The federal government has announced that people accessing income support in Cashless Debit Card Trial (CDCT) areas, including Queenslanders in the Hinkler region, will remain on the card for a further six months.
The trial was due to end on 30 June but has now been extended until 31 December 2020.
QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh says she is disappointed to see any extension which will affect people experiencing vulnerability who are already facing uncertainty during the COVID-19 crisis.
“This extension of the trial will make it harder for Queenslanders to budget and be independent during an already difficult time.
“We know from several QCOSS surveys that the majority of people in the Hinkler region oppose the Cashless Debit Card Trial outright,” she says.
Ms McVeigh says people with experience of being on the card reported problems with health or mental health issues, rent problems, stigma and discrimination, cards being declined and cash-only opportunities missed.
“The government needs to explore genuine and alternative options to the Cashless Debit Card. The aim of government policies should be to help communities, rather than further stigmatising those accessing income support with these draconian trials that reduce people’s agency and independence,” Ms McVeigh says.