Showing posts with label government policy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label government policy. Show all posts

Monday, 29 June 2020

ECONOMIC STATE OF PLAY 2020: "Under these latest forecasts Australia’s economy next year would be 0.7% smaller than it was last year. That is the first time since 1983 that our economy would be smaller than it was two years earlier."


The Guardian, June 2020:



Since the virus hit there has been a belief, maybe a hope, that this was just a momentary thing. 


Sure, the fall would be sharp and deep, but the recovery would be fast coming. 

You could hear it in the talk of “snap back” from the prime minister and treasurer. 

There was almost a sense that this recession is not really a recession – because this was driven by health, not the economy. The underlying economy, this argument went, was solid (the foundations were strong!), and thus once those restrictions were dispensed with, we would be back as good as ever. 

The problem was that the foundations were not strong (productivity growth, household incomes and the domestic private sector were all flat-lining). Just because the causes of this recession were unusual does not alter the fact that all recessions bring with them massive job losses and a fall in production. 

And this recession is the worst we have seen since the Great Depression. 

This week the IMF issued a revised set of estimates for GDP growth this year and the next. And there was some good news to be had.....

In April the IMF forecast our GDP this year would fall by 6.7%; now it estimates it will “only” fall by 4.5%. 

Unfortunately though, the treasurer neglected to point out that, other than Malaysia, Australia had the biggest growth forecast downgrade for 2021. 

In April the IMF estimated our economy would “bounce” back in 2021 with 6.1% growth; now it sees just 4%. 

Overall, the IMF’s changed estimates are such that they expect our economy at the end of 2021 to be virtually the same size they were expecting it to be in April. Hardly a ringing endorsement that government policies are doing better than expected. 

What this means is we need to very quickly disabuse ourselves of the notion that the economy will “snap back” in 2021 and all will be well. 

Under these latest forecasts Australia’s economy next year would be 0.7% smaller than it was last year. That is the first time since 1983 that our economy would be smaller than it was two years earlier. 

But even that rather hides the impact. 

In October the IMF estimated that for the next five years our economy would grow by around 2.5% each year. That is pretty miserable growth, but it was largely in line with the average since the GFC. 

But now, even with these new and improved estimates for our economy, by the end of next year we are still tracking to be 5.3% below where we were expected to be. 

That is the equivalent of around $105bn less being produced – or roughly the total amount produced in a year by the entire manufacturing industry. 

That is a chasm of economic waste. 

If the economy was to keep growing at (a very strong) 4%, it would take us until 2025 to get back level with where we were expected to be before the virus. If it grows at the more realistic 3% from 2022 onwards, we will not get back on par until well into the 2030s. [my yellow highlighting]

The debate very much needs to shift from the language being used in January and February. 

Forget “fundamentals being strong” and “sensible budget management”. It was spin then; it is just embarrassingly irrelevant now. 

We are in a deep recession and the political and policy debate needs to recognise this fact.


Thursday, 18 June 2020

Morrison & his hard right mates won't back down on slashing Australia Post mail services


Here is what Australia Post states it has been doing to keep letters and parcels moving during the COVID-19 pandemic.......

Eight extra freighter flights and 600 more casual staff employed to help speed up delivery, along with new and repurposed facilities.

With many retail businesses closing shopfronts in rural and regional areas due to the economic downturn leaving only their online store available to customers, Australia Post and its more than 2,000 post offices in these areas have become increasingly vital links in the supply chain.

So how did the Morrison Government respond to the increase in mail traffic?

It introduced new Australia Post regulations via Australian Postal Corporation (Performance Standards) Amendment (2020 Measures No. 1) Regulations 2020 and on the back of this decided to cut mail deliveries to every second day, stretch mail delivery times to between five and seven days, as well as abandoning priority mail.

What this means it that unless each postie can deliver two days worth of letters, small parcels and unsolicited mail during one working day, there will be a backlog of undelivered mail quietly mounting up at local mail distribution points - which would eventually blowout the time between posting and delivery to a matter of weeks.

The possibility also exists that by June next year mail delivery will be reduced even further, potentially causing delivery chaos.

Echo NetDaily, excerpt, 16 June 2020:

The Morrison Government voted eight times over two days to slash Australia Post deliveries. Yesterday Labor Leader Anthony Albanese moved to disallow the Prime Minister’s regulations which cut the frequency of postie delivery rounds, extend mail delivery times for millions of Australians and put the jobs of up to one in four posties and many others at risk.... 

The changes will affect everyone who relies on Australia Post Justine Elliot said these changes will affect everyone who relies on Australia Post. It will particularly affect the elderly in our region, who will be most disadvantaged by these cuts to mail delivery services. 

‘Many seniors are not on the internet and they instead rely on the mail for their letters, cards and bills and now, due to Government cuts, they’ll be waiting longer for important correspondence. The fact is the mail is often a lifeline for our seniors. 

‘People in our regional and rural communities still rely on the postal service more than many other types of services. Australia Post service standards are fundamental and for the benefit of all Australians. 

‘Under the Morrison Government’s plan, mail delivery across the North Coast will blow out from three business days to seven full days. These changes will slash the frequency of postie delivery rounds and put the jobs of up to one in four posties at risk. 

‘At a time of economic downturns across regional Australia, this Government is now slashing jobs and services......

One MP was particularly unimpressed.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Law Council of Australia is very concerned with some aspects of Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton's proposed amendments to the Australian Security and Intelligence Act 1975 (Cth) (ASIO Act)


"The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Amendment Bill 2020 will modernise ASIO's powers and, in doing so, improve ASIO's capacity to respond to these threats [by]....lowering the minimum age of a questioning subject in relation to a terrorism matter from 16 to 14...empowering the Attorney-General to issue warrants, including orally....allow non-intrusive tracking devices, such as a device placed on a vehicle, or in a person's bag, to be authorised internally...." [Minister for Home Affairs & Liberal MP for Dickson Peter Dutton in House of Representatives Hansard, 13 May 2020]

Law Council of Australia, media release, 13 May 2020:

Statement on proposed amendments to the ASIO Act by Law Council President, Pauline Wright


The Law Council of Australia is very concerned with some aspects of the proposed amendments to the Australian Security and Intelligence Act 1975 (Cth) (ASIO Act) released today in parliament.
If adopted, the amendments would redesign the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation’s (ASIO’s) compulsory questioning warrant regime and repeal its specific detention powers.
It would also make some significant changes to ASIO’s surveillance powers, including permitting warrantless (that is, internally authorised) surveillance in relation to the use of certain tracking devices.
The Law Council welcomes the repeal of the ASIO detention regime in relation to the investigation of terrorism, which is consistent with its longstanding policy position. However, the amendments propose a re-design of the use of questioning warrants and we are concerned that there may be very limited time to scrutinise the proposed laws, which are lengthy, complex and highly intrusive on individual rights.
The proposal to reduce the age of minors who may be subject to questioning from 16 to 14 years and the conferral of powers on police to apprehend and detain persons for the purpose of bringing them in for compulsory questioning also requires detailed scrutiny by the Law Council, amongst the many other amendments.
The Law Council is concerned that the government is now rushing the Bill, despite having had over two years to develop the re-designed questioning legislation since the PJCIS tabled its report in May 2018.
Now there is a sense of urgency given that ASIO’s current questioning powers are due to sunset in 7 September, and the amendments are set to commence by or before that date.
This is not a Bill to be hurried through.
The Law Council will need to carefully scrutinise the Bill and we look forward to providing a comprehensive submission to the inquiry. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Amendment Bill 2020 can be found here.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 May 2020:

With Federal Parliament flat out dealing with the social and economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, now is hardly the right time for a government to introduce legislation giving ASIO the power to question 14-year-old children, interfere with the rights of legal advisers, and enable the tracking of individuals without the need for a warrant..... 

Dutton's law would allow ASIO to seek a warrant so it can question young people aged 14 to 18 if they are a target of an ASIO investigation into politically motivated violence: broad criteria to say the least. 

Then there is a serious attack on the fundamental right of a person, whether they be 14 or 40, to choose their own lawyer when they are subject to investigation by ASIO. The bill allows for a prescribed authority, which is a judge or Administrative Appeals member selected by the government, to stop a person ASIO is seeking to question from contacting their lawyer if "satisfied, based on circumstances relating to the lawyer, that, if the subject is permitted to contact the lawyer, a person involved in activity prejudicial to security may be alerted that the activity is being investigated, or that a record or other thing the subject may be requested to produce might be destroyed, damaged or altered". 

This power is sweeping and allows for hearsay "evidence" to be used. All ASIO would have to do is tell the judge or AAT member that it has heard from "sources" that the lawyer requested by the detainee is a security risk. 

But even if the lawyer passes muster and sits with his or her client, the ASIO officers doing the questioning can have the lawyer removed. The explanatory memorandum of the bill says that can happen, "if the lawyer's conduct is unduly disrupting questioning. This may be the case where, for example, a lawyer repeatedly interrupts questioning (other than to make reasonable requests for clarification or a break to provide advice), in a way that prevents or hinders questions being asked or answered." So if the ASIO officers are badgering or harassing a frightened 14-year-old, or asking questions that are completely irrelevant, they have carte blanche. 

As a lawyer, one hears and reads stories about colleagues in authoritarian states where such powers are given to and used by security agencies, but one never expected it in democratic Australia....

Thursday, 23 April 2020

222 economists advise that lifting COVID-19 restrictions too soon will not help the Australian economy. But will Scott Morrison listen?


The Conversation, 20 April 2020:

In recent weeks a growing chorus of Australian commentators has called for social distancing measures to be eased or radically curtailed.

Some have claimed the lives saved by the lockdowns are not worth the damage they are causing to the economy.

Others have claimed the case for easing is strengthened by the fact many of the hardest hit by COVID-19 are elderly or suffering from other conditions.

Some might expect economists, of all people, to endorse this calculus.

But as economists we categorically reject these views, and we believe they do not represent the majority of our profession.

We believe a callous indifference to life is morally objectionable, and that it would be a mistake to expect a premature loosening of restrictions to be beneficial to the economy and jobs, given the rapid rate of contagion…..

Open Letter from Australian Economists
19 April, 2020

Dear Prime Minister and Members of the National Cabinet,

The undersigned economists have witnessed and participated in the public debate about when to relax social-distancing measures in Australia. Some commentators have expressed the view there is a trade-off between the public health and economic aspects of the crisis. We, as economists, believe this is a false distinction.

We cannot have a functioning economy unless we first comprehensively address the public health crisis. The measures put in place in Australia, at the border and within the states and territories, have reduced the number of new infections. This has put Australia in an enviable position compared to other countries, and we must not squander that success.

We recognise the measures taken to date have come at a cost to economic activity and jobs, but believe these are far outweighed by the lives saved and the avoided economic damage due to an unmitigated contagion. We believe strong fiscal measures are a much better way to offset these economic costs than prematurely loosening restrictions.

As has been foreshadowed in your public remarks, our borders will need to remain under tight control for an extended period. It is vital to keep social-distancing measures in place until the number of infections is very low, our testing capacity is expanded well beyond its already comparatively high level, and widespread contact tracing is available.

A second-wave outbreak would be extremely damaging to the economy, in addition to involving tragic and unnecessary loss of life.

Sincerely,

Professor Alison Booth, Australian National University

Professor Jeff Borland, University of Melbourne

Professorial Research Fellow Lisa Cameron, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne

Professor Efrem Castelnuovo, University of Melbourne

Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark, University of Sydney

Assistant Professor Ashley Craig, University of Michigan

Professor Chris Edmond, University of Melbourne

Professor Nisvan Erkal, University of Melbourne

Professor John Freebairn, University of Melbourne

Professor Renée Fry-McKibbin, Australian National University

Professor Joshua Gans, University of Toronto

Professor Jacob Goeree, UNSW Business School

Professor Quentin Grafton, Australian National University

Professor Simon Grant, Australian National University

Professor Pauline Grosjean, UNSW Business School

Distinguished Professor Jane Hall, University of Technology Sydney

Assistant Professor Steven Hamilton, George Washington University

Professor Ian Harper, Melbourne Business School

Professor Richard Holden, UNSW Business School

Professor David Johnston, Monash University

Professor Flavio Menezes, University of Queensland

Professor Warwick McKibbin, Australian National University

Assistant Professor Simon Mongey, University of Chicago

Professor James Morley, University of Sydney

Professor Joseph Mullins, University of Minnesota

Professor Abigail Payne, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne

Professor Bruce Preston, University of Melbourne

Emeritus Professor Sue Richardson, Flinders University

Professor Stefanie Schurer, University of Sydney

Professor Kalvinder Shields, University of Melbourne

Professor John Quiggin, University of Queensland

Associate Professor Simon Quinn, Oxford University

Economic Advisor James Vickery, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Professor Tom Wilkening, University of Melbourne

Professor Justin Wolfers, University of Michigan

Professor Yves Zenou, Monash University

Full list of signatories available on the economists open letter website.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre to close because the Morrison Government refuses to consider funding it further


In 2015 the Abbott Coalition Government changed guidelines for government-industry-community cooperative research centres.

This change was implemented by the federal Department of Industry and Science.

At the time the 2015/2016 Federal budget planned to cut $26.8 million of CRC funding (over four years).

In spite of the original budget cut less than two years into its existence, the 
Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (BNHCRC) went on to do sterling work in cooperation with federal and state governments, industry, non-government organisations and international bodies.

This was Australian Prime Minister on 7 February 2020 according to the 
BNHCRC website: 


CRC Chair Dr Katherine Woodthorpe, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, CRC Research Director Dr John Bates and Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews.


Prime Minister Scott Morrison invited the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC to Parliament House to discuss current and future contributions of research to the bushfire response and recovery. 

CRC Chair Dr Katherine Woodthorpe and Acting CEO and Research Director Dr John Bates met with Prime Minister Morrison and the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews on 5 February to talk about building a bushfire-resilient Australia. 

After the meeting Prime Minister Morrison posted the above picture on his Facebook page, saying: 

“Today Minister Karen Andrews and I also met with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC to discuss their important work to assist with the bushfire response and improve preparedness for future fire seasons. We talked about making a more bushfire-resilient Australia and how it can support the proposed Royal Commission.” 

The CRC was invited to discuss how it could support the Royal Commission using its research knowledge and expertise, and through the Inquiries and Reviews database that catalogues over 300 inquiries and reviews of emergencies and disasters caused by natural hazards across all jurisdictions in Australia between 1886 and 2017. The database captures the findings of previous royal commissions and other bushfire inquiries.

What Scott Morrison was well aware of, and most ordinary voters hadn't realised, was that the 2015 change to those guidelines meant that the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre would cease to receive federal government funding as of 30 June 2021 and inevitably will have to close its doors.

On the heels of a devastating 2019-2020 bushfires season, marked by mega wildfires burning across millions of hectares, this Senate Estimates hearing (below) is how the Australian public became widely aware that one of the supports enabling emergency services to fight such fires was being withdrawn.
On 2 January 2020 The Australian reported that the Insurance Council of Australia had urged the federal government to commit to keep funding this key bushfire research organisation.

This call seems to have had no effect on Scott Morrison and his government - it appears that he is still intent on burning Australia back to nothing but bare barren earth.

Friday, 28 February 2020

If you have ever wondered how Scott Morrison forms his opinions on everything from climate change & coal mining to taxation & punishing the poor......


Scott John Morrison does not appear to be a man with an abundance of intellectual curiosity, his employment history* is lacklustre with most of positions he held lasting less than 3 years and, his work ethic is not strong given he granted himself three holiday breaks in the first full year of his primeministership.

So to whom (besides the Institute of Public Affairs) does Morrison turn to when he is deciding his policy positions?


A clue might be found here......

 Michael West Media, Hon Scott Morrison MP, excerpt, 2020:


Mining Connections
John Kunkel, the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff: before his appointment to his current position by Morrison in 2018, Kunkle served as Rio Tinto’s chief advisor for Government Relations, working as a lobbyist for the multinational mining firm. Rio is one of Australia’s top coal miners. Before this Kunkel was Deputy CEO of the Mineral Council of Australia for over six years.

Brendan Pearson, Senior Advisor for International Trade and Investment for the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) 2019 to present. Pearson was the CEO of the MCA from 2014 untl 2017, where BHP Billiton pressured the MCA over Pearson’s radically pro-coal stances and insistance on government-subsidised coal projects.

Lobbying Connections
Former mining lobbyists who now hold key positions within Morrison’s staff include The Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary, Yaron Finkelstein, the former CEO of Crosby Textor (now C|T) a multinational lobbying firm with close ties to the Liberal Party and the mining industry. Other C|T alumni include Liberal Party campaign director, Andrew Hirst and his deputy, Isaac Levido, as well as James McGrath, LNP Senator for Queensland and prominent public advocate for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

A further pro-mining lobbyist connection is Stephanie Wawn. Wawn is a
senior advisor to Morrison and was previously employed as a manager for CapitalHill Advisory. CapitalHill’s clients included coal miner Glencore and pro-coal think tank, the Menzies Research Centre.

Media Connections
Another way in which the mining lobby exerts influence is via the Prime Minister’s communications team. Many of Morrison’s senior communications team have long-held ties to the Murdoch press. News Corporation is pro-coal and anti climate change.

Positions taken by News Corp staffers in the Prime Minster’s office include Matthew Fynes-Clinton’s role as speech-writer. Fynes-Clinton was former deputy chief of staff and editor of The Courier Mail. Press Secretary, Andrew Carswell, formerly chief of staff at The Daily Telegraph and advisor Thomas Adolph, formerly with The Australian.

NOTES

* Jobs held since 1989:

National Manager, Policy and Research Property Council of Australia 1989-95. 

Deputy Chief Executive, Australian Tourism Task Force 1995-96. 
General Manager, Tourism Council 1996-98. 
Director, NZ Office of Tourism and Sport 1998-2000. 
State Director, Liberal Party (NSW) 2000-04. 
Managing Director, Tourism Australia 2004-06. 
Principal, MSAS Pty Ltd 2006-07.

Member iof the Australian Parliament 2007- present.


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.”