Senator Rachel Siewert said today that the Government had once again displayed its contempt of people on income support by extending the Cashless Debit Card and increasing the pressure of the robodebt program.
"The Government has defied logic and displayed contempt for both experts and people on income support in committing millions of dollars of public money to extend the Cashless Debit Card, a program that simply does not work," Senator Rachel Siewert said.
"This is about punishing people on income support, it's not about reducing disadvantage, because if the Government was serious about that they would be funding programs that are actually proven to work, like early intervention programs, addiction and mental health services and effective employment supports.
"The Government is putting people through hell in a social experiment that has no end in sight. And let's be clear, these are no longer trials, they've been going for far too long.
"Not content with punishing people in the NT with the current form of income management they are going to make things even worse.
"The ORIMA "evaluations" have been thoroughly discredited by academics and researchers as well as the ANAO and just one week ago at the Senate inquiry academics described these evaluations as “extremely misleading".
"Academics and researchers are now at a loss as to how one would even begin to undertake a proper evaluation of the so- called trial sites, because the approach has been so haphazard, particularly given that no proper baseline data was been collected at any of the trial sites.
"It is unacceptable for the Government to purse this expensive, racist and punitive card when there is no credible evidence to prove that it works.
"I am deeply concerned about the news that the Government is amping up pressure on vulnerable people with alleged robodebts. It is appalling that people with these unfair debts are feeling even more pressure from the Government."
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180