Government MP denies Cashless Welfare Card risk to pensioners

Article published 28 April 2020

Government MP denies Cashless Welfare Card risk to pensioners

THE Cashless Welfare Card front page of the March 2020 issue of THE VOICE has caused some consternation among Australian Government ranks.

George Christensen, a Government MP, emailed CPSA claiming that the Government has “repeatedly” said that the Cashless Welfare Card would not be extended to Age Pensioners.

Mr Christensen also told CPSA to “stop scaring your members unnecessarily”.

CPSA has responded to Mr Christensen, asking him to provide references of when and where the Government has said it won’t extend the Cashless Welfare Card to Age Pensioners, pointing out that CPSA has been asking for just such a statement since October last year.

Mr Christensen has yet to respond.

CPSA hasn’t been able to find any instances of the Government saying that the Cashless Welfare Card is not going to be extended to Age Pensioners.

What we have found are comments by the Minister for Social Services that the Cashless Welfare Card could well be rolled out nationally.

That roll-out would not be to make sure welfare money isn’t spent on alcohol, drugs and gambling. That roll-out would be “a mainstream financial literacy tool” for social security payments generally, which include the Age Pension.

CPSA is still waiting for a statement from the Minister for Social Services to say that, whatever happens, Age Pensioners will not be put on the Cashless Welfare Card.

CPSA’s position is that the Cashless Welfare Card should only be made available to people who apply for it because they want to be on it.

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