Written on the 18 November 2020 by SAFCA
Vulnerable Australians who have millions of dollars taken out of their Centrelink payments to cover predatory leases on household items like washing machines would be better protected under changes Labor is putting to Parliament.
Under the Centrepay system, businesses leasing whitegoods and household items can take their payments out of people's welfare cheques before it hits their bank account.
Consumer advocates who have battled the program for years say people on welfare can end up paying exorbitant interest rates and there is no cap on fees and charges allowed. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has found the cost of household goods leased on rent-to-buy contracts can be nearly nine times the retail price.
NTCOSS has provided a submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee opposing the Continuation of Cashless Welfare Bill 2020. The Bill aims to make current trial sites permanent and to expand the scheme into the Northern Territory and Cape York. As has been our long-standing position, any income management should be conducted on an opt-in basis, and that funds allocated for the implementation of a cashless debit card expansion in the NT should be instead invested in communities and job creation, prioritising delivery by Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisations.
For review of the effect of cashless debit cards to date, click here
To read the full submission, click here
Shining a light on the issue of food insecurity in the midst of a global pandemic.
This report is unlike any previous Foodbank Hunger Report as it presents a picture of food insecurity in the midst of a once-in-100-year crisis. COVID-19 is having a profound effect on every aspect of people's lives, so it is not surprising that it is impacting the food security of Australians. This report looks at how COVID-19, and the responses of governments, businesses and individuals to the pandemic, are affecting the ability of people to have food for themselves and their families.
UCare Gawler, as part of the Veterans Financial wellbeing Pilot Project, will be hosting a free Zoom presentation for Australian Defence Force (ADF) members, veterans and their families.
If you know anyone who would be interested in attending, please pass on the information to them.
It covers many aspects of financial wellbeing, such as budgeting; understanding credit and utility bills; insurance; payments and concessions; and the importance of financial literacy.
The workshop will be run by Alan Murray, an experienced financial counsellor and veteran.
Date: Thursday 26th November
Time: 12.30 pm
Duration: approximately 60 minutes
There will time for questions at the end of the workshop. Bookings via Eventbrite - click here