•   
  •   

Australia Cashless welfare card causing 'horrible' financial stress, more dependence, participants say

03:31  15 may  2018
03:31  15 may  2018 Source:   abc.net.au

Is this the end of spare change in Australia? How 'tap and go' coffees are killing coins

  Is this the end of spare change in Australia? How 'tap and go' coffees are killing coins The hassle of using cash instead of card, even for small purchases, is killing small change in Australia. In the past 10 years, cash payments have fallen by half while card payments have almost doubled. In the past 10 years, cash payments have fallen by half while card payments have almost doubled.

Topical videos: Cashless welfare card trial causing ' horrible ' financial stress , participants say . Cashless welfare does nothing to address a drug or alcohol dependence , and it costs rather than saves money. Read more .

financial stress , more dependence , participants say AM By Tom Joyner Participants in the latest trial of the cashless welfare card in Western Australia's Goldfields say the program has caused them " horrible " financial stress and greatly reduced their independence.The Government says the

Single parent and Kalgoorlie resident Gloria Smith cares for her son, who has a disability.© Tom Joyner/ABC News Single parent and Kalgoorlie resident Gloria Smith cares for her son, who has a disability. Participants in the latest trial of the cashless welfare card in Western Australia's Goldfields say the program has caused them "horrible" financial stress and greatly reduced their independence.

The Government says the card, administered by the Department of Social Services, is aimed at tackling problems related to alcohol, drug abuse and gambling.

The card is designed to limit access to cash and quarantines 80 per cent of welfare payments on the card itself for daily essentials like food and public transport.

Victory beat Jets to win A-League title

  Victory beat Jets to win A-League title <p>The Jets' brave grand-final performance wasn't enough to stop Melbourne Victory claiming the 2017-18 A-League championship.</p>Melbourne Victory have snuffed out Newcastle's A-League fairytale at the final hurdle, defeating the Jets 1-0 to win a record fourth A-League title.

Participants in the latest trial of the cashless welfare card in Western Australia's Goldfields say the program has caused them horrible financial stress and greatly reduced their independence.

The Cashless Welfare Card or Indue card or healthy welfare card or Cashless Debit Card or white card is an initiative to do with social services in Australia. ^ " Cashless welfare card trial causing ' horrible ' financial stress , participants say ". ABC News.

But participants in the region's largest town, Kalgoorlie say, that contrary to the Government's intentions, the card has only made them more dependent on support.

Local Barbara Clinch said she cannot make repayments for a recent bank loan because the remaining 20 per cent of her welfare paid into her bank account does not cover them.

Kalgoorlie woman Barbara Clinch is unable to repay a bank loan on the cashless welfare card.© Tom Joyner/ABC News Kalgoorlie woman Barbara Clinch is unable to repay a bank loan on the cashless welfare card. "That doesn't even cover the cost of my loan, so that puts me in debt. I can't pay it because the company I got the loan from, you can't put the card down [to deduct payments]," Ms Clinch said.

"Now I'm in debt with Westpac and I pay interest. It's really horrible. I'm in so much debt, it's not even funny."

Greyhounds test positive for drugs 10 times more than horses at races

  Greyhounds test positive for drugs 10 times more than horses at races Greyhound racing NSW has caught or is investigating more than 100 people for drugging their dogs since 2017.Since 2017 there have been more than 100 penalties handed out to dog trainers for doping-related offences and 12 more are currently under investigation.

'Ration days again': cashless welfare card ignites shame. Read more . However the social services minister, Alan Tudge, who released the report on Tuesday, said A significant proportion (31%) of the participants surveyed indicated they had been better able to care for children and save more money.

The card will be rolled out to 3,600 recipients of various welfare payments in the region, with the majority expected to be non-Indigenous, according to the Prime Minister.

Migrants face four year wait for welfare

  Migrants face four year wait for welfare Migrants could be forced to wait up to four years before accessing a raft of welfare benefits, under a federal budget measure.Migrants could be forced to wait up to four years before accessing a raft of welfare benefits, under a federal budget measure expected to net more than $200 million in savings.

Cashless welfare card causing ' horrible ' financial stress , more dependence , participants say . Participants in the latest trial of the cashless welfare card in Western Australia's Goldfields say the program has caused them " horrible " financial stress and greatly reduced their independence.

The Cashless Welfare Card or Indue card or healthy welfare card or Cashless Debit Card or white card is an initiative to do with social services in Australia. ^ " Cashless welfare card trial causing ' horrible ' financial stress , participants say ".

The Goldfields trial comes after two others that commenced in 2016 in the east Kimberley region of WA and Ceduna in South Australia.

Kambalda residents Vic Savill cannot read or write, and cannot do anything without his wife, Di.© Tom Joyner/ABC News Kambalda residents Vic Savill cannot read or write, and cannot do anything without his wife, Di. 'We're human just like everybody else'

Vic Savill, who lives in the nearby town of Kambalda, said his inability to read or write meant he could not understand how to use the card without his wife's help.

Mr Savill, 61, receives the disability support pension and because of a brain tumour a few years ago, struggles with everyday tasks.

Where previously he enjoyed more flexibility with his welfare payments made directly into his bank account, he now cannot even shop for groceries without his wife.

"I cannot read, write or use ATMs," he said. "If my wife wasn't there to help me, I don't know what I'd be able to do. I'd probably starve."

Another welfare recipient, single parent Gloria Smith, cares for her son who has a disability.

She said the card, which she received in the mail a couple of weeks ago, has made it more difficult to afford her son's basic necessities.

It’s convenient but is tap-and-go costing you money?

  It’s convenient but is tap-and-go costing you money? Consumers are being warned of the sneaky ways shops are imposing extra charges when you pay using tap-and-go.The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has reminded those who pay for products using a debit card, either by inserting the card or using tap-and-go, that the transaction may attract a standard fee like a regular credit card.

Cashless welfare card causing ' horrible ' financial stress , more dependence , participants say . Participants in the latest trial of the cashless welfare card in Western Australia's Goldfields say the program has caused them " horrible " financial stress and greatly reduced their independence.

Cashless welfare card causing ' horrible ' financial stress , more dependence , participants say . Participants in the latest trial of the cashless welfare card in Western Australia's Goldfields say the program has caused them " horrible " financial stress and greatly reduced their independence.

"I do my best as a carer. I didn't ask for my son to be born with a disability, it was just a freak of nature that he was born that way, and it's the same with any other child," Ms Smith said.

"My son's birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks and I was going to give him $100 for his birthday and I can't do that now because it's stuck on this card."

Ms Smith said she feared humiliation that came with using the card in public, such as if the card is rejected at a shop's checkout.

She said she and many others felt essentially helpless to do anything about their financial situation.

"We're human just like everybody else, we have rights. But it feels like our rights are being taken away from us because of this card," she said.

Ms Smith says she fears the humiliation that comes with using the card in public situations.© Tom Joyner/ABC News Ms Smith says she fears the humiliation that comes with using the card in public situations. The future of welfare

Social Services Minister Dan Tehan said during a visit to Kalgoorlie that it was still too early to say if the card was working or not.

He added that even though the trial was yet to finish, he had so far received positive feedback from the community.

In any case, the cashless welfare card is a radical experiment that could change the way welfare is delivered in Australia in the future.

Mr Tehan said the Government would be able to decide on whether the card would be expanded once trials were concluded and sufficient data had been gathered.

"The key of course is to make sure that we can get the support of the Senate for us to continue to roll it out," Mr Tehan said.

"But everything I've seen so far shows clearly the community sees this as a way to deal with some problems that we haven't been able to address for the last 100 years."

Mr Tehan said he eventually wanted to see its users transition off welfare altogether. In the meantime, local support centres are able to help resolve issues relating to cards in the community.

"[The cashless welfare card] helps because we've seen improvements in lives. So that means there's improvement in outcomes and we've seen people go off welfare and into work."

Treasury is investigating whether Australia should scrap gift card expiry dates altogether .
The federal government is giving businesses and consumers until the end of May to share their views on how gift card expiry dates should work in Australia.In 2017, New South Wales moved to extend gift card expiry periods from one year to three years for all gift cards purchased in the state.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!