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[Petition] - Re-Think Pre-Paid Benefit Cards

Midnight_Caller
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[Petition] - Re-Think Pre-Paid Benefit Cards

Hi All
Please, please sign the petition and put a end to Iain Duncan Smith's plans.
[quote="38 Degrees"]
Re-Think Pre-Paid Benefit Cards
To: Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions Secretary

Please scrap your plans to introduce pre-paid benefit cards.
Benefit claimants deserve to live in peace and dignity, not to be treated like criminals or naughty children.
Why is this important?
This plan is ridiculous, degrading and a breach of our human rights.
Not allowing us to have any cash at all is an unwise and unworkable idea, because some things do require cash, e.g. travelling on the bus, buying fresh vegetables and fruit from a farmer's market, using vending machines, using a trolley at the supermarket, buying second-hand clothes from a car boot sale.
The poor often buy second-hand goods in charity shops, car boot sales and Ebay. Many buy books and worksheets for their children, plus toys and Christmas presents, and benefit cards would take all of that away from them. Many parents are desperate for work but cannot find any. Some are so severely unwell or disabled that they are unlikely to ever work at all, even though they want to. Some  are financially ruined in family courts while getting divorced. Anyone can fall into it.
Almost 80% of middle class families are greatly helped by their parents and/or grandparents, but not everyone is so lucky.
If, for instance, you were to tell a person who has worked all of their life, but has recently become unemployed through no fault of their own  (e.g. redundancy), that they can't even buy a magazine or go for a coffee with a friend, it would be ridiculous, and being told what to do like a naughty child would be degrading. It would also be ridiculous, and degrading, for them to be dictated to by the government and be told "You can't have any cash, you can only spend money in these shops, you can have this but you can't have that, because we say so."
Iain Duncan-Smith, whose idea it is, has not said exactly when he intends to push his plans through, and what worries me the most is how far he and the rest of the government intend to dictate to benefit claimants what they can and cannot spend their money on. Just what else, exactly, will the government define as irresponsible spending? Will they tell us that we can't buy a laptop, a t-shirt, an item of stationery or pet food, for instance?
The bottom line is, benefit claimants do not deserve to be treated like criminals or naughty children, especially if they are sick or disabled and/or are doing everything the DWP ask of them. The whole idea needs a lot more thinking through before the government even think about rolling it out, so that benefit claimants can continue to live their lives in peace and dignity.
All of the stereotypes you hear about in the media are rubbish - they are designed to blinker, divide and sway people. Being unemployed is not a crime, therefore we shouldn't be punished for it - we are no less deserving of human rights than those who are lucky enough to have a job.
You can read more about the proposals Here
You can sign the petition Here


[Edit]
[quote="HM Government e-petition"]
Stop Ian Duncan Smith Rolling out Prepaid Benefit Cards
Responsible department: Department for Work and Pensions
Ian Duncan Smith wants to introduce Pre-paid benefits cards, which will have to be redeemed for food only, and only in predetermined shops, namely Tesco and Asda. This means that they cannot shop at cheaper places such as Aldi/Lidl or markets to stretch their meagre funds as far as possible. This is a major breach of Human Rights and takes away any dignity, ability to manage money, save, or pay the many other bills that come up. Childrens schools/nurseries need cash for snacks/trips etc, and in other places in the world where this is in force, these cards do not allow the purchase of soap, but can be used to buy soda or chocolate?! We cannot allow this demeaning, and humiliating practice to come into force. We cannot treat every unemployed/sick/vulnerable person like criminals, removing their rights to a life without harrassment or judgement! Poor people deserve dignity and autonomy, and the right to choose where to shop, without their every move being tracked!!
You can sign the HM Government e-petition Here
32 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: [Petition] - Re-Think Pre-Paid Benefit Cards

I have to say I don't think it is a bad idea in principle. It could help some families with budgeting.
VileReynard
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Re: [Petition] - Re-Think Pre-Paid Benefit Cards

I've signed.
It's a stupid idea to treat people like lepers.

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Re: [Petition] - Re-Think Pre-Paid Benefit Cards

Quote from: artmo
I have to say I don't think it is a bad idea in principle. It could help some families with budgeting.

What.. you think that only being able to buy food is a good idea? What about soap? What about a childs school trip, books, uniform?
Don't forget artmo, some of these people live in places where there is no Tesco or Asda. What then happens to them if they can't pay for a bus?
I suspect as usual you won't answer these awkward points because you don't want to be seen as wrong  Roll eyes
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Moderator
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Re: [Petition] - Re-Think Pre-Paid Benefit Cards

the pilot  would be voluntary and for those with addiction problems - which seems quite sensible.
Will Moderate For Thanks
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Re: [Petition] - Re-Think Pre-Paid Benefit Cards

I think this blatantly political post is unsuitable for "chit chat" so anywhere on this forum. I don't want to give my views in case it sours future relations
Suffice to say I prefer this description of the issue http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/29/duncan-smith-prepaid-benefits-cards-cash-payments
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Community Veteran
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Re: [Petition] - Re-Think Pre-Paid Benefit Cards

The only benefit I can see would be for "last resort" cases.
For anyone else in need it would be a step too far.
But there again are there really so many "last resort" cases that they are going to be denied real personal proper help and guidance?
Moderator
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Re: [Petition] - Re-Think Pre-Paid Benefit Cards

I agree that the principal behind the scheme seems right but the logistics could be a whole different ball game.
Would those who find that they can no longer buy their drugs and alcohol turn their lives round or turn to crime to meet their habit?
I think there should be a return to making Housing Benefit payments direct to the landlords/agents. Never understood why that had to be changed as all it did was give some people more opportunity to spend on anything else but rent, getting into arrears and, in effect, tarring many of us with the same brush - many more landlords are refusing to accept tenants who are in receipt of HB.

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Re: [Petition] - Re-Think Pre-Paid Benefit Cards

Quote from: dvorak
the pilot  would be voluntary and for those with addiction problems - which seems quite sensible.

We all know how trials go though don't we. Statistics get fiddled, things suddenly look successful and things get forced through.
Then we'll have a new generation of poor who couldn't brush their teeth etc (food only remember).. and the poor will continue to be driven into the ground.
I agree we do need to do something to stop drug and alchohol misuse but this doesn't really quite seem like the right approach. Perhaps if 50% were put on a pre-pay card then it would at least force people to use some of it sensibly while still giving them some independance?
@Mav like you i've also never understood the barmy concept of paying HB straight to the tenants. Sure it does kind of give them a bit more power over where they live and how they deal with their rent but at the same time it's also tempting fate isn't it.
It's an imperfect world... created by politicians  Crazy
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Community Veteran
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Re: [Petition] - Re-Think Pre-Paid Benefit Cards

Quote from: 7up
What.. you think that only being able to buy food is a good idea? What about soap? What about a childs school trip, books, uniform?
Don't forget artmo, some of these people live in places where there is no Tesco or Asda. What then happens to them if they can't pay for a bus?
I suspect as usual you won't answer these awkward points because you don't want to be seen as wrong  Roll eyes

I can't see any ban on buying soap - where do you get that from Roll eyes  Also I can't see any reference to Asda - perhaps you should check your facts before you have a rant.
The reference to Tesco is just an example I believe and other shops will also be involved.
The cards are only being tested to see how they work.
From the link posted by PeterL0ftus - did you read it Undecided
Quote
Welfare claimants with “destructive habits” will receive their benefits on prepaid cards instead of in cash in tests to be rolled out by the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith.
Duncan Smith said benefits should support families rather than feed drug and alcohol addiction or debt problems.
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Re: [Petition] - Re-Think Pre-Paid Benefit Cards

Read the quote from Garys quote of the direct.gov epetition - food only and no use of budget shops...
As for destructive habits who will decide who has these? A doctor? GP? ATOS? the DWP? Jobcentre? Social Services?
It's a desperate act by a desperate government.
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itsme
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Re: [Petition] - Re-Think Pre-Paid Benefit Cards

It's only a problem if the claimant have children to feed as the state has a legal duty to see that the children are fed. So if a claimant keep going back saying they have no money to buy food for the children because they spent it elsewhere what do you propose to improve this situation?
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Re: [Petition] - Re-Think Pre-Paid Benefit Cards

Why not just go all-out Dickensian and bring back workhouses, where the poor and ill and disabled can all be shooed away into because of their circumstances? A card like this is pretty much a step towards that, it's like they insist on making it a crime to be poor... Roll eyes
Midnight_Caller
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Re: [Petition] - Re-Think Pre-Paid Benefit Cards

Two-year Benefits freeze planned by Chancellor George Osborne if the Tories win the next election to come in by 2016.  Angry
Read More Here - Bottom of the news story on Pre-Paid Benefit Cards - by the BBC
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Re: [Petition] - Re-Think Pre-Paid Benefit Cards

Quote from: Midnight
Two-year Benefits freeze planned by Chancellor George Osborne if the Tories win the next election to come in by 2016.   Angry

Yet another reason not to vote for that lot... Roll eyes