Opposition grows to cashless welfare card
ABORIGINAL academic Marcia Langton and members of the Australian Labor Party have done an about face in their support of the cashless welfare card.
Professor Langton, who originally supported trials of the card, is now describing it as a tragic failure because it has failed to include Aboriginal leaders in its implementation.
The Labor Party, which has supported income management in Northern Territory communities, has also said it will only support further roll-outs of the card if the scheme is made voluntary.
Professor Langton, speaking to the National Press Club recently, said it was a tragedy that the federal government departments responsible had not implemented the scheme in accordance with the commitments they made to Indigenous leaders.
“They’ve let them down badly and now the system has been brought into disrepute by the viciousness of its implementation,” she said.
Professor Langton said the idea of the cards, along with other welfare reforms, was to wean people off social security and make them useful members of the economy.
Labor’s Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services Linda Burney said the Opposition would propose two amendments to the legislation, one to make the program voluntary and a second to ensure a proper and independent inquiry into the effectiveness of the card.