Misconceptions around Cashless Debit Card quashed

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has moved to clarify a number of misconceptions surrounding the possible expansion of the Cashless Debit Card announced in this week’s budget.

“The exact parameters of the card rollout will be determined through community consultation, but will generally not apply to aged pensioners and those receiving a disability or DVA payment,” he said.

“Some of the misinformation I’ve seen on social media – often from people that don’t even live in the electorate or are hiding behind fake Facebook accounts – is that the card can’t be used at mainstream stores. This is incorrect.

“The card is designed so it can be used anywhere, just like any other normal bank card, except for the purchase of alcohol, gambling products or to withdraw cash.

“These are the only restrictions, so you can still use the card as you would normally for all other purchases.”

Mr Pitt said there are claims the card can’t be used for bills like car registration or electricity bills.

“Again, this is incorrect. The Cashless Debit Card can be used just like any other card to pay bills.”

Mr Pitt said if Hinkler was selected for the card the Government would work with the community to ensure that the balance is right and to establish what additional services are needed to help those on welfare.

“At the end of the day, this is about ensuring better outcomes for the community, as well as individuals, their children and families receiving welfare.”

At the trial sites at Ceduna and the East Kimberley, the additional services put in place included drug and alcohol services, a 24/7 mobile outreach, and financial counselling.

“The card works to stop the cash going to alcohol, gambling and drugs, while the services are put in place to support people to get off their addictions or help them manage their money better.

“I’ve asked for people’s feedback, but if you don’t like this idea, what is your solution?

“I want to ensure that children are going to school after a good breakfast, with lunch in their bag and the equipment they need to learn.

“I want to ensure that people with addictions are getting the help they need. And I want to ensure that people who want to work but need some extra help will get it.”

The Coalition Government has a range of measures to help job seekers including JobActive, the Empowering YOUth initiative, Transition to Work service, the National Work Experience Program and the Youth Jobs PaTH program.

“In addition to these programs it was an announced in the Budget on Tuesday night there will be a $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund to assist apprentices and trainees over the next four years,” Mr Pitt said.

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