Benefits to be paid using Prepaid Cards
the Government are planning to change how millions get their benefit, now to be paid on a prepaid card where this is to target the claimants with ‘destructive habits’ so that they can now control what they spend the funds on so no longer will claimants be able to buy drugs or alcohol with the money and if the prepaid cards are programmed they can even be stopped from withdrawing cash from ATM'S to stop further abuse.
Minister which are backing the scheme are telling Tory's at the conference scheme this could be a radical change to the benefits system where they can monitor every ones spending habits and if triggers are put in place such as trying to purchase alcohol not only will it prevent it but it may even stop additional benefits going to the claimants.
This does not get over several problems such as small retailers cashing in on the business where they don't scan goods or alcohol and may even charge a fee to give the claimants cash instead of goods as there will be no real way of monitoring purchases that are not scanned
The scheme is there mainly to prevent claimants with destructive habits but may be imposed on everyone to ensure they are not targeting one demographic.
Receiving benefits on prepaid cards instead of in cash have been tested and will be be rolled out by the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith.
Benefits being paid on to prepaid cards are here to support families rather than feed drug and alcohol addiction or debt problems. By using these new tools it will prevent individuals with destructive tendencies using this as a cash system and instead help where it is needed, the families “on the margins” out of poverty because their benefits would not be spent on addictions.
As prepaid cards are preloaded the family can not over spend on the card, they can only use what is on the card subject to any transaction charges. Prepaid cards can safeguard families and more importantly, their families, their children, ensuring their basic needs are met.
“That means benefits paid, I always believe, should go to support the wellbeing of their families not to feed their destructive habits.
“To that end, conference, today I can stand here and announce to you that I am going to start testing prepaid cards onto which we will make benefit payments so that the money they receive is spent on the needs of the family, finally helping I believe to break the cycle of poverty for families on the margins.
Claudia Wood, chief executive of Demos, said the policy was “ethically questionable and practically and technologically challenging”.
“However, polling shows that rolling out prepaid cards more widely for the purposes of restricting what people could spend their benefits on would be extremely controversial, ethically questionable and practically and technologically challenging,” she said.
“The government should proceed with caution by only piloting the scheme for people who need and want the additional safety net a prepaid card can offer, and must stay away from the slippery slope of wider controls.”