Two prongs of the Morrison government’s welfare policy have come under fire as some Australians wait to find out if they’ll be permanently forced onto restrictive debit cards.
The government bill to make the cashless welfare card permanent in its current trial sites is before the Senate, where its fate lies in the hands of independent Rex Patrick.
The bill also transfers more than 20,000 people in the Northern Territory to the commercially-run cards from another income management system.
Labor senator Pat Dodson says the plan is racist as it primarily targets Indigenous communities.
He can’t believe the government is pushing for the plan after saying it wants to work more collaboratively with Indigenous communities.
“This is a hollow mantra,” Senator Dodson told parliament on Tuesday.
Shadow Minister for Family and Social Services, Linda Burney told Sky News Labor’s position on the card is clear.