CASHLESS DEBIT CARD (CDC)
The CDC only applies to working age income support recipients in the Ceduna region in South Australia, the East Kimberley and Goldfields regions in Western Australia, the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay region in Queensland and the Northern Territory. In the Cape York region, Age Pension payment recipients may only be referred onto the CDC by Queensland’s Family Responsibilities Commission to reflect the local aspirations of Cape York communities. This is a unique set of circumstances that reflects our commitment to Closing the Gap and is not a precedent.
The CDC does not apply to anyone, including Age Pension payment recipients, in any other locations in Australia.
I want to assure you that the Morrison Government has no plan to force Age Pensioners on to the Cashless Debit Card. We never have had such a plan and we never will.
We understand senior Australians have worked hard to help build the Australia we live in today.
That is why on December 9, 2020, the Government supported an amendment to the Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Continuation of Cashless Welfare) Bill 2020 filed by Independent Senator Rex Patrick which “calls on the Government to provide a commitment that no recipient of the Age Pension or a Veteran or Service Pension will be placed on the Cashless Debit Card, with the exception of those who volunteer or are referred by the Family Responsibility Commission, child protection workers, social workers or the Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Tribunal in the Northern Territory”.
On June 17, 2021, the Minister for Families and Social Services reaffirmed this commitment, stating in Parliament that the Australian Government has no intention of extending the CDC to age pensioners. This same commitment has been made countless times by the Minister and other members of the Government on the public record.
Unfortunately, despite this clear commitment, the ALP continues to run a shameless scare campaign aimed at age pensioners.