Submission to Senate Inquiry into the Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Continuation of Cashless Welfare) Bill 2020

10 December 2020

PWDA has long raised concerns about the Cashless Debit Card, and have opposed all forms of compulsory income management. Our concerns with any Bill before the Parliament to introduce compulsory income management flows from:

·         The inadequate research and evaluation of its effectiveness

·         How expensive such schemes are to administer

·         How they do not deliver the intended outcomes for people in receipt of social security payments, and

·         The multiple and specific negative impacts on people with disability.

We urge all income management must be opt-in, with appropriate oversight of decision-making and monitoring. Opt-in schemes must also review existing and envisaged conditions for eligibility to social assistance and unemployment benefits, and penalties for non-compliance, to ensure that all beneficiaries receive adequate benefits without discrimination

Noting this, PWDA were concerned how many features of the Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Continuation of Cashless Welfare) Bill 2020 will discriminate against people with disability, as well as having the following impacts on us:

·         The imposition of de facto and informal financial guardianship measures

·         Not support and/or develop our legal capacity to exercise management of our financial affairs

·         Social and financial exclusion

Therefore, we recommend that the Bill to not be passed.

To reach our submission in full, read in [PDF] or [Word]