The federal government has announced sweeping expansion plans for the Cashless Debit Card (CDC).
If re-elected in May, 22,500 Australians who are currently on Income Management in the Northern Territory and Cape York will transfer from the Basics Card to the CDC.
The government also proposes to extend funding for current trials in Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Ceduna, Goldfields and East Kimberley until June 2021.
The government is also planning a technology upgrade for the service, which will deliver improved efficiencies for users, better access to suppliers and include internet purchases. It will operate just like a normal debit card, reducing stigma and increasing usability.
Generation One’s chief executive Tim McDonald is positive the upgrades will further improve the CDC trials.
“We believe the government’s investment in expanding the scope of the CDC and the proposed technology upgrades will further the positive experience of card users,” Dr McDonald said.
Evidence shows that the Cashless Debit Card works, with steady improvements reported across the communities where the card is operating. Multiple independent evaluations of the trials have observed reductions in alcohol and drug use, increased motivation to find employment and improved financial management.