Jocelyn, a Disability Pensioner in Ceduna, wrote in an online article about the stigma of being on the cashless debit card without needing to be:
“Imagine going out for a coffee with friends and having to use the card. Imagine buying the local paper… and having to use the card. Imagine not having cash for something you really love on the local buy/sell/exchange. Imagine trying to sell some items to get cash to survive. Imagine every time you pull the card out that you are labelled as a loser. Imagine pulling out a card that doesn’t always work! Even if you have a dollar balance on the card, it refuses you at the checkout, with people waiting behind you in the queue at the local supermarket. Imagine going to the chemist and the card will not work for your prescriptions. All of this has happened to me, and others, many times.”Jocelyn – powertopersuade.org.au
As I outlined in my speech on the Government’s bill to make the CDC rollout permanent, there is no evidence that compulsory income management works in tackling drug, alcohol and gambling addiction. For many people like Jocelyn who are forced onto the card with no history of addiction, it creates a sense of stigma and shame, and takes away their financial autonomy.
Sadly, the Government’s bill was passed by the Senate. Labor will continue to urge the Morrison Government to accept the evidence, stop wasting taxpayers’ money on compulsory income management and abandon it in favour of interventions that are proven to work.