Senators Statements - Aged Pension Cards


Cashless Debit Card Senator STOKER (Queensland—Assistant Minister to the Attorney-General, Assistant Minister for Women and Assistant Minister for Industrial Relations) (13:54): We have had months of misinformation from Labor when it comes to the cashless debit card. Now, an AAP fact check has confirmed what we all know to be true: that Labor's claim that the government are going to put all age pensioners onto the cashless welfare card is entirely false. The Morrison government have made it clear: we have no plan, and we will never have a plan, to force age pensioners onto the cashless debit card. Frankly, the ALP should be ashamed of running a scare campaign so absolutely based on lies and aimed at striking fear into the hearts of our age pensioners. This claim has been fact checked previously by outlets like the New Daily and Starts at 60. Like the AAP, they too found no evidence to support Labor's claims. The cashless debit card program requires the quarantining of a percentage of welfare payments into a separate bank account, accessed using a card that prevents cash withdrawals or spending on certain items like alcohol and gaming. It is aimed at helping people to put food on the table, get kids to school, become job ready and get their utilities bills paid. The cashless debit card is currently being trialled in six sites around Australia, such as in the Cape York region in Far North Queensland. The Department of Social Services is responsible for implementing the cashless debit card policy and, as their website states clearly: … Age Pension recipients can choose to join the Cashless Debit Card program if they wish to. That's right—it's optional! The claim that age pensioners will be forced onto the card has never been anything other than a fabrication concocted by the Labor Party to scare pensioners into voting for them.