NSSRN comments on Cashless Debit Card trial expansion

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The NSSRN has commented on the extension and expansion of the Cashless Debit Card. Our comments appeared in Pro Bono Australia News on 14 February 2018:

“Leanne Ho, the executive officer of the National Social Security Rights Network (NSSRN), told Pro Bono News that evidence showed the cashless debit card “disempowers communities while further entrenching poverty and displacement”.

“The government’s own evaluations of the trial sites… found that 74 per cent of surveyed participants said the trial made their lives ‘a bit worse’ or ‘a lot worse’ or made no difference to their lives,” Ho said.  

“With the cost of rolling out the card already totalling $25.5 million, there should not be any further expansion into a new region unless there is evidence showing that it has a positive impact on the lives of participants and that any benefits are not outweighed by the negatives.

“The best disincentive to abusing substances is to ensure members of the community have meaningful lives with access to adequate healthcare, housing opportunities, education, literacy and employment.””

– Luke Michael, ‘Cashless Debit Card Trial to Be Expanded to New Region’, Pro Bono News (online), 14 February 2018.