The SA Greens today backed the calls of the Accountable Income Management Network in calling out the spin on the cashless welfare card that has been trialed in Ceduna. Ms Franks was in Ceduna last week and convened a meeting with locals many of whom raised significant concerns about the workings of the Indue (Cashless Welfare) Card.
Tammy Franks Greens MLC stated: “The cashless welfare card is a dud deal conjured up by a mining magnate billionaire that punishes people already living below the poverty line with increased crime.
“I’m urging the Weatherill government to take a second look at this card in our state. Don’t believe the hype. Despite the spin, scratch the surface and it appears the card is actually a massive failure. A 400% increase in non-aggravated robbery is not a success, 21,000 failed transactions for legitimate purchases is not a success. Four out of every five people saying it hasn’t worked is not a success, and amounts of up to $10,000 to administer a card per person is certainly not a success.
“It’s not only a fail, it is an outrageous waste of the welfare budget. Paying a company $10,000 a pop to stop people having access to their welfare payments in cash is ludicrous. Someone's making a profit here and it's certainly not those who most need it.
“A welfare system that wastes undue money in massive administrative costs for a private company while restricting actual assistance to people in poverty is just not responsible welfare by any measure.
“Last week people in Ceduna tell me they have been denied paying their phone bills, buying their groceries or registering their car on this wasteful grey card. They tell me they are offered deals outside the local supermarket to use another person’s card to buy their groceries by those looking to get around the restrictions on buying alcohol.
“Imagine also the shame of doing your groceries and having to leave them at the checkout when a card the Government is propping up with public money says no... not because you don't have the money in your account, but because this card often doesn't work and you've got no other option. This card has said ‘no’ to those people doing the right thing, some 21,000 times in this farcical trial, it’s time to say no to any further rollout of the cruel cashless card.
“Fix the problems in the area by all means but with a 400% increase in non-aggravated robbery clearly this card does not do that. Meanwhile where’s the promised rehabilitation facility?” she concluded.