog, drugs, and gambling, just like they do with stolen goods.

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      Maybe but it is so much better than bashed women being forced out of bed in the wee hours of the morning standing at ATMs in their PJs just to get their welfare money for their partners drug habits.

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      Perhaps Eddie, but will agree mostly with old geezer, lets just do it, if it helps to ‘defend’ the well being of some then it has to be OK.

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      Ah, Stoker – so the possibility of making things better for 0.001% of Social Security recipients in clearly defined situations somehow means that this idea should be extended to all?

      Truly you petty Fascists know no bounds. The government doesn’t OWN Pensioners and Unemployed – nor does it employ them in some fashion – the government is simply paying out the bills as due for Social Security.

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      Me thinks me has heard all these arguments before when they wanted to put welfare into bank accounts.

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      Politicians are stooooopid

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      Daylight saving fades curtains too.

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      it will create a tribe of bashed woman who suffered for the fact that they needed the precious 20% for fresh vegies or kid’s school books and couldn’t give it to hubby for grog. Anyone who supports this knows NOTHING about the lives of the people it is being forced on and is totally arrogant and self-serving in the extreme – and supporting a concept that will destroy our society completely, as it has done in the USA.

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      Rainey they can give them the 20% they have in cash as they have80% left on thier welfare card to buy all those things which is a lot better than the nothing they have now. Ever wondered why charity give out vouchers or pay bills and not give people cash? OG is right on this cash is the problem.

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    a. As long as you continue to follow the City Hall line of deliberately confusing Social Security with welfare, this is difficult to discuss. Welfare is the intention or aim of providing well-being – Social Security is the method chosen to offer payments and certain subsidies to achieve that end. The use of the pejorative American term “welfare’ has no meaning in the context of our Social Security system.

    b. Providing benefits according to whom? Never heard of a government initiative yet that doesn’t trumpet (sic) its success, real or not. Look at the ‘debt’ recovery system – what a complete farce but operating according to schedule and to program.

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    Is this a case of a good program or is it a case of good spin doctoring? If the benefit of the doubt is applied, then the full roll-out must be looked at. In saying that, what also must be done is to advise which group the trials have been tested on. Surely not all Australians who receive support are caught up in the web of drugs, alcohol and partner bashing? It may be more difficult to enforce but maybe the voucher system, with limited cash, should only be applied to those who are known to be excessively using drugs or alcohol.

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      ‘Alan Tudge’ – no more need be said…. it’s spin pure and simple. You’re talking about the man who defends to the last ditch the current ‘debt’ recovery system employed by Centrelink, even after it has been shown to be based on a false premise, and the amounts involved – allegedly – per recipient are patently absurd.

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      You may be right TREBOR but I think that those who have been overpaid need to reimburse the government. There will certainly be a group that has been overpaid as well as a group which has wrongly been called upon to repay a debt which doesn’t exist. I wonder what the real percentage is of those who have been wrongly accused. Is the group that has been overpaid trying to stir up the do-gooders into stopping the program so they can get off scot free? I don’t believe the numbers put out by either side at present.

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      IF they have been overpaid – according to the reports so far, the entire problem is that this government has imposed the regime that if you were paid Unemployment Benefit for a portion of the year but then found work, you owe your Unemployment Benefit back as a loan, since they have decided to calculate your entire year’s income in determining your eligibility for fortnightly benefits for a limited duration.

      That is a lie by another name, and is outright robbery.

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      TREBOR, we read different articles presumably. Yes, the annual pay is divided by 26 where an employer has failed to provide sufficient information as to the exact dates worked because of sloppy bookkeeping or no longer in business. Where an employer has provided accurate information that rule does not apply.

      Nothing is perfect in this world, TREBOR, and where there is insufficient data, another way must be found. If that way is not 100% correct the persons wronged should have enough information to correct it. Some people never keep pieces of paper and those should be dealt with in a different way perhaps. As I said earlier, I’d like to see the actual figures for those who are innocent, have had an employer who is a sloppy bookkeeper or has gone out of business and don’t keep any paperwork.

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      You mean some of these employers are doing a 7/11 and ‘ghosting’ the wages of employees so as to pocket the difference? Wow….

      You just pointed out the fallacy of dividing annual wage by 26 – totally wrong since most recipients of Social Security with a job would not we working full-time but would be casual.

      It is entirely possible and even probable that they could not earn enough MOST fortnights to lose anything, then work a few peak periods and earn enough to lose part of Social Security.

      THAT is precisely why ‘averaging annual income’ is totally false.

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      Trebor averaging income is a good idea as it highlights those who need to further justify their welfare claim. With over 85% doing the wrong thing it is a good initiative by Centrelink. All you have to do is sign a stat dec that you have notified Centrelink correctly and then it becomes a legal matter and they have to prove you made a false declaration in the courts before they can persue it further. That’s the legal advice I have been given by a legal eagle.

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      Indeed, Bonny – it MAY trigger an alert – but that alert should NOT be turned into an instant demand for proof from the person involved. that is a step too far.

      All averaging should realistically do is suggest – not confirm – that there may be a problem and that a review is now MANDATORY – and that Centrelink should sit pat on that hand until that review is undertaken, with both sides putting their cards on the table, instead of Centrelink, who have every detail on record and total access to ATO records, holding their cards to the chest and refusing to even look at them.

      You can’t win a game of cards by not even looking at your own hand, unless you are pointing a gun at the other person.

      Easy to understand….

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      Let’s look at a cleaner in a caravan park… he/she spends most of the year doing 1-2 days a week, sometimes not incurring enough income to not be paid full Social Security benefit. At peak times such as holidays for schools etc, that job suddenly moves to full-time…. and some fortnights no Social Security benefit is paid…

      Does the annual average truly reflect the income of that person and their entitlement to Social Security payments?

      NO!

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      It is an audit and you only get a bill if you fail to respond to that review letter. Simply respond to that review letter as requested and that is the end of the matter.

      YES the annual average would reflect the income of your cleaner. It would probably help them as the averaging would not pick up those few weeks of full time work. One is suppose to notify Centrelink if they go over a certain amount in any fortnight. If it picked up this hadn’t happened then they have done the wrong thing.

      Good on Centrelink for doing these audits.

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    Just let them try doing this with me!

    I’m a ‘white’ female with post-school education who doesn’t smoke, drink alcohol, gamble, or do illicit drugs!

    I have a budget which is working & I pay ALL my bills on a fortnightly basis so that I never have to request extensions to pay them.

    Rather than foisting this on ALL pensioners, let them have a financial health interview to let us out of this ridiculous scheme.

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      SuziJ with all the things you don”t do one wonders why you need welfare in the form of a pension.

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      I’m with you SuziJ. I’m also a ‘white’ female with post-school education who doesn’t smoke, or do illicit drugs! I do occasionally drink alcohol, & gamble in the form of lotteries. No pokies or racing for me. All my bills are paid in advance and there is always food in the cupboard. I have a fund for emergencies for when disaster falls.
      Welfare cards should be used for those with kids (many go without breakfast before school) or for those that are struggling to pay for utilities or rent.

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      Welfare cards should be used for everyone on welfare including OAP as the government has a right to know where people are spending their money and that it is being spent on what it has been given to be spent on. Welfare is given to those with no other means of support so that they can have the basics of life.

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      The government has NO right to know where they are spending THEIR money, OG – any more than they have the right to know where you spend yours.

      Once again, truly the mindset of some here is amazing – you seem to imagine that drawing your rightful Social Security Entitlements means you are totally beholden to the government of the day, rather than the other way around.

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      TREBOR, You miss the point here, welfare is a PRIVILEGE not a right! So it is totally reasonable that the Government knows where my and your tax dollars are being spent!

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      Social Security is a right – welfare is when you go to the Smith St Vincalvos for help – at which point it is a privilege.

      Get your mind right, Pablo… what we have here is a failure to communicate…

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      Collecting welfare including OAP is no different than going to Vinnies for help which as you say is a privilege. It is given to your for a purpose so the government has a right to check that it is being spent as intended.

      Big difference from what I earn as it’s not the taxpayer’s money and has been earn not just given because I have no other means of support.

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      In that case, so is collecting your super….. it’s been subsidised along the way…. it owes back into the system.

      This is the last time I’ll tell you this – Social Security is a bought and paid for Right over a lifespan of work.

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      As I have little super then it is not a concern to me.

      Social security is nothing but welfare and certainly not a bought and paid for right. I have paid for it many times over but still get zilch so it is not a right.

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      Well – I’m considering buying a load of demo timber to build a deck – would need to hire a truck out of my next pension – just let some twerp in a suit try to tell me I can’t spend MY money, that I’ve paid for out of my taxes over fifty years, where I see fit.

      I told you it was the last time, OG – you are totally wrong as usual.

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      You should have no problem hiring a truck using your welfare card if the trucking company is doing the right thing and not working in the black economy. If it is then you are committing fraud by using them.

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      I’ve got my own card and my own decision-making on how I spend it – two controlling my money is one too many…. there’s not enough involved to incorporate that… If I had a ‘welfare card’ I couldn’t use it to rent a truck…. thanks for coming….

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      Something is very dodgy about that truck you are renting then.

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      “The basics of life”, Old Geezer, according to the Human Rights Commission are, that all are equal and the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. That seems to me to to cover welfare recipients as well.

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      Pablo, all politicians are paid on your tax dollars and that has never been a right so maybe politicians should be paid by card and not money.

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      Triss welfare has nothing to do with discrimination at all.

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      Only when a ‘government’ for ideological reasons, seeks to turn it from a Right into some form of handout.

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      It is not a right but is welfare.

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      And tax rebates and concessions and paid parental leave and family allowances and a million other handouts to the wealthy are WEALTHFARE, and we need to sort that out before attacking those who have a genuine need and a MORAL RIGHT.

      Let’s stop talking about the definitions created by corrupt lawmakers and the disgusting elite and talk about MORAL ENTITLEMENT.

      The OAG IS AN ENTITLEMENT. Any moral person, with integrity and decency, would agree. Only the self-serving greedy egotistical rip-off bastards who take far more than their share of communal wealth refuse to recognize MORAL RIGHTS.

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      OAP is not an entitlement it is welfare to support people who can’t support themselves in old age. I don’t agree eith any of those other payments either. A family earning $50,000 a year gets far more in benefits than any tax they pay. I something think it is only mugs like me who actually pay ta and full price plus extras for everything. I therefore accept any discount being offerred with gratitude as I know I have paid more than my fair share elsewhere. Yes being an old lady people just assume I am an OAP where ever I go now. Maybe a welfare card would be a disadvantage to me as I wouldn’t get so many discounts offered as I wouldn’t have one.

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    No, all they are doing is trying to impose more restrictions and tighter controls over the aged pensioner so they don’t get to enjoy their twilight years. The politicions make sure they don’t have any restrictions placed on them selves otherwise they wouldn’t be able to float around the country at taxpayers expense – Max Jackwitz

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    Yes, ALL benefits for EVERYONE (not just Aboriginals) should be paid on a card that won’t allow them to use the money for drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and gambling! This is NOT just an Aboriginal problem, it is a problem for EVERYONE on benefits!

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      Why, Pablo, is it a ‘problem’ for everyone? You’ll need more than rhetoric to come up with that, my son.

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      If some old bastard wants to sit in the club and drink a beer and play the pokies after he/she’s paid their bills – how is it any business of yours or anyone else’s?

      Some of you people truly live in the most bizarre Mindland….

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      TREBOR, just walk around Sydney City any time of the day, but particularly at night, as well as the railway stations and you will see the extent of the problem. And I assume you don’t see or know of anyone who spends their dole/single mothers benefit on grog, drugs, cigarettes and then cries poor mouth at the local Salvos or Vinnies to get more handouts. I see this all the time and it makes me so angry that the taxes I pay go towards crap like this!

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      That’s what the 20% cash is for Trebour. Should be more than ample.

      How do they know who is responsible and who is not? They don’t so protect everyone.

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      There are countless reasons for homeless people etc… most often it is some kind of mental issue. I recall clearly when working in Sydney CBD years ago, there was a regular who walked around in filthy bare feet muttering… harmless but lost…

      The few who spend ALL their dole money on that stuff would soon starve to death…. and never forget how much taxes they pay when they buy a flagon or a pack of ciggies…. or even stoke the pokies….

      Ban all those cash cows for government and the economy would crash.

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      You haven’t explained how and why the denizens of the streets mean there is some problem for everyone…….

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      Listen, Pablo, there are many people who don’t drink, smoke, take drugs or gamble but regardless of that, in my opinion, anyone who needs to make a section of the community into second class citizens in order to feel good about themselves needs an intesive course of therapy.

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      Triss it certainly doesn’t make me feel good seeing those women in their PJ waiting at ATMs in the wee hours of the morning to get their welfare money so that they or their kids don’t get hurt. These women probably don’t take drugs, drink or gamble as all they are doing is looking after their own welfare and that of their kids.

      How many OAPs are subjected to elder abuse for their money too? I’ve seen too much of it myself to know that cash to these people doesn’t help them as it should.

      Yes the people are second class citizens that are bullied by others for the welfare they receive. Cash is the problem here and no amount of therapy will help them keep it.

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      Old Geezer, you really should get out more into the real world instead of watching women in their nightclothes on TV.

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      That Judith unfortunately is the real world in the wee hours of the morning. May I suggest you get out of your warm cosy bed in the middle of winter and check it out for yourself.

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      Any single one of you got proof that there are all these women standing at ATMs under standover pulling their brass to buy drugs?

      And what does that have to do with the overwhelmingly vast majority of Social Security recipients?

      If you know of people being stood over for their money – report it and do something.

      Again, OG – how do you KNOW these women are getting money for those reasons you state?

      I spent many years doing security runs in every area of Sydney – and NEVER ONCE SAW ANY SUCH THING.

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      Trebor you were simply not looking then. You see them pull up and get out of the passenger aside of the car and check their balance every few minutes until they get the cash. Then it is handed over to them male driver.

      Police know all about it and you see them drive by and something park up the road and watch the proceedings. There is nothing they can do without the victim coming forward and lodging a complaint.

      Don’t start my on all those who put all their welfare through the pokies. We all know about these people.

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      So let’s now create a tribe of women and kids who are bashed daily because hubby can’t get money for grog, or kids who are bashed daily because Mum can’t get money for her pokie habit. You people are fools. You have no idea what life is like for the people the cards are being forced on, and no concept of how to resolve social problems, much less economic problems.

      The single WORST thing anyone can do to someone who has a bad habit is take away their dignity and self-control. The single surest recipe for social disaster – and quite possibly civil war, in fact – is to strip large numbers of people of their dignity and control over their spending choices.

      Stop being so vile and judgmental, you self-serving egomaniacs, and show some respect for others. Nobody could be more vile, cruel and disgusting than someone who supported denying decent, responsible pensioners control over their lives and the respect they deserve in old age.

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      Bonny, I worked at the coal face of domestic violence for nearly 12 years so I do have a clue. This will do nothing to help decrease domestic violence in MOST communities. The places it has been trialled until now have had general support from community leaders, and I assume most of the rest of population, in fairly small communities. Totally different situation to what the result would be in the rest of Australia without community support in place.

      This is a pointless policy to make the lives of already stressed people even more stressful. We should be making life difficult for the businesses which are not paying tax rather than beating up the poor who are in their situation because of poor life choices, exploitation, mental illness, health problems and in some cases limited life opportunities because of poor parenting or poor education. Stop being so mean because it will make you unhappy.

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      Well said, Judith. Good to hear from someone who knows what they are talking about.

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      How would taki g away the problem cash make people’s lives more stressful? There is no cash available to be bashed up for.

      Why would I be unhappy or mean? Makes no sense to ne at all.

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    Seems to me from certain of the Usual suspect comments here – we need a Pensioners Rights Association… and Party associated with it…..

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      Welfare is given for a purpose and it is obvious that that purpose is not being adhered to so strings need to be attached to it. The welfare card is a good idea.

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      Social Security is paid under certain conditions as a right in a case of need such as unemployment, and as a right once retired at a certain age with a certain level of assets.

      What people do with their own money once they receive it is none of the business of government*, and if a very few choose to abuse their own money, that in no way indicates any ‘need’ to foist this petty tyranny on all.

      Which raises the question:- if the Indigenous communities involved in this ‘trial’ are actually benefiting – nobody has yet given details of how this is so…. and as a matter of ethics and morals, should these communities be subjected to this tyranny, rather than given the chance through consultation and real assistance to resolve their issues for themselves?

      But I suppose Blacks are just children, and we need to continue The White Man’s Burden, and then extend it to Social Security recipients as well.

      Why not just gulag the lot and send them the the gas house?

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      Many whites are like children too Trebor.

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      So that means we NEED them to be controlled?

      Fascist…..

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      I don’t think so Old Geezer-I don’t think there is any accountability requirement-I think you can do what you like with the money.

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      That’s the problem Oliva people are not spending their welfare on the purpose to which it has been given. Drawing it all out and giving it all up to save a beating is just not acceptable.

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      How does an ‘accountant’ get to see all these things on CCTV? Today Tonight/A Current Affair?

      If you know of people being stood over for their Social Security money – NAME THEM to the police for action.

      Again – such a miniscule percentage of Social Security recipients in that situation does not even make a single stroke towards imposing tyranny on all….

      I’m glad they rejected you for jury duty, OG and co – I dread to think what you’d be like there….

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      I don’t work as an accountant for anyone but myself. Being a respected member of my community I get shown and told all sorts of things.

      I have never been rejected for jury duty and have even served on a jury a couple of times.

      One was a case where a person told fibs to Centrelink and I still can’t work how they got away with so much for so long. I’m talking hundreds of thousands over more than 15 years. No wonder they are now checking ATO records and who owns what assets.

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      One sparrow fart doth not endemic social security rorting make.

      Easy solution – pay all the pension, no questions asked, and tax all income and perks over and above that, and make all government pensions subject to the same tests…. story ends.

      So security people using cameras on streets and banks breach their code for you, OG? And you have nothing better to do with your time than go around making such contacts and looking over CCTV footage that is protected, private and personal and governed by rules?

      For some years my daughter has been a supervisor in one of those centres…. like accessing government records without proper right, the sentence for releasing information is up to two years in prison…. I signed the official secrets act many years ago…. and we all know (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) that ‘insiders’ always get shown and told stuff they have no right to….

      I had occasion, some years back, to call in the troops over leaks of service records from central records to ‘insiders’ and ‘mates’, who then launched campaigns against other ex-service people. Look at some of the nonsense that gets around – the President of the NSW RSL was once vilified as being ‘just a cook’…. one branch of the VVAA was vilified as ‘full of liars’…. all to satisfy the delusions of a few cited as ‘public servants, police officers and veterans’…. the majority not even of the ex-Service community and NONE of whom, as a group or as individuals without legal permission, has any right to any of that information. Any ‘public servant’ working with those records who reveals any could be sent down for two years and sacked from their job, and the same applies to any recipient of any such information – without court approval – handed out.

      Be careful of what you speak.

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      Trebor so I’m not allowed to view my own CCTV footage. First time I have heard that one.

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      OG, who said ”welfare” isn’t being used as it should be? You are not GOD. And you haven’t surveyed millions of pensioners to find out what they spend on and why. You have no idea what you are on about. The vast majority of pensioners – especially age pensioners – ARE responsible. They are perfectly capable of managing their affairs.

      It’s very easy to make stupid ill-informed assumptions about matters about which you know absolutely NOTHING. When you’ve walked in the shoes of those impacted by these vile proposals, you learn things are not always as they appear. Here’s just one example. A man I know spends quite a bit on alcohol. He is classified, medically, as addicted. So give him a ”cashless welfare card”? Why? He drinks to deal with psychological problems and physical pain. His doctor says his choices are drugs or alcohol, and the latter is less damaging. Now, take away his alcohol, past experience shows he becomes violent and destructive. But let him have his quota every day, he participates in society in a productive and responsible way and his family are happy.

      You people who support bashing victims of social failure make far too many wild assumptions and generalizations. You are too judgmental. And you look for quick fixes that are, in fact, recipes for disaster. Go and live among these people and learn who they are and why they do what they do and you’ll change your ideas in a hurry. (Well, some will. Brainless stubborn narcissists won’t! Sadly, it takes intelligence to make open-minded assessments of information and come to valid conclusions.)

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    How easy is it to get people going on this site! The only suggestion that the cashless welfare card be rolled out to pensioners came from Old Geezer. And off you go on your indignant rants with unsubstantiated accusations about how recipients would manage to ‘get round the system’ and immediate defence of your own spending habits. I don’t have one of these cards BUT I seriously doubt that taxi drivers would be on the list of ‘permitted’ retailers.

    I should not be surprised any more that no matter how positive a report, contributors always manage to come-up with negatives to it. This is as far fetched as the Greens quoted in the article that restricting alcohol, gambling and drug use (all well known and accepted long standing causes of domestic violence) actually leads to more domestic violence! Its almost as if the Greens are willing it to be so rather than taking the indicators that there may be a positive outcome of this trial.

    How about everyone just take a deep breath, settle down and wait on the final report before mustering every ounce of indignation as you get on your high horse about something that may never happen.

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      You forgot Gauleiter Pablo – he wants the cash gulag for the peasants as well…

      A fine rant there, KSS – but where do you actually stand on this issue? I have no intention of justifying my spending habits – off to buy some beer later – it’s hot as hell here today and I’ve done my bit already – but I have every intention of refusing to accept the nonsense from petty backyard Fascists here who imagine everyone but they should be subjected to strict rules over their own money.

      I’ve told you before – OG is a Labor plant set to stir things up – nothing else could possibly explain his often whimsical musings on the application of a Fascist regime here to control every aspect of everyone’s life but those of the chosen. By doing this he is actually fostering revolt against this LNP government.

      Hunger Games for real… not a great literary effort, but an interesting story..

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      Yes taxi drivers will accept it with the half price vouchers a lot of people now have. If they don’t ubber will and that just would not do. Taxi industry has had it too good for too long si it’s great to see same competition. Charging 10% plus in fees to use a credit card is exploitation.

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      Trebor didn’t OG say he doesn’t vote. So how could he be aligned with any party as he is not helping either by not voting.

      OG represents thise of us who support themselves and are sick of whinging OAPs.

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      Just another law-breaker, Bonny……… OG self-admits if he is Australian and doesn’t vote.

      We should simply put all your retirement funds into the communal pot and dole it out to all equally….. meantime the OAP community has every right to complain when they are hounded daily by stupid government.

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      BTW – How would OG have been on a couple of juries if he is not on the electoral roll to vote?

      You see – the trouble with making up stories is that you need to know your facts first and then be consistent… if you continually come up with plugs to fill the gaps that are evident, people begin to KNOW when they are being sold a line.

      Epic fail, people…. you missed it. Perhaps OG and Bonny don’t exist in reality?

      That should get you going.

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      I am on the electoral roll to vote as anyone who has a driver’s licence is automatically enrolled to vote now. I have been wondering what happens when you lose your licence do they take you off the electoral role?

      I simply turn up have my name crossed off and put the blank paper in the box as I can’t see the point of voting is such a rigged system.

      I don’t make up stories at all so have no gaps to fill. No idea what Bonny does.

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