Member for Bass, Bridget Archer has raised concerns over the Governments decision to go ahead with the Cashless Welfare card program and stated that it goes against her personal beliefs and values along with that of the Liberal party, “I believe in personal and individual responsibility” she said.
“We work towards a lean government that minimises interference in our lives. Forcing the cashless debit card program on to people unless or until they can prove to the Government that they can manage their own finances is antithetical to these principles” stated Bridget Archer
Mrs Archer raised concerns that this form of income management would strip away autonomy and a sense of pride for many welfare recipients, despite the Government’s best intentions for the program.
Mrs Archer described the program was not a fix, but rather a band aid solution. She considers the program to be approaching a human problem by inciting shame and guilt and stated, “you have already lost those you are seeking to help”.
Having relied on Government assistance throughout different times in her life, Mrs Archer stated she could understand the distress that many people would feel being forced onto the welfare card.
“No matter your circumstances, relying on Government assistance is difficult, not only financially but mentally and emotionally” she said.
Mrs Archer mentioned that when people are empowered to do things for themselves, you will always get better results. “We need to put in place a range of effective evidence-based programs that work to address the issues that keep communities in poverty”
Prime Minister, Scott Morrison addressed the concerns raised by Bridget Archer MP, and said whilst members were welcome to attend his office to raise issues, the Liberal party are a united team.