Human Services minister Alan Tudge has announced that cashless welfare cards will be used on an ongoing basis in Ceduna in South Australia and Kununurra in West Australia after a 175 –page government commissioned review of a year-long trial.
The trial limited welfare recipients’ access to cash through the use of a debit card that could not be used to buy alcohol or gamble.
80 percent of most recipients’ payments were quarantined with 20 percent of payments going to recipients’ regular bank accounts – allowing the withdrawal of cash.
The review reported that 25% of people using the card were not drinking as often and that a third of gamblers said they had ceased gambling.
Speaking to the ABC, Executive director of the Wunan Foundation Ian Trust said that though the program is controversial, he has seen results in his community.