OPINION: Govt has increased responsibility for irresponsible

CONSIDERING there are more than two billion Australians living on some form of welfare payment, it behoves our government to ensure this is not exploited or abused.

With an ageing population, our government anticipates the ever-increasing reliance on welfare will be unsustainable in the future, with fewer in the workforce.

While recipients are able to freely choose where money is spent, it is a temptation to use it as disposable income.

The introduction of the Basics and Welfare Cards are attempts to take control of welfare spending in many remote and low socio-economic regions at risk.

Its concern is that it's statistically proven that a percentage overspend on alcohol, gambling and illicit drugs.

We have governments taking increased responsibility for the irresponsible.

Welfare agencies feel the impact on their over-stretched resources, of people addicted to a lifestyle beyond their means, permanently reliant on charity for the basics.

Some families reliant on welfare, with out-of-control spending habits, living beyond their means, are victims of payday loan businesses, subject to high interest loans, living homeless or with budget distress.

Radio Rentals, which received half its annual profit in 2014 from direct-debit Centrelink withdrawals, is just one business benefiting.

Taxpayer-funded welfare was never meant to pay such large sums into the pockets of big business.

The Welfare Card can be used to buy anything it specifies, which can still be traded for tobacco, alcohol or drugs, for the desperate.

It will demonstrate, rather, the ingenuity of the desperate to maintain their addictive habits, with a little help from those who continue to gain from such transactions.

Gympie Times

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