When cashless debit card causes stigma and stress

The findings of a report into the federal government’s cashless debit card, which was quietly published a day after the controversial scheme was extended, have added weight to claims the card is causing welfare recipients significant stigma and stress.

The government-commissioned report of the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay trial site, conducted by University of Adelaide researchers, finds a mixed reaction to the program, which has forced welfare recipients to be paid 80% of their benefits via a card since January last year.

Based on qualitative interviews with 74 organisations and 66 potential or current cardholders, the researchers acknowledged it only captured a brief snapshot of the card in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay and was primarily aimed at “understanding of the conditions within the region just before the introduction of the CDC”.

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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.

The cashless society from an ethical point of view

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