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Cashless Welfare Card – an insult to all Australians

Australians are fortunate in many ways. Despite the best efforts of the Abbott Government to further marginalise vulnerable people, the majority of the population lives in relative safety, has a home to live in, access to education and employment and self-efficacy. However that minority, who are not so fortunate for whatever reason, now face a further disgraceful attack on their autonomy, independence, and ability for self-determination.

From February 2016, welfare recipients in the town of Ceduna in South Australia will start a trial of the Cashless Welfare Card.

It sounds innocuous enough. Most fortunate Australians have no real need for cash these days. Most people use debit or credit cards to pay for living expenses and basic necessities. And most bills can be paid by direct debit or electronic transfer. Apart from the odd parking meter coin or spare change for the kids’ pocket money, it is possible to get by almost exclusively without cash.

It is not the concept of a cashless card that is in issue. Rather, it is the motivation behind the cashless card, and the assumptions of irresponsibility of the holders, that makes it so sinister.

The aim of the cashless card is to prevent welfare recipients gambling or buying alcohol or drugs. The intention is that eventually, the card will apply to every adult, irrespective of their socio-economic or demographic status, who happens to be on welfare. It has been promoted as a way to stop alcohol fuelled violence and abuse of women and children – an absurd insinuation that this violence is solely the domain of welfare recipients.

Ceduna appears to be the perfect community to trial the card. There is no doubt whatsoever that Ceduna has a problem with alcohol use and abuse. An ABC interview from August 2013 highlights significant issues with Indigenous people ‘drinking themselves to death’. Since 1988 the centre of Ceduna has been a ‘dry zone’, but unsurprisingly, this has not stopped the problem.

Throwing his full support and enthusiasm behind the first official trial of the card, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister Alan Tudge reported that hospitalisation from assault in Ceduna is now 68 times the national average, and last year there were 4,500 admissions to the sobering up centre – in a community of 4000 people. So the Government has negotiated with local Ceduna community representatives, who have agreed that restricting access to cash is a great solution to ‘breaking the cycle’ of alcoholism. Those on welfare will have 80% of their payments quarantined, leaving access to between $60 – $150 a week in cash.

This may sound reasonable to some people. $60 – $150 would surely cover parking, pocket money and spare change for the vending machine. And there clearly is a problem in Ceduna. A problem largely restricted to those on welfare. A problem involving alcohol. Perhaps reducing cash would help.

Or perhaps not.

In 2013, the Mayor, Allan Suter is reported to have wanted an income management plan to restrict access to alcohol. And Mayor Suter, along with Tudge and the ultra-privileged, mining identity Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, who recommended the cashless card, have opted for the most easily available but fundamentally flawed assumption that alcohol is the cause of all the problems.

Stop the alcohol, stop the abuse.

Stop the alcohol, stop the deaths.

Stop the alcohol, stop the crippling poverty, disadvantage and discrimination suffered by so many in the Indigenous community.

And suddenly it becomes clear why the cashless welfare card is nothing but a hideous and unworkable solution to addressing the devastating consequences of alcohol abuse and violence. It fails to consider the root of the issues.

In 2013, Ceduna Aboriginal Community Leader, John Isgar said:

“People who don’t get educations, people who can’t transition into work, people who can’t fund and maintain their own economies and look after their own families are gonna find something else to do. I mean, if you got up in the morning and had nothing to do, why wouldn’t you go and have a grog?”

The cashless welfare card is nothing but a restrictive, paternalistic sledge-hammer response to dealing with problems that do not stem from alcohol or drug abuse at all. It is a Band-Aid solution to treat a symptom of a failed society. The cashless card does nothing to address the lack of hope, lack of opportunity, and lack of pride in self and community. It does nothing to empower the most vulnerable and marginalised people to make their own good decisions and choices.

The majority of people on welfare are not chronic drug abusers, alcoholics or gambling addicts. But many people on welfare are vulnerable, disadvantaged, and facing discrimination. They are facing outright hostility from the Abbott Government and his ministers, with labels of ‘leaners’ and ‘bludgers’.

The cashless welfare card is a blatant attempt to further shame and demonise welfare recipients. It perpetuates the idea that the poor are sucking the nation dry with their dependency on the rich. The Government rhetoric favours the ‘lifters versus leaners’, ‘rich versus poor’, ‘bludgers versus workers’ mentality which works against a fair, inclusive and supportive society.

For many recipients, welfare is not a choice, but a necessity. Unemployment is currently at 6% – people cannot just ‘go out and get a job’. Welfare recipients include single parents, students, those with a disability, and older and long-term unemployed who find it increasingly harder to get back into the workforce. Many people on welfare payments have jobs but are still hovering around the poverty line.

The cashless welfare card is a reactive and controlling response to the serious, but relatively small occurrence of some welfare recipients’ dependency on alcohol or drugs – a dependency that stems from deep rooted and entrenched issues within the community and has nothing to do with the availability of cash. The card does nothing to address the issue of employed people who engage in alcohol and drug fuelled violence and crime. Or the significant health issues and costs to society of alcohol and drug abuse in general.

The very concept of the cashless welfare card punishes all Australians who rely, even temporarily, on welfare by labelling them irresponsible and untrustworthy. It reinforces feelings of worthlessness and helplessness already experienced by those struggling to get by below the poverty line. It disgustingly infers that restricting cash to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people will stop the scourge and very real threat of domestic violence.

So what will happen in Ceduna? Any decrease in crime and abuse, reduction in visible signs of poverty and reduced rates of alcoholism will be lauded as a massive success for the trial. Any increase in crime, abuse, alcoholism and poverty will be seen as an indication that cash should be further restricted.

And all the while, the Government cuts funding to community support centres and drug and alcohol programs that offer a real chance to improve the lives of Australians.

 


95 comments

  1. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, Eva

  2. Florence nee Fedup

    Worse, they card will not work. Just say to someone with a job. Here’s my card, used it to buy your groceries. Repay with cartoon beer. .

    Easier than the old tabs the charities used to hand out.

    Second, just because one is on benefits, doesn’t mean they cannot handle their money. I have only respect for many, that they feed their families on such small amount. Thirdly, they are expensive, don’t save anything.

    Isn’t good governance. Valued loaded.

  3. Lurline Hanna

    I was approached at a Foodworks last week by a young woman with six children, she asked if I was doing a big shop as she would pay with her card. She said she desperately needed cash. I told her I didn’t have cash myself but did feel for her that her money was quarantined so she was basically reduced to begging. She did not appear to be inebriated or under the influence in any way so I can only assume her sole crime is being indigenous and the mother of 6. How demeaning this must feel.

  4. diannaart

    Well there is a positive… next time some numbnuts, neo-con complains about “nanny state”, “do-gooders” – do not hesitate to stuff a pic of Twiggy in their nearest available orifice.

  5. brickbob

    ‘Thanks for a good article,and i would’nt trust Forrest as far as i could throw him,this was his idea and you can bet he is planing and scheming something that will benefit him and his company. This social experiment will not work,it’s being tried before in different guises and only results in humiliation and shame on the poor buggers it’s inflicted on.”””””

  6. michelebottroffmichele

    So, will it be possible to pay for all the things I currently manage with direct debits to my bank account? What if my father would like a bottle of something nice for Christmas?……….will it eventually come down to only be able to purchase homebrand if they control purchases at the checkout? It’s tough enough being on welfare without the indignity of being identified by the cashier as one of those bludging “leaners” which is all to easy to do if you live in a rural or regional setting and don’t have a chance of maintaining any anonymity at the shops.

  7. Wally

    Eva Cripps I get the point you are making and I agree that to some extent it adversely affects people but you do not offer an alternative plan or concept that will have the desired outcome. I think if the plan stops parents gambling/drinking and means there is food on the table for the kids the positives outweigh the negatives. At the end of the day governments should be doing what is best for the family unit.

    Many years ago as a residential landlord I found it absurd that people on benefits received rent assistance from the government instead of it being paid directly to the landlord. In many cases the rent is not paid, the money is squandered and the landlord claims a tax deduction to cover The public purse is slugged twice and everybody except for the tenant who doesn’t pay their rent loses.

    Maybe all of the opponents of the Cashless Welfare Card should lobby parliament to have all of the pubs, bottle shops and gambling venues in Ceduna closed down. The problem may move down the highway to another location but if we close down facilities that cause social problems regardless of where they are located eventually we will minimise the problem.

    For the past week on the Aim forum we have been discussing racism and problems within indigenous communities but when action is taken to reduce some of the problems the same people who want a better life for indigenous people are up in arms over how it is done???

  8. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes Wally, the greatest priority is to preserve the family unit with food on the table and a roof over their heads.

    However, your answer assumes everybody potentially caught up in this disgusting policy, would risk such terrible consequences to those they hold the dearest. There are many diverse people, who are frustrated and shrivelling on Newstart. They should not be assumed to be incompetent with money.Eva Cripps has written a strong.

    Maybe you can likewise start suggesting alternatives. I’ll give you one.

    Advocate, to every MP you can catch by the ear, that micro-financing and seed funding should be made immediately available to energetic and industrious unemployed and under-employed people, so that they can become self-employed in their own self-sustaining micro-businesses that will provide diverse Australian grown products and services to the public while also producing more taxpayers, as opposed to ongoing welfare recipients.

    But mind you, the conditions of the micro-financing, in the forms of Micro Finance Grants and Micro Credit Loans, should not be restrictive and they should be OVER and ABOVE Newstart for realistic periods of time and withdrawn incrementally.

  9. Florence nee Fedup

    Wally, Centrelink is not the place to address the issues you raised, They are better addressed either by health or child welfare agencies. Centrelink doesn’t have the staff or knowledge to do so.

    Welfare agencies first do intense investigations to establish if there is a problem. Then more work is done to establish what the best way to deal with a the problem. There are no black and white answers. No easy solutions.

    One thing for sure, using a big stick will NOT work.

    Establishing the cause, in itself can be difficult. Being a drunk tells one little. Often many agencies need to be involved, including Centrelink.

    Yes, with some luck, one can work with the family, bring in budgeting. Not all these families have trouble budgeting. Some are very good at making money stretch.

    One can bring in Housing and Centrelink, using direct debit to pay bills before getting their money. Some benefitted from ongoing financial advisors.

    When this doesn’t work, one can approach the courts. Yes, getting cooperation from the parent to agree to case plans worked out to help the family. Still has to be voluntary. The parent also knows not to cooperate, they risk losing the children.

    See, having a debit card for benefits is really nothing new. Many families already have similar in place.

    Dysfunctional families have many causes, many things going on, many needs.

    Welfare debit card is expensive stupid idea that will help no one, in fact cause harm.

    It is continuation of this government’s belief of blame the victim, only big stick and tough love can bring change. It doesn’t lead to a civil society.

    Centrelink is to provide money, benefits that allow people to survive bad times. Not up to them or the government t decide how the money is spent. If one buys grog, one goes hungry. Costs the taxpayer no more. Alcohols and druggies will get their poison, no matter what restrictions are in play.

    One can’t declare a family dysfunctional without proof and investigation. One, e en here is innocence until proven guilty.

  10. jason

    The cashless card was originally a government paid study by Twiggy who found hat if they took all of the services and cash out of remote communities in WA, the people would move to regional centres and away from where the mining companies wanted to mine,
    There is no caring solution at all, it is just yet another greedy land grab by The Abbott government and their mates to make even more billions,Just as was the case with the FTA with China, It was amazing how Twiggy and Gina miraculously went into the export cattle and dairy for baby formula just before it was announced that the main winners in the trade agreement were export cattle and dairy for baby formula.
    This would have to be the most one sided evil government in the history of this great land , we have been divided into the haves and the never will haves, the age of entitlement isn’t over at all , IT HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN.

  11. John

    Ah yes, Ceduna. Shortly to become the base for BP while it drills for oil in the whale sanctuary in the Bight.
    Base for the ‘downwinders’ of the Maralinga lands. The survivors were given their land back after the ‘remediation’ by the British that simply bulldozed and buried the plutonium contaminated topsoil. You can still see the scars of the bulldozed areas on Google earth. I’m sure they got it all…
    What lucky people to have all those well-meaning white fellas looking after them.

  12. Kyran

    Ms Cripps, you are a genius. For decades, I have seen the greatest beneficiaries of our welfare system, politicians, enjoying our largesse. In the month of them celebrating our largesse with further extravagance, it seems only fair they get a welfare card.
    “Live with it for a year, then tell me how it will work.”
    Genius, Ms Cripps. Take care

  13. Roswell

    The welfare card will wipe Ceduna off the map.

  14. Gilly

    Humph, look at the responsible responses to the cashless card of parliamentary entitlements.

  15. Wally

    @Jennifer Meyer-Smith there is a scheme called NEIS that provides funding for unemployed people to start their own business. I rented industrial property to people on the scheme and the success rate was very low. Having been self employed for most of the last 30 years I have dealt with many small business owners and most would agree that it is much harder to run a business than most people believe. If there were no tax concessions and perks many business operators would be living below the poverty line.

    I believe the NEIS scheme is still in operation http://www.nna.asn.au/neis-program

    Australia would be much better off spending money to save our car manufacturing industry, the number of people employed by parts suppliers is well beyond the estimates I have seen. I find it hard to believe consumers who are happy to pay over $50k for a ute built in Thailand think a Falcon or Commodore is not good value at under $40k.

  16. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Wally,

    I am aware of NEIS. It’s NOT what is needed. Sorry to say that.

    We need a proactive funding scheme that gives realistic and sufficient funding OVER and ABOVE the Newstart so that people can get their practices up and running AND the recipients can have enough money to live on with their Newstart as well.

    NEIS is Bullshit coz it replaces Newstart and it gives the recipient only a year to get their seedling up and growing. If one is not successful, then not only is the seedling struggling but the Newstart payment disappears.

    If we want to encourage the benefits of getting people using their skills and providing viable social and economic alternatives to being unemployed/under-employed people, then we need to be realistic and reasonable in the conditions that we place upon their self-employment opportunities.

  17. Lee

    Being forced to use a card will prevent people on social security from being able to buy at farmers’ markets, garage sales and second hand stores – all places that help their money to go further. What we’ve seen in remote communities when indigenous people are forced to shop in a specific store is that prices increase to take advantage of them. When social security recipients only want to buy a single item, like a carton of milk, but they are forced to spend a certain amount to use a card, then they will be spending money on stuff they don’t need.

  18. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    How true, Lee.

    Don’t you think it’s a disgrace that these arrogant decision maker ignoramuses make these decisions recklessly without consulting YOU, ME and every other person, who has life experience on the needs and consequences of the welfare system?

    WE are the true experts who need to be consulted.

    Abbott, you and Scott Morrison are fools.

  19. Eva

    There are so many practical reasons why the cards won’t work and will further disadvantage low income people – But of course that doesn’t seem to matter to the Government. It is so convinced that ‘cash’ will only be spent on drugs and alcohol. It has no concept of how poorer people live to make ends meet! The assumption really is that being on welfare = grossly irresponsible alcoholic and/or drug addict.

  20. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Oh dear, I expressed emotion and impolite language.

    Oh, how it made me feel good!!!

    Yes, in answer to you, Eva, the tecnechalities of the cards won’t work but why didn’t these wankers ask and test these things first?

  21. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    OOps. I now know how to spell ‘TECHNICALITIES’.

  22. Eva

    A good question and one that has no polite answer given the current Government!

  23. Lee

    “Well there is a positive… next time some numbnuts, neo-con complains about “nanny state”, “do-gooders” – do not hesitate to stuff a pic of Twiggy in their nearest available orifice.”

    I’d prefer to stuff the real Twiggy the Leaner into the nearest orifice.

  24. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    I wonder what the government could do if it recovered all the money that has been improperly spent by politicians in claiming their dubious ‘entitlements’.
    if all the rorted amounts were repaid there would be millions (have you seen the rate at which Abbott has been spending our money to his personal benefit?) available to carry out some proper research and remedial programs to help people who cannot cope without appropriate help.
    This was the government which was going to create jobs. About time they got stuck into that job.

  25. Nasser

    Cashless welfare doesn’t solve the issue of alcohol abuse, and if they get some cash as part of it, what’s stoping them of using that cash for alcohol and nothing else? Most people on a benefit don’t have an issue with alcohol or drug abuse. Not everyone drinks or takes drugs.
    I like to see their figures for wanting to use such a cashless welfare system.

    What needs to be done is tackle alcohol abuse Australia wide, not just small towns. Cutting someone’s access to alcohol doesn’t stop them from drinking. They find another way of getting it. The same with drugs, how many people know someone who smokes a joint everyday, and its illegal to get.

    As much as stats say NEIS program is successful, I think its a failure, I did the program, my knowledge and experience expands way beyond having to get cert 3 or 4 in business to be in the program. I found that cert 4 is out dated and doesn’t involve the latest trends or technology, it also doesn’t teach you how to run a small business. Along with the staff who are suppose to be “Mentors”, they are out dated too with their ideas. Need mentors who know about the specific business.
    What they need to do is involve small business in the community to help train and support new comers. The small business gets help in their business for free or for cheap and they help train others. I know there are traineeships that do just that but it’s not done to teach someone different aspects of the business. Small business owners who have done it before and done the hard yard can be great mentors for others, and many would take the chance to help someone if it does benefit their own business.

    Micro-finance for Micro-businesses will help a very small percentage, not many people really want to work for themselves and many more don’t know how to run a business, even a micro one or working for themselves. But yes, funding should be available for people who want to a micro-business.
    Funding should also be available for unemployed who want or need to do a small or a quick course which can help them get a job faster. Even as a loan, it might have a better effect, as people will see to make the best of the study if they have to pay that money back.

    Unemployed people need to be exposed to different options available, be it get a job, start a business or study. Employment agencies should have consultants who will advice and explain ALL available options to someone and how it can have a positive effect. Employment agencies should get paid for any help all the same, not get paid more if someone gets a job over study. Applying for 20 jobs a month doesn’t really help them get on the right track. Most will be applying for many jobs anyway. Centrelink is to help people get back to work, not just give them money and monitor how many jobs they applied to.
    Working for the dole can be a great idea IF it engage people to get better skills in their usual field of work, or to learn skills in a new field. The idea is to help people back to work, not just use them for free labour.

    Politicians should be banned from making or suggesting a Policy unless they engaged the community on every level and involving the people it affect.

  26. Jason

    While I do support the idea of a card where needed I find you are going to alienate everyone on a benefit..

    Reality when I look at the private rental market me being on a full DSP pension I know my income doesn’t permit me to seek rental solutions where rental exceeds $450 a week and the rental market has been bad since I was put on the DSP in 1994.

    90% of the housing stock within the public sector built within the last 15-20 years due to cheapness of build quality should be red tagged and rebuilt they were built for show pieces to show state and federal gov’s cheap rental..

    Personally I think investment with photo and smart card technology in the benefit card you recieve from Centrelink and Medicare would be better value spent..

    Because I can see danger trying to deploy this on a Australia wide scale because you have a lot of people on Centrelink incomes and a cash card to see abuse happen because financial circumstance, if you aren’t in the workforce by the age of 21 the likelihood of you obtaining a job regardless whether you have a high school education or not or any education at all..

    Once work for the dole or whatever it is called today and side benefit of dept of education and training scabs labor isn’t going to help once the funds dry up no work for you..

    I already live in a tight budget try and live on a DSP pension when you require multiple drugs to survive..

    On the medication side of the scenario we have become a society of generics of generics of the generics to keep the scripts at $6.50 though the reality we are paying up to $15 per script and yet we only $5.50 script supplement given the cost of a script these days it barely covers the Gst component of the charge,,,

    I do see merit in a cash card though I have a fear if made mandatory for all people on a Centrelink payment you are going to see many abuses on the system…

    Anytime I buy alcohol I budget for it and I generally have it a year or 2 before I complete the bottle, I don’t need a cash card to say where or when I can use money…

    Damn most retailers have some variation of a cash card in place without the Centrelink getting in on the racket…

    We needed a cash card back in the 1980’s now 2015 kinda moronic if you ask me..

    Given the flash a photo I.d. Systems we have today I think there is a better merit system to have that as option on a Centrelink payment card rather the faded mess on a bit plastic we have today…

    While I see merit in a payment card solution I also see a dangerous practice of singling everyone on a Centrelink benefit to this solution and the mess it will cause in the long run given the pissy amount we have to live on..

    Maybe we should be looking at the waste of money in entitlements politicians get given most have a day job other than being a politician…

  27. Hugh Fathers

    Let me start by saying that I have been receiving the DSP for the last 15 years (after a work accident), so I really know what it is to live on a limited income.

    I run a strict budget, using an Excel spreadsheet to enter all my various transactions and to keep an eye on upcoming bills.

    Currently, at the midpoint of my pension fortnight, I have more than $700 in my bank account. The reason I have that much, is that I have been putting money aside for the last couple of months to pay for some much needed maintenance on my motorbike (my only transport). So, around $400 of that will disappear very early next week.

    My point being, is that there are many of us on welfare that do manage to survive on the pittance we receive. We manage to pay our bills, put shelter over our heads, feed ourselves, and occasionally, just occasionally, we may be able to afford a couple of beers.

    So, I don’t need any help regarding how I spend my pension money, and object to the Government implying that I do, implying that because I am on welfare, that I am irresponsible with my money and that I am most probably an alcoholic/drug abuser/gambler.

    Re this card idea, I can only see merit in it, if it is only either voluntary, or court ordered, certainly not a general, across the board rollout.

    Let those that are having (minor) financial problems volunteer for the card, if they feel it may assist them.

    I dont!

  28. Michael Taylor

    Wally, your tenant should have only been receiving rent assistance upon providing proof that he/she was paying rent to you.

    One of two things appear to have gone wrong. One, he/she may have forged the documentation, or two, Centrelink were very slack with their auditing.

    The welfare card, by the way, is an issue I am familiar with. I was on the steering committee that oversaw its introduction. The Rudd ‘type’, that is. It has onviously undertaken many new forms since then. I cannot however say that I’ve ever supported it. I believe too that the incoming Rudd Government should have done away with the NTER reforms introduced by Howard, but the Howard system was so faulty and needed to be overhauled. But like I said, it would have been better in my opinion if it was done away with altogether. It’s pure and simple racism.

  29. Jason

    Wally I do not know what you were charging for rent. The most you get from a the rental subsidy you attached to you social security payment is $125 a fortnight on top of your income..

    LastTime I checked metropolitan and country rental for private rentals it excceeded my $1,900 a month DSP pension and that was with the addition of rental supplement…

    Note: if you bothered to check with Centrelink you can have automatic deductions taken out from the Centrelink clients income..

    I live WA at present private rentals are hovering around the $2,000-2,500 mark per person doesn’t matter whether you share a place or rent on your own rental excceeds your income you don’t have cash to buy ad stated before I’m on a DSP pension ..
    I’m in WA whether I look at the metro area of Perth, look as Far East as Merredin, far north as Geraldton to as far south as Esperance private rental accomodation exceeds my income…

    Before you comment on caravan parks, there is only 3 in the metro area that permit long term tenancy that do not require bonds..

    Most other caravan parks have a min wait list with up to $2,500 bond I don’t have that type of income to cover bond a most incorporated caravan parks have a 45-60 day lease agreement or council edict no more than that..

    Looking at long term tenants isn’t going to happen..
    And the caravan parks have a year cap no more than 20 years on most caravans..THE ONLY PARKS I CAN STAY IN DONT EVEN RUN WITHIN SAFETY CODES AND VIOLATIONS GALORE IT ISNT FUNNY..

    I wouldn’t even have the cash to pay for utilities nevermind food…

  30. Florence nee Fedup

    The concept of such a card needed, is wrong. It assumes, presumes everyone on Centrelink benefits are inferior, incapable or are to blame for the predicament they are in. It is social engineering in the extreme.

    It is Federal government taking over role of states. Health and Child welfare is responsibility of the states.

  31. Kaye Lee

    What qualifies Twiggy Forrest to advise on these matters? I note the Vatican are very angry with him for “exploiting” the Pope in his anti-slavery campaign.

    “Human trafficking expert Dr Anne Gallagher, who has consulted to the United Nations, told Four Corners last month she believes Mr Forrest’s initiatives only offer simplistic solutions to deep-seated problems.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-05/vatican-accuses-andrew-forrest-of-exploiting-pope-francis/6673720

    Why does this government ignore the opinion of experts to consult with rich business owners who have NO expertise in dealing with complex social problems?

    If you want lasting solutions you must assist the community with self-determination. Work with the community leaders. Work with the schools. Imposing white man rules won’t help solve anything.

    A friend of mine is the principal of a school with many underprivileged families of different races. She introduced a breakfast program where the kids are fed a nourishing breakfast before school. Attendance went up dramatically because of this program.

    I heard of another program where some young Aboriginals were trained as park rangers. They were, in part, responsible for cleaning up the area. These young people then brought the community on board, insisting they clean up their act because they didn’t want to have to clean up after them.

  32. Florence nee Fedup

    Kaye, doesn’t work in white community as well.

  33. Kaye Lee

    Prior to 1967 our constitution read

    “The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:

    The people of any race, other than the aboriginal race in any State, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws.

    In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives shall not be counted.”

    The Whitlam Government used its constitutional powers to overrule racially discriminatory State legislation. On reserves in Queensland, they were forbidden to gamble, use foul language, undertake traditional cultural practices, indulge in adultery, or drink alcohol. They were also required to work without payment.

    In the Aboriginal Courts in Queensland the same official acted as judge as well as the prosecuting counsel. Defendants almost invariably pleaded ‘guilty’ as pleas of ‘not guilty’ were more than likely to lead to a longer sentence.

    We must accept responsibility for causing the problem and take proactive steps to help solve it. More bans aren’t the answer. I agree with Abbott up to a point that education and employment are important but I don’t think cashless welfare cards, more police, and truancy officers are the answer.

  34. Mark Needham

    A good plan, is to make ’em sign a book, when they buy more than 4 liters of plonk……?….! Hey!
    That something has to be done, is true.
    Education, must be made compulsory, or at least attendance for education classes. The classes should be relevant for life skilling. ( No origami)
    Beer issue, Army, WW2 was written in regulations.
    “1 bottle of beer, per man, per day, perhaps”
    Mark Needham

  35. Kaye Lee

    Prohibition doesn’t work. If you want to teach people to take responsibility you don’t do it by removing all responsibility from them.

  36. mars08

    Entitlement cards for politicians and lobbyists?

  37. diannaart

    Cashless Welfare Cards?

    Where is the outrage from right-wing libertarians?

  38. mars08

    Is this addressing a real and prevalent problem… or is it… like citizenship laws, data retention, budget deficits, asylum seekers, and the ice epidemic … a useful overstated sideshow and diversion?

  39. diannaart

    mars08

    To those on welfare, being forced to shop in designated stores, prevented from budgeting flexibly – this is a vital topic. No doubt an issue can be both a diversion and extremely urgent.

  40. Wally

    @Kaye Lee I think this is a great idea “She introduced a breakfast program where the kids are fed a nourishing breakfast before school. Attendance went up dramatically because of this program.” but the success of the program highlights that a problem exists, some kids are not being nourished at home. When I was in primary school every child received 1/3 of a pint of milk per day in the classroom, the intent was to ensure every child received some nourishment every day.

    A friend of mine in WA is in charge of work crews who manage the tips in remote communities around Fitzroy Crossing. Training the indigenous how to manage their rubbish disposal and keep the communities clean is paying off, the workers are now passing on what they have learnt and their communities are cleaning up after themselves.

    @Michael Taylor and @Jason thanks for the information about rental assistance, it was a long time ago and there has obviously been changes made. After my experience I will never be a residential landlord again it is not worth the agony of watching people destroy what you have worked hard for, nowadays I rent out small industrial properties, there is much less risk and less potential for damage. But in saying that recently a tenant drove an off road buggy through a wall, it was an accident and luckily no one was injured.

  41. Kaye Lee

    Wally,

    Re the breakfast program, if two parents are working the mornings can be a hectic time. She is a high school principal so it may be that the kids are left to get ready themselves and look after younger siblings. Or it may be that there is no food at home.

    I remember that milk…they would stack it in the playground and it was warm by the time we got to drink it. It pert near made me puke.

  42. Florence nee Fedup

    Who are “them”?

  43. mars08

    @diannaart… i wasn’t asking if this scheme was an urgent matter for those one welfare. Rather, is it a “fix” for a real, widespread, pressing problem.? Or just another distracting brainfart… like the 40 job applications per month foolishness.

  44. Lee

    “Where is the outrage from right-wing libertarians?”

    They don’t believe in welfare so probably don’t care.

  45. Lee

    “Is this addressing a real and prevalent problem… or is it… like citizenship laws, data retention, budget deficits, asylum seekers, and the ice epidemic … a useful overstated sideshow and diversion?”

    Yes it’s a sideshow and diversion – all part of the neo-liberal divide-and-conquer strategy. They just have to divide everyone into two groups, in some way or another.

  46. Lee

    “When I was in primary school every child received 1/3 of a pint of milk per day in the classroom, the intent was to ensure every child received some nourishment every day.”

    Oh I remember that and shudder. I have always hated plain milk. My mother has even said I did not like milk as a baby either. I’ve always required some flavouring in it to drink it. That milk we got at school was often warm because it had been sitting in the sun between delivery and when it was distributed to us, and I was forced to drink it. It often made me feel ill and occasionally physically ill as well. Being made to drink that was nothing short of child abuse.

  47. Benno

    So one would assume that everyone that has weighed in on this topic has been to Ceduna and seen the issues first hand??? Perhaps come and have a look around our wonderful town before you provide your opinion. Everyone seems to know so much about this issue, how about some solutions, not problems! . Cashless welfare cards may not be the exact answer but don’t criticise an initiative that is only trying to achieve what many other departments have failed to do previously. Its not going to suit everyone and the government have every right to decide where “their” money is spent, particularly when its spent inappropriately. As for the suggestion that it will wipe Ceduna off the map, I would suspect that most you making comments probably had to look at google earth to see where Ceduna is.

  48. Harquebus

    Until this system becomes national, I can see Ceduna being Australia’s cheap black market sex capitol.

    There is more to this than meets the eye. It is the foot in the door to something much larger; a cashless society.

  49. diannaart

    @ Lee

    Of course, welfare is considered ‘nannying’ people, therefore, this card is a step towards eradicating welfare altogether – I guess I will really worry when, instead of a poverty level income, the neo-cons hand out fishing rods…yup, that’ll teach all us leaners.

  50. diannaart

    @ mars08

    Oh, definitely a “brainfart” – nothing has been thought through – however, being on DSP, this authoritarian brutal thinking makes many people very nervous.

    A Welfare card is not a solution and will only compound the problems many people face.

  51. Florence nee Fedup

    Simple. Them and us. All them must be demoniset . Made to see u human.

  52. kerri

    Yes! I am sure many welfare recipients are responsible for coward punch violence in Kings Cross too!
    By far the most offensive aspect of this suggestion is the sticky hands of Twiggy Forrest.
    Seriously Andrew, if you reckon you have a solution for all those aborigines you loved like brothers (don’t see many indigenous workhands leaping up to defend Twiggy) then you fund it and administer it yourself!!!
    The LNP put so much faith in Twiggy and Gina because they are rich. Full stop! They must be smarter because they inherited a lot of money and managed to make a lot more!
    The way Forrest’s business is going at the moment how foolish would we be to put faith in his expertise?
    Besides, show us your sociology degree Twiggy?? Oh that’s right you don’t need a degree if you are rich and opinionated!!

  53. Lee

    @Benno, I know where Ceduna is and I am aware of some of the problems there. Social security is a basic human right and people are free to spend their money however they wish. The government is paying a shitload in corporate welfare to Twiggy Forrest and others just like him. That useless prick has a net worth of $2.8 billion and doesn’t pay income tax, but he has no qualms in using government-funded infrastructure to help him mine and move the products of mining around to its buyers. So what right does that useless parasite have to dictate how those on the lowest incomes spend their money?

    If someone is addicted to alcohol or drugs and not meeting their other financial responsibilities, taking away their cash doesn’t help. People turn to crime to get that money. How will that be a solution for Ceduna? Are you running short of crime all of a sudden? How does dragging in innocent victims help solve the problem?

    The cashless card is not an initiative trying to achieve where other measures have failed. It’s one more attempt to demonise social security recipients and further highlight the divide between what the Liberal Party describes as lifters and leaners. It is shaming people who cannot get a job because there aren’t enough jobs around. It is shaming people who are paying the price for the poor parenting they received. It is shaming people who are too ill or disabled to work. It is shaming people who do manage their money responsibly. Social security recipients are already made to feel like second class citizens. The reality is that our biggest leaners are people like Twiggy Forrest.

  54. kerri

    For all the people who have commented on the school milk program? Hubby was victim of warm school milk and now wont touch the stuff. I don’t get it though? At my school when the milk arrived everything stopped and we drank the milk!

  55. Nasser

    I know why Abbott wants to start in Ceduna, it could be the original wind farm…
    https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/Ceduna+SA+5690/@-32.084902,133.645935,3a,75y,280h,90t/data=!3m8!1e2!3m6!1s110632055!2e1!3e10!6s%2F%2Fstorage.googleapis.com%2Fstatic.panoramio.com%2Fphotos%2Fsmall%2F110632055.jpg!7i1600!8i1058!4m2!3m1!1s0x2ab6972d0c08d1c7:0x05033654628efd00!6m1!1e1

    This is an interesting read about Twiggy “Forrest’s plan to create 50,000 jobs for Aborigines”
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/forrests-plan-to-create-50000-jobs-for-aborigines-20080803-3pch.html
    Does he really want to help others? Or help him business?

  56. Benno

    @Lee, Firstly, social security is not basic human right in this country, its a privilege. Many countries around the world do not share the same luxury as we do and secondly whilst I don’t agree with some of the loop holes that Twiggy seems to find, he does employ enough people to single handily affect the employment rate in this country. As I previously stated, obscene amounts of money has been pumped into hair brain schemes from the previous labour government that have had zero impact on the issues in Ceduna. As you said, some may have been paying the price for poor parenting, well in my house it was tough love gets results. I guess we will see soon enough, perhaps I should start locking my doors if crimes about to spike. For what its worth, I respect your opinion, just don’t share the same one.

  57. Lee

    Benno, check the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 22, which states “Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.”

    Australia was instrumental in the development of the UDHR and is a signatory to it. Therefore social security is a right in this country.

    Tough love may have been helpful in your household in some way. It doesn’t appear to have helped you experience empathy. It doesn’t help a lot of people and frequently does more harm than good.

  58. Lee

    “At my school when the milk arrived everything stopped and we drank the milk!”

    At my school the milk was delivered before the students arrived.

  59. Nasser

    I am sure many people get on centrelink payment thinking its not gonna be long till I get the next job, but as with many living week to week as they earn. When you get on centrelink, its not enough to live off yet look for work, spending money trying to find work or study.
    We could tackle this issue by (over a number of years), increase super to 15%. But have 10% as never to be touched till retirement. And 5% to be draw from when and if you get unemployed (or have an emergency). Use the 5% to pay at the min weekly wage till getting a job. If there is not enough money in that 5%, then centrelink can pay as they are now. That can be one way to help support people with enough money to find work. Take pressure off centrelink and take pressure off pension.

    And if the 5% was never used, then great, it gets added to the rest of super.

  60. Lee

    Nasser, that article about Twiggy Forrest creating 50,000 jobs for indigenous people was published in 2008 and he was going to achieve that in the next two years. Wikipedia provides two references to that as well, but doesn’t state whether or not it was achieved. I haven’t read anywhere that he achieved it.

    Your article states “Under the plan, companies would commit to employing an Aboriginal person while they undertake a three or four month job-specific training program funded by the Federal Government as well as being assigned a workplace mentor.” It’s quite common that at the end of such training programs, the incumbent is once again unemployed and someone else takes their place. I’d like to know how many people did take part in those training programs and how many of them went on to permanent employment at the number of hours they were seeking once the training program had finished.

    He did release his Review of Indigenous Training and Employment Programmes in 2014 but that has yet to be implemented.

  61. Benno

    Lee, you seem to see the good in everyone on welfare and good on you for that, I on the other hand am a tad more sceptical!!! You cant help people that wont help themselves Some need to be pushed. Thanks for the quote too, I will peruse the UDHR when I have nothing else to do one day. Thanks

  62. Lee

    Benno, I am well aware that there are some people on welfare who don’t want to work. As we’ve seen in Scandinavia, where there is good social security, good social services and low unemployment levels, most people actually do want to work. What we currently have in Australia is about 7 unemployed people for every advertised job vacancy. When the government can actually provide a job for someone, and that person is quite capable of doing it but doesn’t want to do it, then the government has the right to stop that person’s social security. That does actually happen now because I know people who have been given the ultimatum to take the job that is offered or lose their benefits.

    Most of the jobs in Australia are located in the cities. Try living in the city on unemployment benefits. It isn’t enough to even cover the rent in most private housing in the cities. Then on top of simply surviving they have to spend money looking for work and getting around the city to interviews. Even university graduates are finding themselves unemployed for long periods of time in unprecedented numbers. They can’t just walk into McDonald’s and get a job either. Places like Maccas won’t employ people who are overqualified because they know that as soon as they find the job they trained for, they will be gone.

    There isn’t enough investment in training here. Why are we importing skilled migrants when we have so many unemployed people here?

    Several months ago the gas pipes in my neighbourhood were replaced. I conversed with these workers when they came to my house on 3 occasions and I walked past them every day to catch the bus to work. I didn’t find any of them who spoke with an Australian accent. There was a time when the provision of gas to households and businesses was performed entirely by a government department. Since much of it has been outsourced, I’d like to know how many apprentice gas fitters have been trained.

    The process of importing skilled migrants is largely self-regulated by the employing businesses and it’s been found that ripping off migrants with below award pay rates is rife. So this is a win-win for big business. They don’t invest (much) money in training because they import workers who already have the necessary skills and qualifications, and they get cheap labour too. The only time they are willing to invest in training is when the government provides some of the funding, as in Twiggy Forrest’s proposed training schemes. All the while we’ve got so many unemployed Australians who want to work and we’re demonising them for the actions perpetrated by the greedy big end of town.

  63. Lee

    Interesting, Nasser, thank you. I suspected as much. It the scheme did achieve the 50,000 target, Forrest would have been spruiking it in the other online articles that list his achievements.

  64. Florence nee Fedup

    Might surprise some people, there are people everywhere that don’t and will not work. Some politicians, even PMs that cannot be bother attending to detail, even getting across their own policy.

    There are among the wealthy and upper class, who never did a day’s work in their lives. Not even look after their personal needs.

    You find lazy bosses and professionals.

    I can only say, at 73, having to be a bludger, relying on welfare at times, through no fault of my own, that those who have strong views on tough love and welfare does harm. That most are just ripping system off, crooks and no gooders. These people have neve been inside Centrelink doors, and I suspect never had anyone close to them that has.

    What they describe and believe has no connection or relation to reality.

    Never experience how demoralising and soul destroying the experience is.

    The rationalise the world to fit in with their narrow and arrogant views. Same goes for racism, attacks on Muslim and sometimes the disabled.

    They see no positives in welfare or looking after those at the bottom. Do not realise that the economy and productivity benefits from them being looked after.

  65. Florence nee Fedup

    There was a time in the UK back in the 1770’s when their jails and poor houses where pull of no hopers, dregs of society. People who were leaners that swallowed up the earnings of the rich.

    They found a solution, these dregs, of all ages, cultures, religions and gender. Yes, they loaded them onto a fleet of ships and sent them to a land far away.

    Funny thing happened in this harsh new land. The were only too happy to toil each day. Clearing the land, planting crops, building what led to the great land we are today. Given a chance, they grabbed it with both hands. Yes, given control over their own lives. Chance to get ahead.

    Yes, I agree, not all made it. Some would never adjust, but the majority did.

    I wonder why the army people and guard who bought them here, to keep order, never seen a future here but returned to England. Why didn’t they see, what the convicts and their families seen. More likely, they had a future by returning. The convicts knew, going back to England was not an option. No work or opportunity for them there.

  66. Florence nee Fedup

    One does know, most are only on benefits limited time. When one becomes unemployed or ill, your bills do not disappear. The mortgage, car payments, power water etc are still there. Many rely on friends or family to help with food, while one uses the whole benefit to keep afloat. How does a cashless card fit in with this. No one plans to become a client of Centrelink.

  67. Florence nee Fedup

    In fact charities used to tell one. Pay the bills. We cannot help with them. We can help with food, clothes and maybe school expenses.

  68. Florence nee Fedup

    Why does one concern themselves how they spend their money, especially Newstart. it is they who go hungry. doesn’t cost you anymore. If they are unemployable and happy to live in poverty, what skin is that off your nose. Many of these people one would not want to work with. To dangerous. Most have other problems beside being lazy, as you see them.

  69. Florence nee Fedup

    Seems unemployment figures are up. Yes, but the cause seems to be more people wanting to work.

    How does that fit in with the perception that they are high because people are lazy and don’t want to work. Seems to be another inconvenient truth for those on the right.

    Other figures last week showed that a high, something like nearly 80% long termed unemployed are disabled. Would they be the ones this government has so proudly denied a disabled pension, or took off existing lists.

  70. Wally

    Many years ago a mate of mine made a comment while we were having a few beers at the local, at the time I didn’t agree with him but over time my opinion has changed “if you give a well off person $100k they will use the money to make more money or improve their lifestyle, give the same amount to a battler and once they have spent the money they will still be a battler”. When you look at how many people have won lotto and ended up broke a couple of years later his comment has some merit.

    I have relatives who live it up gambling, smoking and drinking pension week, then sit around broke waiting for the next pension. They begrudge having to pay for food, bills or rent, yes they have disabilities but what gives them the right to double dip? I don’t mind that they get a pension but I disagree with the way they blow all of the money and then look for handouts to survive and this is not an occasional thing it is a lifestyle.

    I get a disability pension but I also work part time, own my own home, pay my own way and then these relatives have the audacity to say that I am lucky! Everything my wife and I own is the result of hard bloody work so I do not see where luck comes into it.

    The attitude of some people on benefits is questionable and my relatives would be no better off no matter how much money they received, I think they would be better off if they had a welfare card instead of receiving cash. One of these people has their finances administered by the State Trustees and they have helped her retain some of the proceeds of a marriage settlement but they charge a hefty fee.

  71. Florence nee Fedup

    Wally what gives you the right to decide what is good for the rellies. You seem to see nothing but negatives in people. Some people never have the desire to be rich. Would they be any happier? Are you happy?

  72. Wally

    @Florence nee Fedup I am not rich and have no desire to be rich, but I would love to win lotto so I could help family and friends realise their dreams. When I see people (rellies) struggle to live because they make bad financial choices the do-gooder side of me yearns to help them but over the years I have come to realise that giving them more money does not help it just lets them do more harm to themselves.

    When I see a family home that the parents worked very hard to buy turned into a squaller it takes all of my strength to control my mouth. If the people concerned were happy and they were to give others that they impact on some consideration my view would be very different but as it is (too complex to get in too much detail) the circumstances are no better than a train wreck.

    “Are you happy?” I am extremely happy thank you, I am at the stage of life where I can do what I want to do without needing to worry too much about work, kids, money and commitments. It saddens me that family and friends who had similar dreams in their younger days cannot live the life they always wanted because they are in a downward spiral. lost the passion for life or they are 6 feet under.

    I tell my kids they can have whatever they want from life but they cannot expect to have everything.

  73. Mark Needham

    @Wally, just because you spent your money and time wisely, doesn’t mean I have to. Now Aunty Flo is right, just give me a feed when, I’m broke, mate, Hey!
    If I spend all me money on grog, then that is my “Right”
    @Florence nee Fedup “Never experience how demoralising and soul destroying the experience is.” Yep, you is right Flo, only get demoralised, if you have ever had a desire to do well. Me, never been demoralised, me expectations aren’t that high.
    Mark Needham

  74. Wally

    @Mark Needham “just give me a feed when, I’m broke” I think you miss the point mark that would be nearly every night. When I lived close enough to these people to help we were struggling to feed our own kids and for some time I tried to help but these people would have no shame in taking food out a kids mouth.

    Charity begins at home!

  75. townsvilleblog

    I am a disabled pensioner and I see your point. Personally I suffer with chronic major depression with associated anxiety disorder and live in a bubble if not for this old computer. It will not affect my family because the humble amount of welfare payment the disability pension offers leaves no room for alcohol or cigarettes or gambling, it is a basic survival payment. It won’t solve any problem here (the card) however I can see how many people may be affected, this is a cruel fascist style government the likes of which Australia has never seen and hopefully following the next election, will never see again. Their extreme right wing faction of the Liberal Party who rule at present have upset almost every section of Australian society, they need to lose the next election by a landslide to realize that Australians will not tolerate their Nazi ways.

  76. townsvilleblog

    Mark has never fallen, I was Clark Kent to for 21 years in my last job until I cracked, and had a serious nervous breakdown after two decades of really tough hard work Mark has probably never experienced. until you have been there never assume you have all the answers, walk a mile in my shoes.

  77. diannaart

    @townsvilleblog

    Damn straight, love how people love to sit back and find fault with others when they do not have a clue. I ended a long working life, by having the temerity to fall ill.

    ‘Judge lest ye not be judged’ is lost on the self-righteous and judgemental.

    Fact is most people want to work, want a secure home and food on the table – fortunately for the inherently greedy not all of us want to be rich – we just want to be safe. We could be safer and the rich would not even notice if welfare was a liveable amount instead of being so miserly and tailored to keep people down rather than provide the opportunity to step up to safe and secure…

  78. Lee

    The introduction of a cashless card is a bandaid treatment. Anyone with knowledge of root cause analysis knows that unless you address the root causes of a problem, you will never fix it.

    These root causes include reasons why people are unemployed – not enough jobs, unskilled, etc.

    Just in looking at the reasons why people cannot manage their unemployment benefits adequately, the list is extensive. It ranges from there simply not being enough money in the first place to cover all essential expenses, to not understanding the difference between needs and wants, to not understanding where unnecessary spending is occurring, to having to spend more money than the average person for a medical problem, to addiction.

    Learning how to budget is a useful skill, but if someone doesn’t understand that they are running up an electricity bill by an extra $1500 per year than they need to, knowing how to do a budget isn’t going to solve the problem. Forcing them to use a cashless card isn’t going to solve the problem either. Sometimes reading information on websites about how to reduce electricity usage won’t help either. I can think of two personal situations where my partner and I were consuming electricity unnecessarily without realising it, and we’re both quite careful in that area.

    Some people can manage their money very well. But what we often overlook is that some of the methods they employ to keep their expenses low are not available to everyone. For example, I buy my fruit and veg mostly from a farmer’s market and I eat a plant-based diet, so I’m buying most of my food very cheaply. In a rural area, people may have less choice and may have to pay more for it. Two people close to me have food sensitivities to both amines and salicylates. That limits the amount of plant-based food that they can eat. They eat more meat, so their total food bill is higher than mine.

  79. Florence nee Fedup

    I found it easy to budget when on low income. No hoper husband didn’t help. One buys minimum amount of food. Ability to be able cook sausage mince in 101 ways was handy. Found large veggie garden and generous father helpful.

    One then paid bills of those screaming the loudest. One crossed their fingers and everything else, hoping no one got sick. No Medicare then.

    One was always hoping if a little casual work turned up. Thankfully sometimes it did.

    It doesn’t matter how clever one is with budgeting, if you have less income than essential spending is, there is no budget that will work.

  80. eli nes

    Intervention part two:
    A further step towards the republican concept of food stamp welfare.
    Another example of judged guilty with no trial, a mandatory sentence with no access to appeal.
    A rabbottian step toward re-election with such a popular decision, plus the add-on of more wedging of labor and something for the loons to sing about.

  81. bossa

    Whatever happened to small government and the right of the individual choose? Hypocrites as usual.

  82. oldoldwoman

    Why does this ring bells in my head? Where have I heard of this before? Oh yes, that’s right … the Great Depression… the thirties… susso. Google it.

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  85. Willow

    The trouble is they bring this in then they end up bringing it in for everybody and those who aren’t doing anything wrong and who are doing the right thing and looking after their money get punished too, 20% what a joke what if you need to put a $300 or $500 dollar deposit on a private car you need to buy to get to your part time job, or buy a bed at your local op shop for over your allocated 20% and they don’t take eftpos, i take all my money out of the bank because i don’t like banks and their rip of fees and would rather pay cash.

    This is becoming a nanny country not state and it’s a bldy insult to me and i don’t even have it

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  87. Lynne Chinnery

    For any government to be hoodwinked by an out of touch millionaire and cronies is quite reprehensible! These people seek to “punish” any less wealthy person and families by deciding what they can or cannot/do/eat/wear etc. What right do these people have to degrade and humiliate?? There will always be “haves” and “have nots” in society. But that should not be the criteria which decides our fate! How many people suffer losses and misfortunes at the hands of unscrupulous! !Government want to penalise further! Nobody seems to question the criteria of the instigators who have seemingly convinced Government to lose the humanitarian approach which is their duty by reason of the mandate handed to them! If you believe in a Charter of Human Rights why would you think every citizen entitled to Social Security payment is not entitled to some privacy in their lives?

  88. michael

    it wont work, most people unemployed and on pensions etc, earn cash anyway when cash is taken away from you either in jobs or whatever and when cash is offered to people to do jobs which seems to be everywhere these days , more and more people will turn to under the table work to get the cash they need to satisfy their lifestyle, in turn it will backfire on government and people will stop paying taxes, there is already plenty of cash jobs out there thats what i do my disability pension only covers the bills and most workplaces are lack lustre in accomodating my needs and most workplaces lack love , i dont care how many threaats i get from tax departments etc or the like all of it is a bunch of absolute nonsense anyway, governmnet agencys couldnt care less what you are doing and most are just concerned with their own wallet and how much super they can get and how many houses they can buy they all that fear they put in to people watch out they are coming for you is hogwash, government does not know what the left foot does from the right,

    government lost control of society a long time ago, although i am not rich i may have around $4,000 cash in my bank, and maybe if i sold my assets $10,000 however its chump change, i have to earn cash as government employers etc… make it all too complex, get a CV together and look for ten jobs a month putting the unemployed to work and not paying them for it in effect, BAHHHHHAA its all hogwash,

    the whole job thing looking for work and then getting work is designed to make you one thing POORER stuff that

    PS soory about the grammer im not paid enough to give you correct grammer

  89. David Bruce

    Another Australian Government band-aid on an amputation…

  90. Halfbreeder

    update on welfare card. As of 2 May 2017 Stargroup the multinational corporation with gambling interests has now completed the purchase of 100 % of Indue the australian company to whom the LNP granted contracts for the management of the anti – gambling welfare card. Indue aka Stargroup will now be paid $10K per participant in the card programm that it is free to use to expand its gambling interests in Aust and elsewhere. Before the last election Turnbull stated in interview with the Wall Street journal that the welfare payment and medicare payment systems would be privatised. The welfare card is how it is happening. Soon all australians will be on the welfare card, pensioners, family tax benefit recipients, farmers on farm relief, any one who receives a payment from the gov.
    https://www.businessnews.com.au/article/Stargroup-raises-335m-to-complete-Indue-acquisition

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