The Greens have called Mr Morrison’s plans to expand the Cashless Debit Card ideologically motivated and discriminatory.
“There is no evidence to support the expansion of the Cashless Debit Card so the Government relies on spin and fudged figures to tell us about how great the card is”, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“This is not a Government with an agenda based on evidence, it’s all ideology and it entrenches poverty and disadvantage. This most recent push is also designed as a distraction from the gathering momentum to raise the rate of Newstart.
“I’m urging Senator Lambie and the opposition to listen to the community and the evidence and not to fall for this Government spin. This card makes life hard for people on low incomes.
“Just last week I was in Ceduna and what we heard from the community was devastating.
“People can’t just get on with their day to day lives, they feel stigmatised, angry and depressed with simple things like using the laundry mat a major stress.
“My office deals with people daily who cannot pay their rent or bills using the card or are not able to use cash economies like markets, second hand shops or op-shops to help them make ends meets and I heard the same thing in Ceduna last week.
“Ceduna often has power outages that can go for days leaving people on the card with no money at all.
“Let’s be clear, this is a discriminatory approach which targets First Nations peoples, people talk of it being like the ration days.
“The ANAO found that there was no evidence that there had been a reduction in social harm in the so-called trial sites. Similarly the final evaluation of income management as part of the NT Intervention found that it met none of its objectives. The ORIMA evaluation and the Evaluation by the University of Adelaide have been called into question by numerous academics because no baseline data was collected to make any comparison to and they relied heavily on hand picked anecdotal reports, flawed methodology and push polling type approach.
“The Government is fudging unemployment data in Hinkler too. If the card works, be transparent, put the data on the table let there be robust scrutiny.
“This card is a damaging waste of money.”
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180