The LNP is refusing to make concessions in its war against welfare and the poor. Last week, the Federal Government announced it will begin a trial examining the effectiveness of a cashless welfare card. The card will limit the recipient’s options and control where and when they spend their money.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Alan Tudge, announced the trials, which were inspired by an idea raised during the indigenous employment review. As many media watchers might already know, this review was the brain-child of magnanimous tycoon Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest. In it, the mining magnate recommended a cashless welfare system which limits the user’s ability to spend money on liquor and gambling.

Now, the Federal Government has decided it will trial the program across the wider Australian welfare landscape.

“You could use it for anything, you could use it anywhere – but you simply could not purchase alcohol or gamble with it,” Mr Tudge explained. In the end, the LNP believes that it could form part of successful harm prevention. “This could have a dramatic impact on the community in terms of rates of violence and rates of assaults, particularly against women,” Mr. Tudge said.

Across the chamber, the decision has been met with round disapproval and derision. Greens leader Christine Milne took a swipe at the government, claiming that the idea was doomed form the beginning.

“I think it’s really offensive to all Australians to see our Prime Minister standing up with a wealthy and privileged other white man, a mining magnate, telling people throughout Australia who are less well off how they should manage their income,” the well-spoken senator explained.

Labor Families spokeswoman Jenny Macklin said her party was already on-baord with targeted management (which already occurs in certain instances).

“Labor supports efforts to assist vulnerable Australians in dealing with drug and alcohol abuse,” Ms Macklin said via a written statement. “Labor does not believe that everyone on income support requires income management. But Labor does believe that targeted income management can be helpful for vulnerable Australians.”

Currently, over twenty thousand Australians have their welfare payments processed through a ‘Basics Card’ which limits the recipients ability to spend their payments on alcohol, gambling or other vices.


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