Thursday, 02 August 2018 15:57

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card Trial Expansion)

UnitingCare Australia welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card Trial Expansion) Bill 2018 (CDCT or ‘the trial’).

In our Submission of 29 September 2017 on the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017, we said:

It is our view that evaluation of the card’s implementation in the trial sites provides

inconclusive evidence regarding the effectiveness of the card’s introduction alone in

reducing levels of harm associated with alcohol consumption, drug use and gambling within the target communities.

and named the following issues of concern:

• Insufficient information regarding how people using the card will be managed off it;

• Stigmatisation of card users;

• Limited ability of card users to purchase goods that are second-hand due to

quarantining introduced with the card, preventing people’s access to cheaper cash

markets;

• Complexity of evaluating the card’s effectiveness when card users may move out of

the trial locations. The ORIMA evaluation does not include a longitudinal study that

tracks trends based on, and following through with, the initial sample group;

• Flawed assumptions underpinning the card, particularly that alcohol, drug use and

gambling are the primary causes of financial insecurity and poverty in the target communities.

Additional Info

  • Submitted to: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017
  • Regarding: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017
  • Date Submitted: Wednesday, 25 July 2018
  • Contact Name: Claerwen Little
  • Contact Email Address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.