Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

BasicsCard sales top $100 million

Joint Media Release with:

  • Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Human Services

The Australian Government today announced more than $100 million has been spent on BasicsCards across Australia.

More than $70 million of spending has gone towards food and almost $20 million on clothing.

‘These figures show that income management is putting food in children’s stomachs and clothes on their backs, instead of being wasted on cigarettes, alcohol or gambling,’ Ms Macklin said.

‘The BasicsCard is an important measure for ensuring welfare payments are spent in the interests of children and is a key plank of the Government’s strategy to strengthen community safety and improve the protection of children.’

The BasicsCard was introduced as a means for customers on Income Management to access their funds.

‘Since its introduction in September 2008, use has rapidly increased and currently more than 15,000 customers are using a BasicsCard,’ Mr Bowen said.

‘A BasicsCard cannot be used to buy alcohol, tobacco, pornography or gambling products. Customers also cannot use BasicsCard to buy gift cards or vouchers, lay-by or for cash-out.’

There are 964 outlets approved to accept BasicsCard and of these, 474 are outside the Northern Territory.