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An open letter to the LNP regarding the Cashless Welfare Card

By Tina Clausen

After having worked as a professional Social Worker for twenty years, including in agency management and interdisciplinary team leader positions, then having to leave the workforce due to illness, how dare you assume that I am suddenly incapable of managing my own income and decide that I should be treated like a child and a criminal.

You are taking away my basic Human Rights of dignity, self-determination and social freedom. You are also illegally disadvantaging me by letting Indue retain interest earned on money in my account as well as forcing me to access goods and services that are more expensive than I get them for now. Money is tight and I’m managing my budget accordingly, you and private for profit company Indue will blow my budget out the window.

Logistically and practically the card is not working and is a nightmare for the general public, whom you are employed to serve in their best interest. This is in no ones best interest except Indue and its shareholders. The $4000 or more the scheme costs to manage per person could be better spent on increasing beneficiary payments, at least that way the money would be funneled back into local communities and thereby stimulating the economy.

The card was initially brought in to support people that had difficulties managing their income appropriately due to addiction issues. That is where it can be targeted, at an individual level for people identified within existing frameworks as being at risk eg via police, child safety services etc.

It is not appropriate to bring the card in wholesale across entire communities and eventually across the nation. We all have the right to live without excessive government interference in our day to day lives. This card only benefits Indue and the big chain stores especially. It is big brother in full action.

Another issue is that whereas Newstart recipients can leave the scheme when they find employment, people with chronic illnesses or disabilities will be stuck on it for life. They already have a hard time and now you want to punish them further?

I would not be able to continue my cheap insurance with Budget Direct, I would have to go to more expensive insurance providers. People can’t shop at cheap fresh food markets or garage sales but can go to Woolworths or the very expensive David Jones. 20% cash does not come close to meeting costs where you are unable to use the card, can’t even pay off a credit card debt or a mortgage with a re-draw facility if some people have those loans as you are not allowed to transfer money to those.

Unscrupulous individuals as well as shop owners are already taking advantage of people on the card and ripping off the most vulnerable in our society. They do this by taking a percentage of desperate peoples money in return for a cash exchange and shops in areas with little competition massively increase their prices. We are talking 200-400% price hikes.

The sad thing is the card doesn’t even address the initial issue the card was brought in for – those few who might actually need such assistance have found ways around it out of sheer desperation or embark on crime sprees to make up their shortfall.

We are a free country and as politicians there to serve the people you have no right to impose such a punitive and draconian scheme on unwilling Citizens. We NEVER voted or said “yes” to such a scheme.

Faithfully,

Tina Clausen.

March in March protests against pay cuts, welfare cuts and the Cashless Welfare Card will be held around Australia on the 25th of March.

To support the most vulnerable in our society, please get involved. Visit the March Australia Facebook page for list of marches in a town or city near you.

 


34 comments

  1. Jill

    Well said!!

  2. Kaye Lee

    Stargroup are taking over Indue.

    Stargroup Parent organizations: News Corporation, 21st Century Fox

    Another bonus for Rupert.

  3. James Cook

    Don’t forget Larry Anthony, dumb-struck son of Doug, runs Indue. So he gets a huge slice of my tax dollars to help the Govt screw needy people. And if Kaye Lee is correct [and she always is] then no doubt little Larry will get a windfall from Rupert. And the MSM snooze away. So much for the fifth estate.

  4. Jaquix

    These cards would be OK if they were voluntary. Not compulsory for all. What a distortion to spending in small towns that would be. Even in cities, no use if you shop at a market for farm fresh veges! BUT should not be a money making exercise for the LNP and certainly not for Rupert Murdoch. This is OUTRAGEOUS. Labor should jump on it. Id like to know how Indie got the initial contract, was it a tender? No matter, this card should be abolished and Labor should be whacking the Libs over the head with it, from today.

  5. Matters Not

    Shit there’s a heap of nonsense talked here. Stargroup now owns Indue lock, stock and barrel – paid a miserable $6.5 million which in corporate terms is but small change. Neither here nor there. If you look up Stargroup on the ASX they have been a basket case for years. And the share price is still well underwater. Look at their performance over 10 years.

    And still we have people claiming that Larry Anthony runs Indue. Never has! Never did! Can well understand how ‘false news’ is so easily believed.

  6. kerri

    Has anyone looked into the businesses that accept the cashless welfare card and who they donate to or have associations with?
    The next step from the overlords “to combat rorting of the card” will be to link the card to ID so that people cannot do cash for card use swaps. Or does that happen already?
    Matters Not the link. Is useless as you need to have an account to login with.

  7. bobrafto

    Matters Not

    I have a conspiracy theory, one of many I might add but the short of it goes like this.

    Murdoch’s stooges were funded by Murdock to start ‘indue’ as it wouldn’t have been a good look if Murdock started it and when the card trial had finished Murdoch’s group took over hoping to come in under the radar. Murdoch wouldn’t be in it if the card was only for a few remote areas so one can safely presume it will be rolled out across all welfare recipients and one blogger recently posted here that the revenue for indue if the card was rolled out, Murdoch stands to pick up $4.6B a year. Not a bad investment on $6.5M.

  8. Kaye Lee

    MN,

    Indue made a $3.5 million profit in 2015 on revenue of almost $70 million. It paid its owners a dividend of $12 a share.

    Stargroup have “plans”, possibly to become a lending bank.

  9. David Bruce

    Why do I get the feeling that the Australia Government (Inc) has lost the plot? Or do they want the populations to start a revolution so they can create a distraction and go war with Russia and China? What are they thinking? Or do the bankers have the dirt on our incestuous politicians and know which strings to pull?

    Bob Katter’s recent article on AIMN assures me that not all politicians are asleep at the wheel. Australia will soon be the same as all the other Pacific Island nations who rely on container loads of food and merchandise to survive. I was appalled at Christmas time when I saw that Target, Big W, Kmart and others were almost identical in layout and with similar or the same products from China for sale! How quickly it has happened. I was only away for a year!

    I guess the next thing with Indue will be an Invoice to the Australian Government for their shortfall in profits if there are insufficient users of the Cashless Welfare Card. This is already happening with Private Prisons in USA!

  10. bobrafto

    I have to the conclusion that there are a lot of parasites loitering around politicians and all scheming on how to get their hands on treasury monies by eyeing of govt. services that can be privatized and Murdoch is one of them.

  11. Michael Taylor

    Quite the opposite, MN, there’s a lot of truth spoken here.

    I am emabarassed to announce that I was one of those who worked on the card that was introduced by the Rudd Government to replace the failed Howard measures following the Northern Territory intervention.

    Some of the stories about ‘recipients’ provided to us by the army were quite horrible. I am not at liberty to disclose them, of course. All I can say is to repeat my opening sentence: there’s a lot of truth spoken here.

  12. Matters Not

    Sorry the ‘link’ doesn’t work for you. (But happy it doesn’t because it reveals personal info that I didn’t think would be reproduced. – Whew.) I can access Stargroup trading info through my account and in corporate terms it’s done nothing to set the world on fire. Losses over 3 years are at -25.5%, over 5 years are at -26.0% and over 10 years at -22.2% . It has no price to earnings ratio (P/E). Analysts are less than impressed. They haven’t done anything. Their performance has been worful

    If it has hopes to get a banking license, then it must do a lot better. From what I can see Indue makes a good fit with this company (both in the ATM business and associated undertakings) but from what I’ve read Stargroup had to get a loan to make the takeover offer.

    KL, I would be interested in any link you have, because I did read about hopes for a banking license but it wasn’t for the companies under discussion.

    MT, I am talking about the companies here. NOT the card. As I have said I have serious reservations about that.

    The companies concerned haven’t hit the financial jackpot. Not yet ate least.

  13. Kaye Lee

    MN,

    As well as a possible initial public offering or takeover by another company, becoming a fully fledged bank is an option to boost its income because it already has a full banking licence.

    But it would need to raise more capital to call itself a bank and start lending.

    “We wouldn’t take on the big banks but there is a great opportunity for a niche player,” he said. “I would want to be a different type of bank.”

    But given it can already take deposits, a cheap source of funds, he could see an opportunity for Indue to lend these to build a much more profitable business.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/indue-considers-becoming-a-bank-floating-to-boost-profits-20160304-gnaxm4.html

  14. Matters Not

    Indue made a $3.5 million profit in 2015 on revenue of almost $70 million

    A return in the order of 5% of turnover is simply not attractive. No wonder they sold the company for the (low) price they did. Surely the company that took over would hope to do a lot better than that.

    Thanks for the link KL, but that’s in the past. It’s now a new ball game I believe. Indue has been taken over.

  15. Kaye Lee

    MN,

    For some reason I can’t copy from this article but it also shows the relationship between Stargroup and Goldfields Money, who also have a banking licence.

    https://www.businessnews.com.au/article/Stargroup-to-access-15m-from-Goldfields-Money-to-fill-ATM-s

    Strategic Acquisition of ATM Processing Business
    Purchase price of $6.5m, fully funded by way of debt

    • Projected annualised revenue increase of $4.1m
    • Projected annualised EBITDA increase of $1.7m
    • Significant synergies and further cost savings to Stargroup and additional and diversified income stream in FY’2017 and beyond

    As far as I understood, they had till tomorrow to cough up the money. Has the takeover actually gone through? And if it has, Stargroup now have a full banking licence courtesy of Indue – they just need sufficient capital.

  16. Matters Not

    KL, I’m not across the detail re the acquisition. I recall reading an article where the deal between Stargroup and Indue was on following due diligence and all that and some monies had changed hands – a ‘deposit’ of 5% or $326,000 – . I believed that the deadline had past and the shouting was all over. But ‘technically that’s not quite the case. From my reading on Stargroup, Indue and now Goldfields, they talk big but, to date, have delivered little. Your article is dated September 16 2016 so there’s been some water under the bridge since then.

    As for:

    they just need sufficient capital.

    Not a ‘minor’ problem, I believe. Here’s some discussion re the takeover from late February 2017.

    Delay is usual in the corporate world. How this deal will translate to the bottom line and cash flow is the question.

    I cant see market getting more excited than currently once indue deal is closed..Just need to wait for the “sky blue” opportunities in fy18 I suppose..

    … Stargroup has agreed with Indue to further extend the completion date to “no later” than 13-3-17. So it is “proceeding on an unconditional basis” until the 13-3-17

    If the financing company were convinced you would imagine they would grant the money today. The $326,000 may be partially covered by fees charged to STL so it may not be such a big loss.

    So the morrow should see the conclusion. It’s not really a big deal. Promises of a ‘blue sky’ future. But they all do that. More here.

    https://hotcopper.com.au/threads/indue-transaction-update.3237428/#.WMTNumfauZ8

  17. Kaye Lee

    From little things big things grow…

    If you need capital, getting 80% of welfare payments gives you a shitload of short term cash.

    Who knows. I just get warning bells ringing when we combine Rupert Murdoch, government contracts, and financial institutions.

  18. Kaye Lee

    Aside from following the money trail to see who profits, I also agree with Tina’s article. There may be individuals who would benefit from income management. They would probably benefit even more from rehab and life skills education and a job. But applying it by postcodes rather than individual case management does nothing to solve the underlying problems and places unfair restrictions on innocent people in the mean time.

  19. June M Bullivant Oam

    How dare millionaires can decide the fate of the people who worked all their lives and have raised a family, this oppression is not needed in Australia, Triggy Forest butt out.

  20. Matters Not

    June M Bullivant Oam – What about the children?

    (I think we’ve been down this very same track rather recently.)

  21. Freetasman

    I hope that I am wrong but this cashless welfare card will be another excellent tool for the benefit of those at the top to divide society.
    They are using One Nation for the same purpose and the only way to stop this is for the ALP and the Greens to do the much of they can to weak up the masses making them aware of what it is going on.

  22. Kaye Lee

    leonetwo pointed out my mistake on another thread. Murdoch is not involved. Star Group and Stargroup are two different companies. I apologise for my confusion.

  23. Matters Not

    when we combine Rupert Murdoch, government contracts, and financial institutions.

    leonie 2 reckons Murdoch isn’t within a bull’s roar. An understandable mistake re the similar ‘naming’ of (but) unrelated companies.

    Also, there seems to be the assumption that the Federal Treasury provides all this money to Indue well in advance – so Indue can play the short term money market. While anything’s possible, I can’t see Treasury being that generous. Or that naïve.

    As I suggested, when this (ownership issue and funds being channelled to the National Party) was first raised a few posts (and days) ago, the writer(s) were tilting at windmills. To date, I remain of that view.

    Again I stress, my issue isn’t with the cards as such (I am opposed) – just the claims re who owns what and supposed beneficiaries.

  24. Matters Not

    Re the ‘welfare card’ and the administration of same. In my opinion, the welfare card attempts to address a real problem. In part at least, it attempts to ensure there are funds available for ‘dependents’ (read women and children) to access the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter. And to ensure the monies are not ‘wasted’, mainly by males on alcohol, gambling and the like.

    Sure (at this stage) it’s a blunt instrument – and at so many levels. Sure it can be improved, refined and so on. That’s what trials are all about.

    One of the big problems governments have is that they are unwieldy (particularly at the Federal level) – can’t deal with nuance. The concept of subsidiarity needs to be brought to bear.

  25. wam

    sorry matters not your approach has no credibility given the examples of care and collateral damage shown by this government.
    If there was some ‘opt out’ mechanism for Aboriginal people in the basic card implementation and continuation by macklin the downward slide to food stamps may have been halted but she and the libs are charging on full pelt to the american way.
    ps isn’t one nation strong on women who breed for money? Who is the dependent?
    The opt in for organ donation is as bad as the no opt out for welfare control.

  26. Matters Not

    Tina Clausen, someone needs to update the petition, including the current designations of the intended recipients . For example, the petition has Scott Morrison as the Social Services Minister and Christine Milne as the Leader of The Greens. They were once but now aren’t. Further, Alan Tudge is now more than just an MP. These days he’s the Minister for Human Services. Tudge is the person who will have Ministerial responsibility for any response. Not a good look if you want a ‘polite’ response.

    Great to see political activism but remember that ‘details’ matter. Get that part wrong and what might seem like relatively irrelevant detail(s) becomes the story.

  27. Helen Dawson

    Salvation Army and other large religious organisations are planning on privatisation of Centrelink so they can do the same as in the USA, food stamps, warehousing the poor and homeless for PROFIT in “shelters”, handling out of date produce and tinned food to homeless families. There are over 1 million homeless children in the USA. They plan to do this here, buying up shopping strips, so they can have ‘welfare services’ at their premises rather than Centrelink government run, could all happen overnight tonight without the slightest blip in the Fed Govt or banking system.
    Problem driving Welfare Card in the first place is the underfunding of Child payments for young children and only half the Rent Assistance per child.
    One person can receive Centrelink payments for A DEPENDANT, be it partner, child, Disabled Adult, and have sole control of the money.
    This is the problem that has to stop. Each person should receive Centrelink funds to their own bank account, not have it controlled by someone else.
    No politician will tackle this SIMPLE change, because they do not want to upset patriarchal religious groups that insist that the usually male HEAD of the household controls the bank account for the family.
    This is one reason why there is so much Domestic Violence and not just in patriarchal families, across the board, because a dominating partner can control the entire cashflow from welfare.
    There needs to be more than just a Stat Dec Signature to get Financial Power of Attorney.
    Our Court systems and government are medieval cluncky systems of control of populations.
    We need a BILL OF RIGHTS in Australia, and the basic guarantees of the RIGHT to protection of the most vulnerable written into legislation so that these sort of shonky processes cannot happen.
    Politics is just a game to win for the billionaires, they have no consideration because they have no relevant life experience. Never having experienced hunger, going without food and shelter for 2 months or more is beyond their comprehension.

  28. Tina Clausen

    Cashless Welfare Card to continue permanently and be implemented across new areas.

    Billionaire businessman Andrew Forrest first flagged the introduction of the Cashless Welfare Card. Why is that not surprising, a rich man with no concept of ordinary life, comes up with a ‘solution’ for a few social problems for some people or in some communities, then it just gets a blanket roll-in destroying the lives of tens of thousands of people who have done nothing wrong and whom the card severely disadvantages.

    http://www.news.com.au/national/politics/cashless-welfare-card-a-success-report/news-story/23af606451b27348a54c6a463ce15924

  29. woodman.

    this is a breach of your human rights,and extremily predudicial ,considering that thousands are being demeaned ,and with its introduction ,guilty !! while innocent of of missapropriate spending??? .If this rorting government are so concerned on this subject ,then why is it that in regards to Drugabuse!! Drinking!! and domestic violence .it is happening in all socio classes!!! ,so to me this is just an impotent pm!! and his upper class and inefficient party bashing the most vunerable ,to smoke screen the inherent failures!! These are the facts ,and the pending protests should go ahead with resolve,and imight add that if the so called working party ,that is labour ,does not support these universal protests ,then I can only say that they to will suffer at the next election ,as I know many that support the concerned ,so labour should do wat uis right and fight 4 the fundamental rights of those that have taken enough abuse from these biggots and hypocrite ,that rort tax payer dollars more often than not!! ??????!!! YES AUSTRALIA!! .who are the real abusers???.

  30. Michael Fairweather

    It is a dead cert that the CARD holder is going to lose a lot of their pension, it is designed for that reason . Any money left on the card you will forfeit , that one way the administrator will make their money, also means less work for the Government.

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