Stop the privatised cashless pension card

November 07, 2021

Unlike an ordinary bank debit card, it can only be used at shops approved by the government. So they can limit and control where, when, and how you spend your own money. You might also have to use a special checkout.

If this card scheme gets through, pensioners wouldn’t be able to:

  • pay cash to buy cheap food at the local market
  • buy second-hand goods
  • pay for a meal or a beer at the RSL
  • give money to their grandkids.


Sign the petition to stop the cashless pension card

Will you sign the petition calling on the federal government to immediately:

  1. Apologise to Australian pensioners for the cashless pension control card plan.
  2. Repeal all legislation that enables the cashless card and scrap the scheme.
  3. Cancel the contract with Indue, the private company that runs and profits from the cashless card scheme.
  4. Stop the further privatisation of Centrelink.

Click here to sign the petition.

Learn more about the cashless pension card

The private company that operates the cashless debit card can see how much money you have, and where you shop. Information about the balance of your account and the kinds of things you buy are reported to the government.

Across Australia, people are now being forced onto the cashless debit card. There are five main trial areas so far, and the Morrison government wants to expand it to become “the universal platform” (Minister for Social Services, Anne Ruston, 2020) in “a nationwide expansion” (Prime Minister Scott Morrison, 2019).

This shocking scheme comes after eight years of cuts to the pension and attacks on pensioners by the Liberals. Scott Morrison is not on the side of pensioners.

The Morrison government thinks it knows better than Australian people how they should spend their money. The vast majority of pensioners manage their money perfectly well. They know where every cent goes.

The Morrison government has already wasted $70 million establishing the privatised pension control card, operated by a private company called Indue. The government has spent over $5,200 for each person currently on the card. That’s more than some part-pensioners get in a year.

At every turn, the Liberals try to find more opportunities to give their corporate mates more profit from taxpayers’ funds.

The public service, not corporations, should run the social security system and Centrelink for the benefit of pensioners who worked hard and paid taxes all their lives.

Labor will fight this government’s plans to expand this shameful cashless debit card and force it onto pensioners. And a Labor federal government would abolish the privatised card.

Cashless pension card questions and answers

Will Scott Morrison really bring in a cashless pension card?

Yes, his own Minister for Social Services, Anne Ruston, admitted in a Channel 7 Interview that "we are seeking to put all income management onto the universal platform... the cashless debit card".

What has Scott Morrison’s government said about the cashless debit card?

Scott Morrison's government has indicated multiple times that they intend on expanding the cashless debit card to include all pensioners. Click here to see just how many times they've flagged their plan.

What is the cashless debit card?

The cashless debit card quarantines at least 80 per cent of your payment on a separate card. It can only be used at shops approved by the government.

What does the cashless debit card prevent you from buying?

Unless the store has a special agreement, you won’t be able to buy any goods at the store. The card will also stop you from purchasing gift cards.

Does the cashless debit card prevent you from going to a pub or a club?

You can’t use the card to buy alcohol. You could only buy meals if the pub or club has a special agreement.

Who operates the cashless debit card?

The card is operated by a private company called Indue.

Can the private operators see your personal details if you are on a cashless debit card?

The private company will be able to see how much money you have, and where you shop, and what you buy.

Will people be able to tell I am on a cashless debit card?

The card looks different from an ordinary credit or debit card. So checkout operators and other people nearby will know you are using a cashless debit card.

Can I withdraw cash from the cashless debit card?

No. In special circumstances, you might be able to get permission from Indue to access more cash, but you will need to explain to this private company why you want access to cash.