1,000 signatures reached
To: All political parties of Australia
Stop the Debit Card trials and Indue from controlling Social Security Payments
Cease the trials of the Welfare Debit card in Ceduna and the East Kimberly regions.
Change the concept to a voluntary or court ordered procedure on a case by case basis as needed, or wanted. Or scrap it all together as the costs to the tax payer are a further $4020 per person being managed, money that could be better spent on programs that assist people not beat people with a big stick approach, not money for shareholders to make $$ from our most vulnerable and disadvantaged people.
Stop the blanket approach of compulsory placement on the Welfare Debit Card for all aged 16-64 covering all payments as it stands now.
Do not allow the program to be rolled out across the whole of regional Australia.
Do not expand the program to include the old age pension at a later date.
Require the govt to keep social security payments in government hands, not outsourced to the private Indue/Stargroup company using the Visa card platform to control payments and make decisions on behalf of people without their consent. Today you have a job, you are a valued tax payer in the govt's eyes, tomorrow your employer closes down and you lose your job, you are now a target for the welfare debit card and are branded to be incapable of managing your income, a drunk, a drug addict, bludger etc'
I grew up in a country that led us to believe we were all equal citizens, this card will change all of that, as the media and the gov't have spent years creating the social division based on ones' finances. This needs to be stopped and a return to an inclusive caring compassionate nation, instead of the arising division and individualistic mind set of, "I'm all right Jack"
You can find more info on the net for the program and other sites, do your research, then contact your local, MP, and the senators that will be making the decision in the near future as to whether or not Indue will be allowed to be placed across the country onto nearly 2 million people to start with.
The trials still have to go back to reviews.
Why is this important?
The Welfare Debit Card takes away a person's right to choose where they shop, how they pay their bills and possibly will affect where they will live.
Indue control how payments are made instead of you, your banking and bill paying abilities are affected when you are forced to change to either Centrepay or Indue to make your regular payments. Some payments are not accepted on the Indue Card or Centrepay and you are expected to manage those accounts on your 20% allowance to be paid into your nominated bank. The other 80% is restricted to the Indue Visa debit/credit card.
Online shopping is restricted, no Ebay. Gumtree, Paypal, or access to enough cash to be able to purchase secondhand items from Facebook sites, friends, markets etc.
Most people on some sort of payment for example, a student rely on being able to buy secondhand text books, pay cash room rentals etc, bus trips, with the indue Welfare Debit card there is not enough accessible cash allowed to do such things.
Most people on newstart, share accommodations, rent rooms, share houses and utilities and pay cash for those expenses, they also rely on cash for transport on regional buses, secondhand clothing etc.
How does someone pay their mortgage on Indue???
Many parents rely on being able to furnish a home, buy clothes, school uniform, pay for school excursions, school photos, sports,emergency replacement of a fridge or a washing machine, a car or even car repairs etc using cash. The welfare debit card will restrict all of that and push people into financial stress further, also, creating a huge strain on the limited low interest and no interest loan schemes that are approved, but causing delays in waiting for such approvals, could leave a family in the summer with no fridge for a longer time.
For people on Disability Support Pensions there is no way off the card, This further restricts as with everyone else, there ability to be included in social activities and self determination. Carers will also suffer the brunt of it too.
Most people on any form of govt payments struggle to get by at the best of times, they make do, utilize secondhand and thrifty options to get the most out of their income support payments and social security. Many on newstart are going without food now, not because they waste their income, but just because the income they have is not enough to even pay a rental, let alone food, elect, unless they share accommodations or move back in with parents. Many do not have supports such as family to turn to.
Not everyone on any benefit is a drug addict or an alcoholic or miss manages their funds as the govt has been portraying in the media, most people are just getting through day to day, paying bills, shopping in their communities, all monies paid are being paid back into your local area and supporting local jobs, whether someone buys something for cash on a facebook site, then that person spends the cash on shopping or bills, It all supports the economy.
Some people access cheaper items on Ebay or other online services, like home shopping, many DSP are not able to get out all the time to buy things on a card, at an approved place,
We all know there are people in our communities , working and non working that have issues with drugs, alcohol, gambling. This card targets only those on social security with such addictions, and does not address the problems over all in society with the same issues for working people, who can continue to drink, drug and gamble their income away, thus affecting their families too.
We would like to see the card scaled back to people on a voluntary basis, with proper supports put in place to help people, Or scraped all together as the cost to the tax payer is a further $4040 per person being managed, that money could be better spent on support programs, than profits for shareholders. After all the govt cuts to services around the country, The supports currently in place are grossly inadequate.
With the continual sell out of jobs overseas, the abuse of the foreign workers that are coming into fill positions that many Australians could have done anyways, the continual push for people to be income managed and working at the same time, we need to stand up for our rights to be able to manage our own incomes, People do not need to be treated like naughty children and have their income dished out like pocket money.
It is insulting that in the year 2017 that our govt is treating good people in this manner, in order to control their spending, push the incomes to multi nationals that never pay their taxes, at the same time as allowing an international company Indue to be able to take control of our nations social security budget, and make money from our poor for it's share holders in the process.
Think about all the things you use cash for, how local small business will suffer losses too!
At the end of the day, this program is not really all about helping a small amount of our population to overcome financial issues, or health issues, it is about control and actually could hinder most and exclude people from normal society. Homelessness is increasing at a monumental rate, we don't need to make it worse.
In both trail areas, Crime is up ! The 80% paid on the card earns Indue the interest NOT you. No split payments means no joint accounts for couples, For people who are caring for people on DSP this will cause issues as no use of another persons card is allowed, Loss of privacy and financial autonomy as Indue can share your information to anyone they want. Having to ring Indue to get approval for bills is humiliating. Asking a shop owner if they take the card before shopping also alerts business that you are on Centrelink. If Eftpos is down, card holders cannot go to a bank to access cash. Gov't now pushing for all under 18s to be placed on the card, Once on the card very hard to get off, still applies to all payments under 64 inc DSP for life!
How it will be delivered
This petition will be emailed to relevant Ministers within our gov't