EXPERT ADVICE: Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt says people with queries should seek face-to-face expert advice.
EXPERT ADVICE: Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt says people with queries should seek face-to-face expert advice. Alistair Brightman

Pitt hits back at 'incorrect' cashless card claims

MEMBER for Hinkler Keith Pitt has hit back at people spreading what he says is misinformation about the Cashless Debit Card.

Mr Pitt's comments come after an opinion piece by Jeannine Clegg claimed the member refused to meet with people "directly affected by the card".

Ms Clegg claimed everyone directed to his office had been referred to the department or the private corporation Indue.

But Mr Pitt said the claims were not true.

"Sadly, people continue to spread misinformation and scaremonger unnecessarily about the Cashless Debit Card," Mr Pitt said.

"The Cashless Debit Card trial in Hinkler only applies to people 35 and under, so a person working for 40 years is not on the trial in this electorate (as had been inferred).

"Claims that I refuse to meet with people affected by the Cashless Debit Card are simply untrue."

Mr Pitt said while he welcomed any queries, card recipients should speak to an expert face-to-face.

"If a Cashless Debit Card recipient has a specific query about their card they are referred to the shopfronts (in Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Childers) to speak face-to-face with a department expert who can access their Centrelink data and solve the problem, or they can call Department of Social Services hotline," he said.

"The Hinkler electorate office staff are not allowed to have access to a person's financial and/or banking information due to privacy laws."

In her opinion piece, Ms Clegg said the card would cost about $10,000 per person to administer over a 12-month period and it would not deliver intended outcomes for those in receipt of social security payments.

Mr Pitt said claims around the cost of the card was incorrect.

"For the Hinkler electorate trial the cost is approximately $820 per participant," he said.

"While some people might oppose the card on an ideological basis, I ask that they stop spreading misinformation."



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