Daily News - Tuesday 24 March 2015

Posted 24 March 2015 2:36pm



Scott Morrison hits back at criticism from the Greens over cashless welfare cards

Jake Bourke - 3AW

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison has taken aim at the Greens for voicing their opposition to a planned trial of cashless welfare cards.

The cards, which the Government plans to trial in a number of locations by the end of this year, will not be able to be used on alcohol or gambling.

Greens leader Christine Milne has since labelled the idea offensive to those on welfare.

Tom Elliott asked Mr Morrison if he thought they'd change their mind.

"I don't have a high level of expectation about the Greens doing anything sensible," he said on 3AW Drive.

"They can get all indignant about this sort of thing and get the on the high horse and spout out the rhetoric but that's not going to help a family that is struggling with issues of addiction," he said.

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Response to Cashless Welfare Card Proposal

Catholic Social Services Australia

Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA) is concerned about the Federal Government’s proposed trial into a cashless welfare card which may occur later in the year. The stated intention is to prevent welfare payments being spent on alcohol and gambling.

CSSA’s vision is to ensure that Australia is a place where all people are treated with respect and have the opportunity to fully participate and contribute; a society in which people of all ages, especially our elders, children and vulnerable groups, have the assistance they need to live a dignified, healthy and meaningful life.

“We believe that income management is only a stop-gap measure to prevent harm while an individual, family or community works to overcome underlying problems such as alcohol or drug addiction, poor budgeting skills, or financial harassment. The cashless welfare card will not by itself address these issues.” said Marcelle Mogg, CEO of CSSA.

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Healthy welfare card will protect the vulnerable

Andrew Forrest - Daily Telegraph

Australia has built and refined a strong social compact between our government and citizens. It’s hard work and entrepreneurialism ­coupled with a safety net to help people up if they fall on hard times.

Although the broad values of this social compact have not changed, the realities of ­Australian life in 2015 have stretched it to breaking point. Intergenerational welfare ­recipients are excluded from mainstream society as drugs and alcohol run rife through vulnerable communities.

This poison creates serious social ills, most notably violence, especially against women. In some ­places one in 10 women are likely to be violently assaulted over the coming year, with more than 60 per cent of those attacks associated with alcohol or drugs.

The 27 recommendations from my Creating Parity report handed to the government last year strengthens both the mutual obligation and the safety net elements of the Australian social compact.

For welfare payments to be a hand up in hard times they must be used on healthy family spending. The Australian social compact does not tolerate taxpayer-funded welfare payments being spent on ­gambling, alcohol or drugs.


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