The Indue Card

The Govt may be planning to radically expand the Indue Card to all of Australian Welfare recipients. It may or may not be the case by it certainly removes a lot of choice from users of the card. There is currently a petition on seeking to get the card removed.

The petition if you are interested in it can be found at

Some comment that while conspiracy stuff in some may still be worth the read:


I suspect there will be many in the community which will not support an expanded roll out of the card, and like wise there will be many who do.

It would be interesting if this went to a plebiscite, what the percentage against and for would be.

I suspect that the community might be generally in favour, especially by those who may not have been subject to the challenges of living of social security.


Trouble with the card is the limited range of merchants you can use the card with. If for example you need a repair person and have to pay them, many/most want cash and do not like Indue use and the cash allowed to be accessed by the card user is a very small amount compared to what these bills would normally be.

If you are retired and enjoy collecting wine most of the establishments you might want to use your card at are blocked from allowing it. Again you could access the cash and purchase it but it isn’t a great deal of cash. At any time the Govt can change what is allowed goods. From the merchant page on Indue as part of what constitutes the restricted goods is " Any other goods or services determined by the Commonwealth of Australia in accordance with the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 (Cth). Too Big Brother and certainly very patronising.


I didn’t think the card was being rolled out to pensioners?

Yes, there is an issue in relation to the payment for some services which may not be provided by the card, but does all the benefit goes on the card?

We have a family member that works in the Job Services Australia sector, and understand that additional payments can be made where the card can’t be used…such as for public transport, specialised clothing for interview/employment etc.


Yes all welfare recipients is the aim. In ATSI communities it is all recipients and in those areas of trialing it affects all users except Age and Vet affairs but this as part of the trial and could easily change to all. They encourage those exempt pensioners to sign up.

The limit is $200 per 28 days and if it isn’t enough you have to get permission and a decision from an officer of the Dept to get more. You can only ring them during office hours.

Approved Payment Category Transfer Limit (default)
Housing Payment Limit $0
Other Expenses Limit $200 every 28 days

I’ve managed my life, house and finances solely on a pension for the last 12 years… what on earth makes them think I cant manage anymore. I will be vehemently opposing it


A plebiscite is a poor choice.
If that was how the country worked all the time it is likely 51% of the population would be telling the other 49% how to live. It’s a devisive and not an inclusive solution. What next? A plebiscite to decide whether the nation will all be Protestants or Catholics? I’m neither, not in my lifetime. Most things in life are more complex than simple A or B choices. It’s highly probable the current PM would agree with me too!

What problem are we trying to solve? One suggestion is it is really about the Indue Card being delivered by a pro LNP enterprise. Was the service even tendered? I hope that is not correct?

Given the relatively recent experiences of one of our sons living away from home and with Newstart as his only income the Indue Card would have been near useless. That’s aside from our assistance to help pay for his course. No government funding there!

The whole proposal is intrusive and an invasion of privacy.

To suggest that all recipients of welfare payments need to be managed by government when only some need assistance (and is the card the best solution anyway) is an insult. It devalues every individual forced to use the card.

For any retiree on a part pension it would seem the ultimate in hypocrisy, given those individuals have already demonstrated a large degree of self reliance.

What next? Will the ATO only issue tax refunds to an Indue Card so we don’t spend it all at once on something wasteful like a night out, fruit juice only? Sounds like Thai given there is a 60km drive involved.


Yes and no


" 14. Aspects of the procurement process to engage the card provider and evaluator were not robust. The department did not document a value for money assessment for the card provider’s IT build tender or assess all evaluators’ tenders completely and consistently."


Is this stated somewhere? I went to look at the government site and could find no more info other than that its being rolled out to a few more select communities (personally, I think its rude but in some senses can understand why its happening)


It’s a work in progress.

‘Rollout’ has one meaning similar perhaps to usage as for the NBN. What started as FTTP in several sites around the nation did not stop at just those sites. While subsequent delivery was modified and turned to the disadvantage of more half the half the nation.

Coyote in the Roadrunner Cartoon was also frequently ‘rolled out’. It seems a likely outcome?

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Hrmmmm. I know what rollout means, Mark. What I dont see on the site is any reference to all welfare recipients ever being forced onto the card.

Is it simply playing public interest groups going hard with the possibility? IE a strategy to increase awareness of the Indue Card and negative perceptions of the program.

The ‘media report’ opens with a caption, one opinion, suggesting the need for the card to apply to all welfare recipients. Who might they be?

I suspect Twiggy is also being quoted out of context to help grab the headline. The content that follows opens up the scope as did @grahroll in the original links.

It is a difficult and complex topic for those in the community who struggle with addictions and the need to manage their resources more effectively. A plastic card is far from delivering empathy, understanding and support. Hopefully the roll out is not part one of a bigger rollout and is just another way of saying trial.


I wasn’t indicating a vote on the policy, but to undetake a plebiscite to determine how much support there is for the policy. A plebiscite is possibly the only way to accurately determine how much suport there is as everyone would be required to vote on the policy. Opinion polls (as eeen from the last election), focus groups, tslking with consitutents etc aren’t accurate enough.

The media is known for taking one view, no matter how extreme or incorrect, and using this to create a story. The more controversial, the more clicks and reads and the more valuable the advertising space.

I suspect you are on tbe mark (no pun intended). We have seen that fear campaigns are possibly the easiest and most successful way of changing public opinion and ultimately government policy. The more fear…even if it isn’t truthful (e.g. Mediscare, Death Taxes). …the more succesful it seems to be to change opinions of the masses.

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The Indue card while not currently directly aimed in some trials at all users, but it does encourage all Welfare recipients to enroll. In Aboriginal Communities in the NT it was certainly all Welfare recipients and to get off the card was/is very hard. The trials are to see how effective the card is to pay Welfare recipients and to reduce abuse of Gambling, alcohol, and tobacco and illegal drugs. The three abused product types are certainly worthwhile targets but a blanket approach is a bit of overreach.

The reason for the trials was so that it could be evaluated and probably as well not cause uproar Australia wide by simply implementing in one hit. This is why they are called trials, they are just at the moment evaluations. Sometimes reading between the lines is needed. Sort of like “put a frog in cold water and heat it to boiling and the frog will sit there until it dies”. Then you need to see what has been said not just on the Indue site but in discussions, parliamentary discussions/debate, off the cuff remarks by pollies such as how the Govt anticipates as the card becomes more widely used that they expect the Card admin will come down to $1,000 per head but they will not disclose how they come to this figure because it is Commercial in Confidence & “This expansion will help test the card in different settings”, “I am advised that at this point in time, with the trial as it is, it does work out to $12,000, but we have worked out that, into the future, the cost will come down considerably as a consequence of those up-front costs having already been met. I am now advised that it will be $1,000 per person over the long term.” & “I’m telling you that costs for operating additional sites are not for publication due to potential commercial sensitivities, because there are contracts and contractual obligations involved. I’ve explained to you that the cost of the four sites to 2020 is $1,000 per person” these are from the Senate debates on Monday, 12 February 2018.


For what value when many ‘esteemed and honourable’ MPs will vote their way regardless? They and their parties maintain the electorate votes and puts them where they are because of trust and they are meant to make their own judgements, enforce party discipline to assure they deliver on that trust, and blah blah. When conscience votes are allowed (an interesting aspect of government) the hard liners don’t give a rat’s about anything but their own opinion or that of their major donors. They know the punter will quickly forget as often as not, or forgive, or still think the hardliner’s party is a better bet than the opposing one.

Politics, the art of insulting us.


Thanks for the link to the petition, which I have duly signed. I’d like to be as sure of winning the lottery as I am that it is only a matter of time before this card is inflicted on every single person who is receiving a C/l payment. It is not designed to be of any help, it is a tool to demean the disadvantaged.


I think if used with discretion rather than overbearing it does help reduce issues for some clients on welfare payments. It is just making it the only way that you get payments that rankles me, it demeans those who have always shown responsible financial habits, who are very low risk of abuse of money, gambling and drugs. It cries out to me of a very “Big Brother and I know what’s best” attitude to me.


My biggest problem with it is that it will cause more hardship for those on very low incomes. We rely on op-shops and markets for food, now forced to spend our money where the govt. decides. It’s outrageous.


Not necessarily…see…

Namely 'All merchants that have existing point-of-sale terminal facilities and do not sell alcohol, gambling goods/services, or gift cards will automatically be able to accept the Cashless Debit Card as a payment method. ’

Unless op shops and markets sell alcohol, gambling goods/services, or gift cards, these retailers will still be able to be used when one has a Indue Card…unless they only deal in cash (which may raise other issues). If they do sell these restricted products in addition to unrestricted products, they can apply for inclusion into the scheme.

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Recently introduced to Parliament (11 Sept 2019) is this expansion of the Indue Card and specifically to the part about reference to Age Pension this subsection 124PD:

9 Subsection124PD(1) (after paragraph (a) of the definition of restrictable payment)


(aa) in relation to a trial participant under section124PGD or 28124PGE, means:

(i) a payment of a kind listed in paragraph (a); or

(ii) an age pension; or

(iii) a social security bereavement payment in relation to an age pension under Division 9 of Part 2.2 of the 1991 Act; or

(iv) a distance education payment under the scheme known as the Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme, where the payment relates to a child or children at a Homeland Learning Centre;

As you can see no longer will they require voluntary take up by Age Pensioners but it will become mandatory (and you will have to apply to be exempt which exemption is not a given).

Just as a further issue is that Money Orders are not able to be purchased by the Indue Card. If you pay rent by MOs then instead you will need a Bank Chq or you will have to most likely use a Rent Paying business as most RE businesses only accept these types of payments eg you will pay the Rent Scheme by Indue thereby increasing your costs as you have to pay them a surcharge for service. MOs typically are cheaper than BC or Rent Schemes. Of course restricting MOs will have/has other impacts beyond rent.

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