Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge.
Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge. AAP Image

Cashless welfare to stay

THE trial run of a cashless welfare card is being hailed as a success despite reports some card holders turned to prostitution.

The Turnbull government has welcomed an audit that found the year-long trials in Ceduna and the East Kimberley have greatly reduced rates of substance abuse and gambling.

Cashless welfare will now be in place permanently in the regions, subject to six-monthly reviews.

The report by ORIMA Research released yesterday shows some recipients have found ways to get cash despite the system.

Recipients get 80% of their welfare payment on a debit card that can't be used to buy alcohol or gamble. The other 20% goes into their bank.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge (pictured) said the card was no cure-all but had led to local improvements.

Claire Bickers