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Repeat mistakes from the past

4 september 2015 Labor party ‘will consider’ the cashless welfare debit cards legislation and Tony Abbott reckons that the Forrest proposed welfare card will help lift Indigenous people ‘by their bootstraps’. The card is similar to the failing (and existing) BasicsCard. 80% of a welfare recipient’s dole money will end up into a special account that can only be accessed via debit card. The cards can not be used for gambling or to buy liquor. “The main objective of the card is to address the very serious welfare-fuelled alcohol, drug and gambling abuse, [which] as you’d be aware is rife in some communities,” acoording to the government. The card is to be trialled in three separate locations, affecting up to 10,000 people. More info in The Guardian 19 Aug and 23 Aug
Comment by Wake Up Time: The idea of a cashless welfare card is not new, and not the result of proposals of Forrest: it has existed in the NT for years, called the BasicsCard. Wake Up Time shows clearly that the negatives of these cards outweigh the benefits. Measures taken for one racial group in the society, like this card, are racist by definition. In addition, Aboriginal people feel treated as children, rightfully so. In theory these cards are always meant for ALL welfare recipients, but fact is that these cards will only been introduced in regions with a predominant Aboriginal welfare population.

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