CASHLESS DEBIT CARD

A TRIUMPH OF IDEOLOGY OVER EVIDENCE.



Overwhelming expert evidence against Cashless Welfare Debit Card.

CDC is a triumph of ideology over evidence. The problem does not exist & the solution does not work. It's part of the gov agenda to shame & stigmatise people accessing social security.

                                                                    A thread.

The government's latest Cashless Debit Card Bill, ("Continuation of Cashless Welfare Bill 2020") attempts to extend the CDC indefinitely. The Senate Committee Inquiry reviewing this Bill currently, is the 6th CDC Senate Inquiry.

Over 340 (76%) of 460 submissions to 5 previous Senate inquiries opposed the Cashless Debit Card. Including individuals with lived experience, independent academic experts, peak bodies, service providers, A&TSI orgs, volunteer activists & gov commissions.

All ignored & dismissed.


Individuals with lived experience are most important. Despite agency being reduced by CDC & not having professional resources, they self-advocate, writing their own experiences. 100s of submissions are their personal stories, not prefab templates.

All ignored & dismissed.

Independent academic experts shared expert views & new research on CDC. Their studies & submissions are genuinely independent. Academics against CDC: @evacox @elisejklein @evevincentMQ @jonathonlouth @gregmarston1 @IanGoodwinSmith @Matt_C_Gray

All ignored & dismissed.

Community advocates campaign against CDC for 5 yrs (unfunded). Petitions, rallies, protests, research, articles, reports, submissions, hearings, events & social media.

@antipovertyqld @AntiPovertyN_SA @AusUnemployment @notowelfarecard @thesayno7

All ignored & dismissed.


Social service Peak bodies (health, legal, child prot'n, carers, single parents, employ't, DFV, financial couns'g & disability) all gave evidence against CDC. They represent & are accountable to diverse members & can't pursue personal crusades.

All ignored & dismissed.

Peaks against CDC

@aimnau @AASW_ @ACOSS @AWAVA_women @CarersAustralia @CFECFW @consumer_action @EJ_Australia @eraaustralia @FCAupdate @JobsAustLtd @TheLawCouncil @NTCOSS @PeakCareQld @PWDAustralia @_PHAA_ @RespectQld @QCOSS_ @RANZCP @VAADAENEWS @WACOSS

All ignored & dismissed


Social & legal services work on the frontline in communities supporting individuals impacted by CDC. They also often receive gov funding, so risk 'biting the hand that feeds' by providing evidence & speaking out against CDC.

Social & legal service providers against CDC: @anglicare_aust @CaritasAust @CSS_Aus @DarwinCommLegal @JesuitSocialSer @QldAdvocacy @VinniesAust @salvos @UCommunitiesSA @UnitingCare_Aus

All ignored & dismissed.

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Organisations represent & support individuals & communities racially discriminated against by CDC. With inclusion of NT & Cape York, the CDC remains targeted overwhelmingly at First Nations individuals & communities.

A&TSI orgs against CDC:

@TheAHCWA @CAACongress @DanilaDilba @NATSICCofficial @NACCHOAustralia @congressmob @NAAJA_NT @RecAustralia @reddustoz

All ignored & dismissed.

Governments & Gov Commissions express concerns & provide evidence against CDC. Even if all the non-gov individuals & orgs are dismissed by the inquiry, it might be hoped evidence from governments & the gov's own commissions might be taken seriously. 

Government Commissions have expressed concerns & provided evidence against the CDC:

@AusHumanRights @ANAO_Australia @CwealthOmb @ADC_Commission

All ignored & dismissed.



                    Overwhelming expert evidence against the CDC.

The underlying fallacy of the CDC is that the Policy Problem ('welfare dependency' causing social harm) does not exist, & the Policy Solution (CDC reducing social harm) does not work.

CDC is an ideological solution looking for a problem. Gov repeatedly ignores principle that 'correlation is not causality'. Evidence does not show that accessing welfare causes social harm, nor does it demonstrate that restricting people's access to welfare reduces social harms.

* How can CDC create jobs for unemployed where jobs don't exist? It's not an employment program.

* How can CDC treat drug, gambling or alcohol problems? It's not a treatment program.

* How can CDC teach budgeting skills when it removes agency? It's not financial counselling.


According to the government's own reports the Cashless Debit Card (CDC) is 1. ineffective, 2. expensive, 3. harmful, 4. unsupported, 5. discriminatory & 6. paternalistic:


1. Ineffective - Auditor-General: "difficult to conclude whether there had been a reduction in social harm"

2. Expensive - Auditor-General: $10,000+ per person

3. Harmful - Orima Evaluation: 32% said it made their lives worse

4. Unsupported - Orima Evaluation: recorded community opposition

5. Discriminatory - Human Rights Committee: restricts human rights of privacy & social security

6. Paternalistic - Human Rights Committee: removes people's agency to manage their affairs



- Rodney Holmes