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Forced Income Management: The Cashless Welfare Card

By Tina Clausen  

YOUR assistance is URGENTLY needed to stop the further roll out of the privatisation of Social Security via the forced income management of anyone who happens to receive some kind of Social Security payment.

On Wednesday a Bill is up for voting in Parliament in order to add a new ‘trial’ area as well as extend the existing ongoing years long ‘trials’ already happening in many places around Australia. The final plan is to impose this draconian scheme on anyone of any age on any kind of Social Security benefit or pension. This week’s Bill is to add in the WHOLE of the Northern Territory as a ‘trial area’.

Everyone on any kind of Social Security payment, not just job seekers but also carers, people on the Disability Support Pension, students, part-time or gig workers getting a Centrelink top up, single parents, struggling farmers, fledgling small businesses owners, veterans, family tax benefit recipients, ALL are considered by this Government to be financially incompetent (this judgement being based purely on source of income, nothing else) and in need of forced income management.

URGENT: Phone or Email the Crossbench to VOTE NO on ‘Transition Bill 2019’.

  1. Stirling Griff (08) 8212 1409 / (02) 6277 3128 senator.griff@aph.gov.au
  2. Rex Patrick (08) 8232 1144 / (02) 6277 3785 senator.patrick@aph.gov.au
  3. Rebekha Sharkie (08) 8398 5566 / (02) 6277 2113 rebekha.sharkie.mp@aph.gov.au
  4. Jacqui Lambie (03) 6431 3112 / (02) 6277 3614 senator.lambie@aph.gov.au

The Cashless Welfare Card forced income management scheme has been falsely promoted as only being there to stop people using Social Security benefits/pensions on alcohol, gambling products and drugs (let us not even start on how and why this assumption of ‘deviancy’ has been applied on a blanket basis to people just because they happen to be clients of Centrelink), but not to worry as everything else is business as usual.

Nothing could be further from the truth. It restricts so much more than that, it is not just like an ordinary debit card in any other way.

Stripping away people’s right to manage their own finances, making them second-class citizens, having to endure abuse and stigmatisation, being automatically branded as drug/alcohol abusers, being financially worse off due to extra fees and charges for using the card, plus penalties for when Indue fail to pay bills set up for direct debit is NOT OK.

Being denied opportunities to make ends meet by accessing cheaper options via markets, garage sales, eBay, buy/sell groups, many online stores, cash in hand sales/repairs etc, is NOT OK.

Many people don’t seem to realise that eBay, Gumtree, a large proportion of on-line businesses as well as many physical stores selling ordinary goods, plus local eating and entertainment places are on ‘Indue’s block list as you could potentially buy alcohol from them. Other excluded businesses have just not bothered to apply to be on Indue’s ‘Approved Merchants’ list. A number have even deliberately decided not to be on it in order to exclude people on Centrelink benefits from accessing their services. Some of these include motels and caravan parks. This has had devastating consequences for some people fleeing domestic violence situations. It is also pure discrimination.

Having to justify to Indue why you should be allowed to spend money (and how much) on items like e.g. specialty bras, some trade services, text books, spare parts, specialised medical equipment needs, school excursions, second hand cars, someone to mow your lawn, attending a school fete, cash needed for transport on regional buses, buying second-hand uniforms, emergency replacement of a second hand fridge or washing machine, emergency car repairs, etc (many being situations where cash is generally asked for) then having to wait days for approval (or not) after submitting an affidavit, photos and a letter that the vendor has to supply, all of that is NOT OK.

Having your financial/credit rating destroyed by Indue whenever they fail to pay your rent or bills in time or fail to process them at all, is NOT OK. Becoming homeless because of this, having your rental history destroyed and real estate agents blacklisting you for non or late rental payments, and/or at the very least, once again continually incurring financial penalties and extra fees and charges is NOT OK.

All of this horror occurring supposedly in the name of ‘supporting’ (punishing actually) those few broken people who may ‘waste’ some of their Social Security benefit on alcohol or drugs. It is worth noting that people identified as having addiction issues already have a support option available in the Centrelink system via being able to be given their payments weekly rather than fortnightly. Ironically, people on this program are EXEMPT from being forced onto the Cashless Welfare Card’s income management scheme.

The lived experience of current ‘Trial Participants’:

  • Increased depression, social isolation and despair.
  • Reports of increased schoolyard ‘poverty’ bullying of kids whose parents have been forced onto this scheme.
  • Direct debit and BPAY Payments not being met on time or honoured, money regularly going missing from Indue accounts.
  • Reports from participants of increased inability to emotionally and physically cope with every day budget management given the complexity of split incomes. Not only between your own bank account and the Indue Cashless Welfare Card account, but the fact that the Indue account is further split into various spending categories that somehow you are meant to keep track of and divide all of your bills, expenses and spending into. Woe betide you if one week you might want to spend more than what has been ‘allocated’ to the grocery category or on unexpected bills. Doesn’t matter if you have more than enough money in ‘your’ account, it has to be in the ‘correct’ category for you to be allowed to spend it.
  • Increases in anger, frustration, desperation.
  • Ongoing stigma and harassment online, in media, in parliament, and socially.
  • Couples experiencing difficulties with no joint access, they must ‘financially divorce’ to continue to receive payments and pay bills.
  • The impact of daily media poverty shaming.
  • Ongoing impacts of economic segregation/social exclusion from every day cash-only family outings.
  • NDIS: People are reporting difficulties with being on Indue Cards and negotiating with NDIS service providers for travel expenses.
  • Increases in Domestic Violence.
  • The bullying, stalking, and active ‘trolling’ of anti-card dissenters by Ministers, paid political activists and a specific group of LNP allied members of the general public (one of whom had to be reported to area police for offline and online stalking of a No Card Hinkler group member).
  • Frequent failure of Indue card technology.
  • Landlords not signing up to CentrePay for rental accommodation.
  • Ongoing cash and third-party renter issues.
  • Experiences of bullying and ‘strong arming’ of local shop owners, service groups and businesses by the Department in trial regions and targeted regions.
  • Inconsistency: Indue LTD staff at shop fronts in trial locations saying one thing to CDC participants and the Department saying another.
  • Loss of dignity and equality.
  • Complaints Job Search Australia and Parents Next staff members using the existence of the cashless debit card as a threat and tool for compliance and bullying.
  • Increases in successful suicides, attempted suicide and self-injury that have not been investigated or openly addressed.
  • No monitoring of ‘at risk’ participants and a lack of reporting processes in place to address critical and cumulative mental health concerns of compulsory CDCT participants.
  • Families reporting a lack of food / going hungry due to random card declines, also an increased need to access food banks and charities.
  • Indue Ltd is not consistently meeting Direct debit and BPAY payments.
  • Families of trial participants reporting they are having to cover expenses and provide needed cash for necessities in order to make up cash shortfalls whenever and wherever the Indue card is not an accepted form of payment.
  • Indue Ltd not making loan, credit card and childcare payments on time (multiple reports).
  • Indue systems failures leaving people stranded.
  • Loss of income by way of increased bank fees and $10 ‘inbound fees’ that are being applied to some participant cash and emergency transfers.
  • Additional transaction fees and in store card user fees.
  • Legitimate Banks are not recognising more than the 20% cash component as lawful recipient income. They won’t recognise the 80% Indue component as income when people apply for loans or credit.
  • Inability of domestic violence victims to flee family violence.
  • Inability to engage in every day cultural and social practices.
  • Minimum spends at local shops impacting cash portion and quarantined portions of income.
  • Indue Ltd has not been investigating lost payments or late payments.
  • People are unable to pay council rates, school fees, childcare costs.
  • Hunger strikes.
  • Miscarriage.
  • Marriage and kinship group breakdown.
  • Homelessness, evictions, landlords unwilling to access CentrePay or wanting to rent to people who are on the cashless welfare card.
  • Inability to access basic shopping services such as Woolworths and Coles online, eBay, PayPal and Australia Post.
  • The refusal of some people to activate cashless debit cards leaving the most vulnerable in extreme and abject poverty, off grid entirely.

I ask everyone to please URGENTLY email or phone the above-mentioned cross benchers to implore them to vote AGAINST this Bill in Parliament on Wednesday. I also ask that you please share this article as far and wide as you possibly can. People MUST be allowed to know the truth about this nefarious and discriminatory scheme, whose only real purpose is the privatisation of Social Security so that a private company can make a huge profit of around $12,000 per person forced on to the card. (What a joke talking about Social Security recipients ‘wasting’ taxpayers’ money.

The Cashless Welfare Card is nothing but financial apartheid and forced social segregation of a group of your fellow community members and Australians.

Acknowledgements:

No Cashless Welfare Debit Card Australia, The Say NO Seven, Kathy Strickland, Kerri Shannon, Kathryn Wilkes for additional information and supplied picture.

“Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Income Management and Cashless Welfare) Bill 2019.”

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15 comments

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  1. Darian Zam

    This also ties in to the cash ban in a move towards the LNP kowtowing to their donors, the ones seeking a completely cashless economy. Wait for the bank bail-in on the horizon. When the current lot with their noses in the trough are no longer getting all the lovely lolly from tax paying citizens because the economy has completely collapsed into a smoking heap of rubble and nobody has a job, they’ll just take everyone’s savings. You think they won’t? Nothing stops the Liberal and National boat ride down the river of golden gravy paid for by you and me.

  2. KEITH VASS

    It beggars belief that our criminal pollies can get away with charging what $12,000 per welfare recipient and not be put in jail!?
    The whole concept of Forced Income Management and denigration of welfare recipients is abhorent in the extreme and the sooner this whole concept is banned the better!
    The bloody politicians are all self-serving corrupt bastards who should all be in jail. The fact that they are not there already is testament to the corrupt nature of our legal system and the fact that even Judges are now on their payroll as well!
    Time for Revolution! Civil disobedience! Mass Strikes and Marches in the Street!
    They leave us no alternative.

  3. KEITH VASS

    AIMN-Why are you hiding Comments away from Facebook members?
    Why is there no facility to comment on this using Facebook?
    Sometimes I wonder whose side you are on?

  4. Michael Taylor

    Keith, I’m not with you.

    We’re not hiding anyone’s comment. If you comment on Facebook, the comment should be on Facebook. It’s impossible to link a Facebook comment to this site, or vice versa.

    And whose side are we on? I thought that should be obvious by now.

  5. wam

    It is easier to pay a private company than to employ public servants it is not cheaper but pay and forget fits perfectly with this government
    However to give such power over Australian to a non-gov agency iwithout deep regulations is folly.and without an opt out system plain stupid.

    Casual observation is dangerous but the people in my extended family who get some or all welfare voted for scummo and think indue was a saviour of Aboriginal families
    It shouldn’t have been too hard for albo to mount a challenge but may be it is easier for him to sit and wait,

  6. New England Cocky

    And the promoter of the Indue Card is reported to be Larry Anthony, former Federal leader of the Nazional$ and representative of the Nazional$ in Richmond on the Far North Coast of NSW, lost to the Nazional$ by the refusal of his successor John Anderson to spend about $2.4 BILLION regional road development money before the 2004 election, to encourage farmers to vote for the Nazional$. Even the late reversal of this corrupt policy in Ballina NSW failed to save the heir to the local media empire.

    Now the Far North Coast of NSW has become a tree-change re-settlement destination the ‘blow-ins” know a lot about political organisation and since 2004 there have been many economic changes for the better — because the Nazional$ have been pushed out of politics.

    Don’t be a loser — vote ANYONE BUT NAT$ and win better government regional services for mental health, hospitals, education, Internet, communications, policing and infrastructure maintenance plus upgrades.

  7. leefe

    Comments here are useless. Write to the politicians listed. They are the only ones who have the power to stop this punitive rort.

  8. Robin Alexander

    I heard the announcement by the then minister PAUL FLETCHER TV INTERVIEW MAY 2019 he stated ALL WELFARE PAYMENTS WILL BE PLACED ON INDUE CARD COMMENCING 2020 including AGED & VETERAN PENSIONS? As a 82yr old pensioner I was stunned filled with fear prospect been thrown like shitty rag into a corner after working physically hard since age 15/70 yrs?last few yrs my life to be placed on this evil card was so depresding as I had read peoples reports sent to Senator Rachel Seiwert a ferocious fighter for all vulnerable less fortunate of society! Heartbreaking demoralizing stories from good honest people living with misery humiliation every day they present card & it fails not because no money in it just Indue processing also Indues lack.care resulting in people losing rentals /cars/deposits paid on a fridge Indue refused forward balance young woman then lost deposit!hundreds,stories like that left me wondering how will 80/90yr olds plus ever comprehend they way to.use the limited access card? No direct debits for utility bills allowed no transfer money to a bank account? I wonder if credit card payments,allowed for small monthly.payments such as insurance foxtel/netflix /Boost phone payments? I spent next 6/9months contacting ministers Senators any who replied told me had “no knowledge of it” seriously?minister makes,a very serious announcement they never heard such move! SENATOR SEIWERT only one who was aware keeps all informed on her facebook site unfirtunately she is not standing after next Fed ellection that leaves nobody to fight fir us,as ferociously as this finevlady does’the plan to introduce for all I cinclude is COVID HAS DELAYED FULL IMPLANTATION at this stage? Remind you TWIGGY FOREST INTRODUCED THIS EVIL CARD TO LIBERALS first place his excuse to counteract addiction now that has beeb thrown out window excuse he still walks hall Parliament continually for extensions of trial areas or new ones!ladt year an area WA finished their 2yr Trial time he wanted it extended he eventaully got his Senator to vote for extention of trial that was Jackie Lambie she told she visited,area people,wanted it? Wonder what %population she spoke to? Most hate it ?report from Cefuna was it was decestating for small town small shops once patronized couldn’t accept card many businesses had to close people very much against!those suffering from addiction in families they should be able to apply for card only not punish whole popukation!Twiggy Forest hokds high position on Indue my view mining Billionaire pushing this card for years must be big money making scam for either him or family Larry Anthony was President or whatever but stepped down that position but remains with Indue National Party are behind it?IMPORTANT FACT is CHRISTIAN PORTER our attorney general has changed word PENSION TO WELFARE PAYMENT never been announced Pensioners not aware?this was a forbidden thing!on introduction decades,aho.of pensionBoth leaders each Party stood before packed house Parliament individually swore an.oath “PENSION MUST NEVER BE CALLED WELFARE”?liberal idol Bob Menzies swore that oath yet a liberal has changed it in secrecy without advising population of this change?my view for quick easy.passage of their bill when.presented for” all WELFARE PAYMENTS NOW TO BE PSID BY INDUE” standard most people in government never question or look see who is involved in change and aged & Veteran.pensions will slip through unnoticed a victory for this seemingly secretive cruel attirney general firgetting that we,aged helped build this nation during hard conditions years ago others fought for country now we are cast aside like untouchables all for money making scam.of Indue $12000 paid for every card they process’ 4million plus pensions alone think of total$$$$$ and an AMERICAN.BANK HANDLES ALL MONEY? Australia noted as having safest banks in world why US bank made me question authenticity of Indue! Should be thrown out now befor Misery humiliation envelopes our population!

  9. Caz

    This card favors certain businesses, big businesses. It does nothing to help people on low incomes to manage their budgets effectively. For a supposedly liberal democratic government, opposed to the nanny state to have introduced this card in the first place, is the height of hypocrisy. As a War Widow, my husband would be appalled at the possibility that I can be forced to shop at certain shops, prevented from buying certain items and have a lifestyle forced on me. Only the Liberal National Government would contemplate such an outrageous Abuse of power. I have left messages at each office of the independent senators and will email them as well. A link to Facebook would make it much easier to spread the word to the general public. I always opposed the original rollout for indigenous people and because there wasn’t a general hue and cry against it, this is the result. First they came for the unionists……

  10. Jon Chesterson

    Life and choice is not just for the privileged – The Liberals continue to erode individual citizen and public rights by lies, deception, stealth and private profit – We MUST continue to stand up to the hijacking of our Australian way of life and share this everywhere!

    Thanks Tina 🙂

  11. Ronnie C

    Tina, thanks for the reminder, I will pen something today if time allows. The INDUE card ties in nicely with the Great Reset promised us by Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum: ‘The plandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world’, or words to that effect.
    When Klaus says reset he means destruction of the middle and working classes.
    Most will lose their jobs and assets in exchange for UBI and an INDUE card to survive on.
    Then your work for your new masters begins, there will be no free lunches.

    The Communist-inspired New World Order takedown of Western society is being carried out in the shadows. The bright light of attention is firmly on covid, but in the shadows what moves there? Klaus? That you?
    They could have played this panic-demic story out earlier as every year there is this or that seasonal flu that can be talked up to its scary limit, but for whatever reason it is happening now. Make it happen by 2021 seems to be their timeline, and pray that too many of the chattering class do not see through the scam. So far, so good.

    I ran across the work of Jeremy Lee this week and way back in the 1990s he was warning us of what was coming. Now it is here.
    ‘The New World Order and the Destruction of Australian Industry’ by Jeremy LEE.
    Jeremy had fore-vision like few others:
    https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/3025392 [National Library Australia]

  12. DrakeN

    And how so many complain about a “Nanny State” when some communally beneficial rule or regulation is introduced.
    An ability to trade in cash for used goods, to small scale producers and to offer a small loan to someone to ‘tide them over’ is completely removed by this proposal resulting in higher costs to the cardholder and a diminution of community trading which will be felt across the whole of lower income society.
    “Free Market” principles are proclaimed so loudly by these same people who are intent on strangling the very foundations of that concept; in this and so many other faces of life.

  13. ajogrady

    When does this nightmare end. If there is a battle between good and evil surely the evidence points to the fact that evil is winning.

  14. DrakeN

    @ajogrady,

    Historically, that has usually been the case.

  15. Mrs Wobbly

    These LNP fascists pigs are breaching human rights and they need to be made accountable for crimes against humanity on several issues. Where is the out rage from Labour the Greens and independents for welfare recipients which are tax payers funded. Tax payers also fund politicians, so endue cards for all and a huge and a reduction in salaries, I suggest on the same par as welfare payment amounts, for all politicians. This is not christian behaviours and christian Scott Morrison is not ! he’s a far right fascist with his partys ideologically of greed, dévide and rule two tears of society for the haves and have nots, this party has always had designed to have a LNP governance only and no opposition. and it’s open slather on people who can’t fight back, due to forced poverty. Shameful behaviour and management of the peoples Australian parliamentary system. Fascism is here and the LNPs fascism plight has been won, it’s not a democracy in this country anymore and the opposition have been silenced, but happily still collecting tax payers funded salaries. Now is the time to fight against LNP fascism for humanity and Australia’s freedom and democracy as we once new it, and a fairer society

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