Beer wouldn't be on the list of essentials for a cashless welfare card.
Beer wouldn't be on the list of essentials for a cashless welfare card. Lou O'Brien

WATERCOOLER: Cashless welfare card could go to election

A WELFARE card aimed at curbing alcohol abuse in remote communities could be rolled out across Australia under a plan the Turnbull government is considering.

The Australian reports the government may take the cashless card plan to the next election as part of efforts to ensure welfare payments are spent on food and other essentials, not alcohol.

What do you think?

Would you like to see such a welfare card introduced in your region?

Leave your comment below.

Under the new system, which is being trialled in three test sites, 80% of a person's government payment is quarantined to a bank card that cannot be used to buy alcohol or gambling products.

The system was proposed by mining magnate Andrew Forrest as part of his review of the welfare system in 2014.

What do you think of a cashless welfare card?

This poll ended on 27 January 2016.

Current Results

Bring it on. There is too much abuse of welfare money


No way. It's too restrictive


Depends on how it is managed


We should be cutting welfare payments more


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The plan will first be trialled in the South Australian town of Ceduna next month, and the East Kimberley in northern Western Australia in March.

The Australian reports that since the trials were announced, as many as seven West Australian shires have contacted Liberal MPs to also trial the card to combat social problems  stemming from alcohol abuse.

Some are pushing for a trial in areas where the majority of recipients are non-indigenous to see how it would work within metropolitan areas, the paper said.



Rebecca Louise
Definitely! Most of us who work full time, on good incomes, would not be spending more than 20% of our money on alcohol/gambling etc. Perhaps more education on budgeting is needed to help the disadvantaged better their financial situation.

Brett Morris
Aren't politicians on welfare, spending our money? How about one of these for politicians? That way they couldn't spend our taxes on crap like helicopter rides.

Lea Lea Cripps
Well isn't that what welfare means. Getting help for the essentials in life. You need to save for the non essentials just like everyone else

Jenny Hesketh
A bit hard to save if you are on welfare though. I would not begrudge someone buying a few bottles of beer or a bottle of wine every so often along with a few little luxuries - it may help them feel good about themselves. Not all people on welfare are bludgers and are actively trying to find employment.

Tania Anderson
Fantastic. Then the government will see exactly where the money is going. As a single parent it goes absolutely nowhere. Start chasing the deadbeat fathers that don't pay cs or pay very little cause they have their own business yet have a nil taxable income. Yet have a bobcat, Backhoe, excavator, tipper, 3 cars, 3 motorbikes & can afford holidays & I pads. Like to know how this is all done legally on a nil taxable income. Find these guys & sort them out lol

Jordyn Shelby Rayner
Perhaps if there were tougher restrictions on welfare payments, people would begin to appreciate the value of time and money, encouraging them to get more education and a career, and also to show them that there's better things to spend your money on than alcohol and gambling.

Sharon Campbell
Not everyone on Centrelink are doing any drugs/ alcohol . With these below poverty line payments , we can't afford rent and food!! I get $480 per fortnight , while waiting to be allowed on a pension . Paid taxes and worked hard over the years. Not all of us are irresponsible.

Jason Miller 
Just another way to screw people that dont go wasting it on drugs and alcohol.... How about drug testing and if they return a positive then they be given the card and made to attend rehab or something?? Why should the good abiding citizens be punished.

Ashleigh Roze Dearden 
I do not believe that they should take someone's right away from them. But, I believe action needs to be taken for people who are bypassing the system.

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