The cashless debit card stigmatises people and disempowers them from contributing to the local economy.
This card only works with certain vendors, taking away the ability for people using it to pay a friend for a lift to the doctors, shop at a farmers’ market, pay for informal childminding arrangements, and much more.
Members of the community say they will feel looked down on simply for taking this card out at the grocery store.
The card is disempowering, takes away people’s rights to make choices about their spending, has an impact on self esteem, and further entrenches segregation and systemic racism. It also contributes to the atmosphere of institutionalisation and disempowerment in rural and regional Australia.
The Cashless Debit Card Trial has harmed, not helped, people who are already vulnerable, pushing them into barter-exchange situations as a result of not having access to cash.
Sex worker clients may also not be able to have their primary needs met, affecting their self esteem and confidence, impacting their ability to get a job.