1000 applications to exit the Cashless Debit Card have now been received with less than 100 applications processed, the latest figures on the Cashless Debit Card show.
“This process is a debacle. The Department recently said in an answer to a question on notice that it is taking an average of five months for an application to be processed, I note that this was estimated to the beginning of March which is now over 2 months ago so the average is now higher than that”, Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services said.
“The Government should be properly resourcing this process. The lack of transparency around how applications are assessed is also very concerning.
“Five months is much too long for people to be waiting and that is just the average processing time. I’ve had people contact my office who still haven’t had their application processed after lodging interest in the application process in July last year.
“The exit process developed in the deal that the Government and ALP did to get the Cashless debit Card extension through the Senate in April 2019 gave false hopes to people that they would be able to exit the program.
“There are also 279 people who have moved out of the so-called trial areas and they should be immediately taken off the card. I am very concerned that they will have difficulty using the card in areas that are not part of the trial and will be experiencing financial hardship.
“People from around the country have been hoping since July 1, 2019 that they would get off this punitive card that is causing people on low incomes such hardship and once again they have been let down.
“This punitive card should be scrapped”.
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180