Showing posts with label Indue Limited. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indue Limited. Show all posts

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Quote of the Week



There is a litany of stories from those on the CDC [Indue Cashless Debit Card] about it not working at places where it is meant to and the fees involved, fees for rent transfers, fees for shopping at Coles, fees and defaults of up to $26 because Indue hasn’t paid loans on time. Despite all of this there is much more to come on the CDC agenda.” [Mel Mac writing in The AIM Network, 13April 2020]

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Calling out an intentionally cruel Morrison Coalition Government


Zoë Wundenberg (left) is a highly qualified careers consultant and un/employment advocate who is also a journalist.

This is an article she wrote for the Bega District News.

Far too many newspapers in rural & regional Australia are not tackling this subject in any depth, even though their communities will be affected by the relentless rollout of the Indue Cashless Debit Card aka the 'Humiliation Card'.

So well done Zoë and Bega District News Editor, Ben Symth.

Bega District News, 10 February 2020:

I am finding myself rubbing my eyes, as if to clear away the disbelief, every time I see the news. I have to be honest - I'm struggling to come to terms with what we are seeing emerge from government leadership and I just cannot rationalise the social welfare policies that have been rolled out since the last election, in particular.

My naivete refuses to let me believe wholeheartedly that anyone elected to represent the people could deliberately intend to be cruel.

I want to believe that those in positions of power are just not understanding the reality of the situation, or can't empathise with something they've never experienced themselves. Or, perhaps, have been swayed by data that can so easily be stacked to say whatever the author want it to say.

I don't want to be a cynic. But I'm becoming one. As a nation, we continue to be labouring under the belief that people who don't have a job have something wrong with them - that if you don't have any money, it's because you can't manage it; that if you receive welfare payments, you are going to waste income support on drugs, alcohol and gambling.

The 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey states that people experiencing unemployment are "3.1 times as likely to have used meth/amphetamines". This oft-quoted line from the report is regularly trotted out to justify the quarantining of income support payments on the basis of preventing social harm. However, what this figure actually refers to is the difference between 1.5 per cent of employed people and 4.6 per cent of people experiencing unemployment. It is not an encompassing statement about drug use across the board and does not equate to people experiencing unemployment being three times more likely to take drugs in general.

Would it surprise you to know that 74.3 per cent of people experiencing unemployment don't use drugs, or that more employed people are "lifetime risky drinkers" or "single occasion risky drinkers (monthly)", according to this same survey? Perhaps it would floor you to realise that one in five Newstart recipients actually have a job? They just don't have enough hours to completely lose their Newstart payment.

In light of this, I can understand why Senator Anne Ruston recently said that the scope of the cashless welfare card needs to have a "broader application than perhaps the social harm reduction that the original policy was designed on", because that initial purpose is such a flimsy basis that it simply doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

I looked into how a person would go about applying for an exemption from the card and the list of criteria was astounding.

According to the exit application and support documentation, to successfully exit the program "you must show reasonable management of your affairs, including financial affairs."

To do this, they will assess your Indue account information including transactions made and transfer history AND cashless debit card hotline information (presumably the recordings of calls "for training purposes"), applications for urgent Centrelink payments, suspensions, protection orders made against you, and even health information including episodes of medical care relating to drug and alcohol issues, to name a few. This breach of personal privacy dumbfounds me. That you are put on the program regardless of whether you actually have a history of drug, alcohol or financial issues, and then are forced to prove yourself capable when the very program stunts your agency and restricts your capacity to pay the bills they require you to in order to exempt you is preposterous.

As a citizen, the current investigations into a national rollout with the big four banks involved to further curb our freedoms are frightening. The rollout itself is terrifying enough, but it makes you wonder what's next? What's the bigger picture, here?

I have no answers, just a growing sense of dread. I think Thomas More must be in office, because it is quite clear that this government is first making thieves and then punishing them. But Utopia, this is not.

There are currently an est. 15,000 people receiving a working age welfare payment, other than an Age Pension and Veterans’ Pension,  who have been mandatorily placed on the neverending cashless debit card 'trial' program, with a further est. 23,000 people living in the Northern Territory to be forced onto the program in 2020.

What most people don't realise is that to date Indue Ltd only has 96 mixed merchants on its approved list and a whopping 729 businesses on its blocked list - including Australia Post, Deaf Services Queensland, Crisco Hampers, Casino Council, Westlawn Finance in Casino, and eBay to name a few.

Nor do they realise that Indue Ltd has placed conditions on card use that are not disclosed upfront on those federal government websites which include information about the cashless debit card.

The biggest brazen lie currently being told by the Morrison Government is that the Indue Cashless Debit Card operates "just like a regular bank card" - it does not. 

The most important difference is that an eftpos bank card is normally attached to a bank account which pays interest on the balance held in the account on the last day of each calendar month - Indue does not pay interest on the balance held on a cashless debit card.

The second brazen lie is that a person who has been forced onto the Indue Cashless Debit Card can exit the trial program if they can prove they are good financial managers - it is nigh on impossible to exit as only 2 per cent of all applications are approved after input from the Australian Dept. of Government Services, various state or territory government departments and the local 'trial' community panel.


Crime and violence 
“Lived in the same house for 5 years, before the card my street would be pushing it to have 5 break-ins a year. Last month’s there were 5 break-ins in a 4 day period!!” “I've lived it the same street for over 9 years and there has never been a break in until just recently there were two thefts” 

Financial hardship 
“Currently seeing a financial counsellor as I am spending more then what I usually would due to blocked merchants” “Everything to do with my finances has become more difficult. Indue doesn't pay bills on time which leads to defaults and extra fees. Because money is split it makes it harder to budget. I no longer get high interest on my savings as I can't save due to the 80% going to Indue” 

Financial hardship - rent payments 
“We aren't able to have our rent or bills processed by Indue. I personally could not pay my rent off the card for nearly 3 months. I had to sell whatever I had to make up the cash for rent.” “I myself experience this myself the stress of trying to sort money out and paying my rent is so hard as my real estate doesn’t accept this card therefore all my money in my normal account goes entirely on just rent, nothing left”

Stigmatisation of social security recipients 
“When I use my Indue card I have people often make snarky comments about it. I have anxiety and hate using it. I try and cover the logo every time I have to use the card.” “I feel embarrassed to pull my card out and pay at places so I will often avoid shopping on busy days as the added stress makes my anxiety unmanageable.” “I personally have been called a junkie and a dole bludger at the supermarket”

Access to second hand goods 
“My loan company does not accept the Indue card forcing me to use my 20% on loan repayments therefore I am forced to buy brand new goods for my children instead of second hand on marketplace.” “Cash only. Can't buy it. My sister can't buy a second hand washing machine. Because it's cash only.” “I have missed out on second-hand furniture from FB buy, swap, sell sites, I can no longer purchase FAR CHEAPER products for things like crafting, clothes for kids, bras etc off eBay as it is banned.” 

People’s wellbeing 
“I suffer from anxiety, depression, severe stress disorder and PTSD. I was in a DV relationship for 5 years where my money was controlled by my abuser. I left him over a year ago and now I am back in a DV relationship with Indue. My health has deteriorated. I suffer from chronic migraines, they have increasingly gotten more frequent and worse because I stress about money if Indue will pay my bills on time. I also sleep very little of a night due to stress. Overall my health and well-being has gone downhill.” “I had to go on medication again because it just feels like I’m in an abusive relationship again and they're just going to cut it off to change the rules again whenever they want.”

Harassment for cash 
“Frequently see persons around the region requesting donations of food, clothing, blankets and money. Never saw this previously before this card was introduced.” “I've been harassed and abused for having physical cash in my wallet ever since the trial started.” “I've had a lot more people ask me for change than before the card was introduced.” 

Level of cash in the community 
“Observing 2nd hand market there has been a definite decline and drop in social numbers at markets etc” “Seen first-hand businesses close and markets fail due to lack of stall holders and attendees”

“No benefits, my pay goes to bills food and to my children. I never have money left over to use on alcohol and i am not a drug user or have ever gambled. I am a student nurse doing the best I can for my 2 babies” “In fact since being reduced to only 20% of my pay in cash I've been able to provide less for my family than usual. Not to mention rent payment issues constantly.” “Its destroyed my self-esteem an made it so i never leave the house. I only go to coles and home. To ashamed to use it for public transportation to visit my son so he miss out as well."

“I have had the card not work in Woolworths when trying to purchase groceries (in their defence, they were having major EFTPOS issues at the time, but the Indue card wouldn't work when other cards did), I have missed out on opportunities to purchase second-hand goods due to not having access to cash - i.e. a $15 line trimmer, and have overhead people talking about the card after seeing me use it or having it not work as being the one 'given to the alchos' although I do not gamble, take drugs or drink alcohol.” “I'm currently having details with rent and have had major difficulties with paying a road side mechanic as well as every option I was allowed to choose in this question.” “A lot of discrimination being on CDC. Unable to purchase second hand goods as well as unable to go to the markets on weekends. Constant fear of the CDC declining when purchasing food.”

“Card declined despite available funds, inability to pay my bills as required without having to send off invoices each time, Rent problems, Exclusion from venues related to kids, Inappropriate service from DSS.” 

“I was shopping for groceries as Aldi and I could only afford to pay part of my payment on my card as I only had a small amount left and I just enough cash to pay the rest, as Aldi requires to process cash first, I did but then when I went to pay with my card it declined and said it couldn't be used, so then I had to stand there embarrassed with my groceries already half paid for but unable to pay the rest.” 

“I have agoraphobia and now am forced to leave my house because my online shopping is declined which is very distressing.” 

“I would love to share my story more in depth. I moved to Hervey Bay 2 yrs ago for support and a house to live in following my husband’s suicide. I have family here and they allowed me to live in their investment property while I waited for support payments from Centrelink. (It took 4 months by the way). The reason I am on this trigger payment is beyond my control and I have repeatedly discussed this with dept of social services. I have since bought a house, have an excellent credit rating and am a damn good mother to my sons. My youngest has turned 5 and I am now able to begin looking to return to work next year. Even my teenage son has a job and works at MacDonald’s. We shouldn’t be lumped into this long term welfare dependency category just because we moved here 2 years ago. I wish we didn't, because I wish my husband never took his own life, and I wish I never had to receive a goddamn single parent pension.” 

“My cousin was refused an apartment due to being on the card for he cannot pay his rent from it according to the landlord.” “We get degraded and called dole bludgers.. I am a mother of two and i have a spinal injury from working as a jillaroo for 7yrs! i don't want to be made to feel like a second class citizens in my own country!” 

“I get discriminated by people every time I use the card. People have negative things to say or roll their eyes at me and treat me as if I am a huge inconvenience to them. I am a carer I do not deserve to be on this card.” 

“Stranded no way to pay Car loan not paid Rent won’t process School fees” 
“Online purchases blocked, lack of solution or feedback to enquiries, lack of information and inadequate response, Family cash needs, transfer fees” 

“My son was placed on the card at seventeen, he was too young to purchase alcohol, too young to gamble and doesn't do drugs. The card didn't help him gain employment. He has found himself feeling less than at times, and without access to certain products due to the restrictions on the use of the card. After ten months of searching, he finally landed a job, and he can hardly wait until he can send the card back to Indue.” 

“This card has made my depression and anxiety much worse than it was I can't even stand to leave my house because of it” 

“I’ve been demoralized in line at the shops been discriminated trying to buy second hand stuff. Have lost any self-esteem i had and am now isolated in my house. I never leave except to go to Coles” 

“Card chip stopped working. Was left without card for 2 weeks because I wasn't told I could get a temporary card until new card arrived... Was left to survive the fortnight with the 20% cash from account” 

“My rent was not able to be paid without warning, as my housing limit was set to $0. Every 6 months i have to fill out 2 forms and get my landlord to sign them just so i can continue paying rent. They didn't send me a text, email or letter to warn me it was going to happen.” 

Monday, 21 October 2019

You might have found Juice Media's Honest Government Ad on the Cashless Debit Card humorous - the interview is deadly serious



EPISODE SUMMARY Welcome to Episode 5, in which we go into more depth on the topic of our latest Honest Government Ad: the Cashless Welfare Card - aka Class Warfare Card. We speak with two members of the Say No Seven group, which has been spearheading the fight against this bullshit.

Interview with Say No Seven group members starts at 5:09mins.

The Video


*

Monday, 14 October 2019

What if privatisation of Centrelink pension/benefit/allowance cash transfer delivery ends in tears?


It is increasingly evident that Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison eventually intends to place all Centrelink clients on the Indue Limited Cashless Debit Card.

Apparently this policy change comes under the heading of either 'tough love' or 'compassionate conservatism' - whichever term Liberal and Nationals MPs and senators think sounds good at the time - when in reality it is establishing yet another market for poverty profiteers*.

In all the pious and poisonous spin being uttered by those making war on the poor and vulnerable, there has been little said about any government guarantee covering the millions Centrelink regularly deposits with Indue Limited.

What happens to the mandated 80 per cent of a Centrelink client's welfare payment held on the Cashless Debit Card if Indue ceases to trade, trades while insolvent or is placed under administration? 

How many corporate debtors would take precedence over welfare recipients in the distribution of whatever assets Indue had left if it declares bankruptcy?

Would sole parents, the unemployed, students, disability and age pensioners or other recipients ever get back any of the money which has been forcibly retained on these debit cards?

Notes

* See: Bielefeld, Dr. S, Griffith University Law School (2018), Technologising the poor: Cashless Debit Card trials expanding despite no credible evidence regarding positive outcomes  

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government and Indue Limited still haven't ironed the bugs out of the punitive cashless debit card scheme


The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government's Indue Limited cashless debit card trial began three and a half years ago in March 2016 and still neither Centrelink nor Indue have ironed the bugs out of this debit card scheme.

In the current total debit card trial population, 1 in 12 people on the have applied to come off this card by 31 July 2019.

There are reportedly 6,000 people on the cashless debit card trial in regional southern Queensland and some are speaking up.....

ABC News, 8 October 2019:

...some of the people taking part in the trial feel the cashless debit card places unreasonable restrictions on their spending and can even make it more difficult to save.
They said they could no longer buy second-hand goods online, often don't have enough cash for cheaper supermarket food, and the debit card restricts payments to money owing on credit accounts.
"It's definitely made things a lot harder, I've found it harder to budget," Childers resident and single mother Hannah Leacy told 7.30.
"I'm losing out on interest that I could potentially be building up in my savings account if I'd been able to transfer that."
She feels she is being penalised for something she hasn't done.
"I got my first job at Domino's when I was 13, and I've had a job ever since," she said.

"I've been independent up until now, and now at 34, I'm now deemed to be incapable of making appropriate choices, financially.".......
People forced onto the cashless welfare card as part of a trial in the Bundaberg-Hervey Bay area of Queensland say they feel stigmatised and humiliated by the Federal Government.
"I feel like in the Government's eyes I'm a lesser person. In the public's eyes it's much, much worse," Kerryn Griffis told 7.30.
"What have I ever done for the government to treat me this way? To treat thousands of other people this way?

"We've been branded as drug addicts and alcoholics and gamblers and dole bludgers.
"Most of us are just doing the best we can to get by.".....
But for Ms Griffis, the trial feels like a punishment.

"If my partner was to quarantine some of my money and tell me where and when I can't spend it, tell me it's for my own good … people would be screaming financial abuse," she said.
"Why is it OK for the Government to do it?"

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Nationals MP for Page Kevin Hogan avoids questions about Coalition Government-Indue Limited's punitive cashless debit card for welfare recipients


Clarence Valley Independent, 2 October 2019:

The latest federal budget underwrote $128.8 million over four years, from 2019-20, to fund the trial rollout of the Cashless Debit Card (CDC), including the provision of “funding to expand the Cashless Debit Card to a fifth site”.
Test areas are located in the Ceduna region in South Australia (from March 2016) and the East Kimberley (from April 2016) and Goldfields (from March 2018) regions in Western Australia.
In January this year, a trial commenced in the Bundaberg / Hervey Bay region in Queensland – the Clarence Valley local government area is statistically much the same as Hervey Bay’s, according to the 2016 census, apart from the valley being home to a larger indigenous population.
“This proposal is expected to have a positive impact on regional Australia by reducing alcohol consumption, illegal drug use, and gambling in communities and providing improved technology for participants subject to welfare quarantining,” the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development website states.
Another Clarence Valley publication recently ran a headline with Page MP Kevin Hogan reportedly saying the implantation of the cashless welfare card is a “no brainer” an described his position as an “impassioned defence” of the CDC.
With the possible rollout of another trial area and the similarity of Clarence Valley LGA’s census data to the Hervey Bay area, the Independent sought Mr Hogan’s thoughts, preparing several questions (with context provided) and putting them in an email, along with an invitation to speak directly about the issue, which Mr Hogan declined.....
Read the full article here.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Morrison Government continues to mislead concerning results of Indue Cashless Debit Card trials


“it is difficult to conclude whether there had been a reduction in social harm and whether the card was a lower cost welfare quarantining approach.” [Australian National Audit Office ANAO, The Implementation and Performance of the Cashless Debit Card Trial (Performance Audit Report, 1 of 2018-2019)]

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.....




His minister said.....

The Courier Mail, 29 August 2019:

YOUTH unemployment has dropped since the cashless welfare card was introduced to Bundaberg and Hervey Bay, while the number of people in the region on welfare has fallen at double the national rate. 

For the first time the impact of the controversial card can be revealed, as a push for the trial to be rolled out nationally intensifies. 

The trial was rolled out in the region in January this year, the first test sites outside predominantly indigenous communities. 

The card quarantines about 80 per cent of dole payments so they can’t be used for drugs, alcohol or gambling. Social Services Minister Anne Ruston, in Hervey Bay today, will reveal the number of people on Newstart or Youth Allowance has dropped. 

In Bundaberg people on the welfare payments dropped 8.7 per cent, or by 502 people, to 5277 recipients in the past year, while in Hervey Bay there has been a 10 per cent fall to 3482 recipients. 

This compares to a five per cent drop of people on Newstart or Youth Allowance nationally. Youth unemployment in the region has dropped from 19.8 per cent in January to 18.5 per cent last month. 

Senator Ruston said the region was “punching above its weight” with the significant reduction in people relying on welfare payments. 

“We believe the cashless debit card is supporting people to demonstrate personal responsibility for their finances, helping to encourage financial independence and addressing intergenerational welfare dependence,” she said. 

There are 5746 people in the region on the CDC, while about 700 people have come off the card, either because they found work or they were suspended from welfare payments for breaching the rules. 

Hinkler MP Keith Pitt said if the trial was successful it should be rolled out nationally for people under 35. [my yellow highlighting]

Siewert said......

Fraser Coast Chronicle, 3 September 2019: 

It was disappointing to see the government once again spread misinformation about the Cashless Debit Card in the Hinkler region. 

The government claims that unemployment has dropped in the Queensland trial site but they have used the data for the much larger region of Wide Bay as the basis for this claim. 

It’s like saying that unemployment has dropped in Canberra using the figures for the whole of NSW and I urge people to look more closely at their claims. 

Unemployment figures in the Wide Bay area dropped quite a bit before the trial started and have changed slightly since the card’s introduction and if you actually go and look at the raw data, they are clearly subject to seasonal variation. 

If government really has the evidence to prove it’s working, then release it.

If they are making these claims on data they have available it should be released for all to see. 

Communities are crying out for more support and services but instead community members are put on a card that makes life harder for them. 

The issues that this card is purported to address are complex and need individualised approaches to address. 

Despite the ANAO report saying there is no evidence of a reduction of social harm the government wants to continue to roll out the card. 

My office hears from people constantly who cannot pay their rent or bills using the card, who have problems with the card, who are not able to use cash economies like markets, second hand shops or op-shops to help them make ends meet. 

 RACHEL SIEWERT 
 Greens Senator for Western Australia
 [my yellow highlighting]

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

An as yet unconfirmed rumour about the Indue Cashless Welfare Card


Indue Limited (ABN 97 087 822 464) is a bank and Authorised Deposit-Taking Institution (“ADI”) that is regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Indue is owned by financial institutions, each of which is also an ADI. Indue provides transaction processing and settlement services to credit unions, building societies, church funds, mortgage originators, commercial clients and the Australian government.

via @CartwheelPrint


Facebook, The Say NO Seven, 9 August 2019:

🐦⚠⚠⚠⚠⚠ #LNP_CASHLESS_CARD_AGENDA 


Whistle blower testimony sent to the SNS has confirmed the LNP agenda for Indue Cards.


As long time members are aware, the SNS operates an encrypted mail service and drop box specifically for those people within the system to speak out in relative safety.


A rarely used resource, this week and we assume as a direct result of the the muzzling of certain sectors, we have received information from two independent sources attached to the department and public service that corroborate our concerns.


The LNP Agenda is clear. They are "confidant" that regardless of whether ALP support/do not support further expansions, that with Cross Bench support, they will reach this target prior to the next Federal election.


We do not send this notice to generate groundless fear. We send it to inform you and to inform those within our government who feel themselves above the law and the will of the people, that we *will* and will continue to resist.


We have deliberated deeply about presenting this information, which should come as no real surprise to those are literate in card matters and current political machinations.


We concluded it was necessary to post, despite being unable to provide documentation to you at this time, as has been our standard thus far and will continue to be. The risks are simply too great to not speak out now, while we still can, and are as great as the risks whistle blowers face if we provide any further detail.


We can confirm the sources are credible, reliable, are informed, and have been vetted.


⚠ We must reiterate that AT THIS TIME there are NO Bills before parliament that would permit ANY further roll out in ANY location nor are there any current Bills before parliament to expand payment captures to include aged pension aka under the Act as Mature Aged Payment. 


We must continue to remain steadfast and take one step at a time, and take each presentation to parliament as it comes.


Information sharing over several weeks along with these new posts has confirmed that four Bills concerning or including cashless cards are in progress and that these Bills may arrive as a single Omnibus Bill. We are informed that the writing of these Bills has been outsourced to partisan legal interests.


Even so, as we said, we must remain steadfast and take each presentation to parliament as it comes and not allow fear to dictate or determine *our* outcomes decisions or directions.


We send this to you for 'the grace of time' - for your emotional and mental preparation and for wider general awareness of what we are likely to be facing over the next three years.


We will post over the next week on just what this agenda, if successful, could mean for Australians and our nation and economy; on the utilization and role of religious groups as relates to LNP's social welfare policy as a whole; and we will also speak on issues of effective resistance.


Now we know. Time to wake the masses.


Heads up..eyes open..no fear. ✊


- SNS🌿