The government will abolish the cashless debit card from four of the original trial sites in Australia, but a form of involuntary income management for welfare recipients will continue in the Northern Territory and Far North Queensland.
Amendments to legislation repealing the card are due to go to the Senate on Monday after parliament’s adjournment delayed debate.
The Albanian government expects the bill to be approved by the lower house on Wednesday, allowing some 17,300 cardholders to transition to a more relaxed scheme, or abandon it altogether before Oct. 4.
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said the legislation would deliver on the Labor Party’s election commitment to abolish the cashless debit card programme.
“This package will provide real solutions for those communities that were subjected to the cashless debit card trial and provide long-term choice and certainty for the future,” Minister Rishworth said.
The bill will make revenue management voluntary in the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay regions of Queensland, Goldfields and East Kimberley in Western Australia, and Ceduna in South Australia.
East Kimberley and Ceduna were the two original test sites selected by the coalition government in 2016 for the card, which quarantined up to 80 percent of a person’s income so it couldn’t be used for gambling, cash withdrawals or purchases. alcohol and cigarettes.
The card drew criticism from human rights lawyers and organizations such as St Vincent de Paul, who said it was dehumanizing and unfairly targeted First Nations people, who made up 50 per cent of card holders.
For those who want to stay in revenue management, the cashless card will be replaced by an “enhanced” card linked to Services Australia that will quarantine 50 per cent of your revenue and allow the other 50 to be withdrawn in cash.