Pitt hits back at card critics who claim trial causes shame
MEMBER for Hinkler Keith Pitt has responded to claims the Cashless Debit Card has led to recipients feeling stigmatised and shamed by the trial.
The claims were made after new research was released, with researchers saying they had "uncovered an overwhelming number of negative experiences" stemming from the card, ranging from feelings of "stigma, shame and frustration" to practical issues such as cardholders simply not having enough cash for essential items.
The introduction of the cashless card trial has had thousands of Hinkler residents placed on compulsory income management, with those on the card able to access 20 per cent of their welfare payment in cash.
The other 80 per cent is placed on an Indue card and participants cannot use it to buy alcohol or gambling products.
"The Cashless Debit Card is a tough, but necessary, policy and the anecdotal feedback about the Hinkler trial has been positive," Mr Pitt, pictured, said.
"The study used a sample of 97 people who had directly experienced Income Management which represents just 0.2 per cent of all Income Management participants in Australia. In comparison, the Orima evaluation, which conducted over 500 interviews of the then 2100 CDC participants, represented 23 per cent of participants.
"The report details examples of the positive impact both Income Management and the Cashless Debit Card has had on financial management of participants.
"If people are having any issue with the use of their Cashless Debit Card they can contact the hotline on 1800 252 604, visit the shopfronts in Bundaberg or Hervey Bay to get one-on-one assistance or visit the Department of Social Services website: dss.gov.au/cashless-debit-card.
"The Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre and IMPACT Community Services have been selected to employ two additional full-time case managers to assist Cashless Debit Card holders access services including financial counselling, parenting programs, education and training."