The social credit system took yet another step forward—this time, from Down Under. Under the guise of a welfare crackdown, Australia moved 25,000 people onto a cashless card system that restricts non-essential purchases.
Aussie welfare recipients only access to funds is via a cashless debit card
Australia’s government forced thousands of welfare recipients on to Centrelink, a cashless debit card. Under a massive expansion of the plan and new Federal Budget, immigrants have no access to most kinds of welfare for four years after attaining residency. However, the most crucial aspect of Centrelink is Aussies cannot use the cards for gambling, alcohol, or cigarettes. Only necessities like groceries and food can be purchased with the cards.
East Kimberley and Goldfields in Western Australia, Ceduna in South Australia, and the Bundaberg-Hervey Bay region of Queensland trialed the cards beginning in 2016. Under this scheme, 80 percent of welfare recipients’ Centrelink payment will go directly to the card rather than a bank account. That is supposed to keep recipients from wasting the welfare on unnecessary items.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg unveiled the plan to make the scheme permanent in the trial locations. The plan also includes extending it to 25,000 people in the Northern Territory and Cape York.
The Australian government’s recent budget includes a $30 million package to “upskill” people at the trial sites and offer a jobs fund to boost employment opportunities. The plan includes funding for drug and alcohol rehabilitation services in the cashless debit card locations as well.