Linda Burney after Question Time in the House of Representatives Chamber, at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Kym Smith
Linda Burney after Question Time in the House of Representatives Chamber, at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Kym Smith

Labor won’t support compulsory cashless card: Burney

THE Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services has used her visit to the Fraser Coast to slam the Cashless Debit Card.

Linda Burney was in Maryborough last week to meet with Senator Anthony Chisholm.

Her comments came after numerous reports the Morrison government was working on a sweeping expansion of its cashless welfare card.

Ms Burney said Labor would not support any expansion of compulsory inclusion on the Cashless Debit Card.

"We will be arguing that it should be voluntary," she said.

"We'll be making the point there has been no adequate evaluation of the card and whether it's working."

She said she questioned whether there had been adequate consultation with the community regarding the card.

"We've also heard from people who feel they should not be forced onto income messages because they don't do drugs, they don't do grog and they don't gamble."

Ms Burney said there was a "massive issue" around self-determination when it came to placing people on the card.

Federal member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has consistently said he believed the Cashless Debit Card was one part of a multi-pronged approach that would help to address the high unemployment rates in Hervey Bay and Bundaberg and break the region's cycle of welfare dependency.

The card was about accountability to the taxpayers, but was not intended to add to the challenges faced by those on welfare, Mr Pitt said.

"This is just one element in terms of what the government is doing, including job programs, youth pathways and investment in building better regions," he said.



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