'BRING ON THE CASHLESS CARD'
THE MAJORITY WANT WELFARE REFORM
THE majority of Hinkler residents want the controversial cashless card introduced.
An independent poll commissioned by the Fraser Coast
Chronicle surveyed 637 people across the electorate on Thursday night asking their stance on the proposed welfare reform scheme.
AN EXCLUSIVE poll for the Chronicle has revealed 53.5 per cent of the electorate supports the Cashless Debit Card compared to 27.8 per cent in opposition, with 18.7 per cent sitting on the fence.
The figures are obtained from a survey conducted by ReachTel, which polled 637 residents across the Hinkler electorate on Thursday night.
ReachTel spokesman James Stewart said the results showed the majority of the electorate supported the proposal.
“We’ve got what you’d refer to as a net support for your proposition for a cashless debit card for Hinkler,” he said.
Poll participants were given five options; strongly support, support, neutral, oppose or strongly oppose.
The breakdown of support shows 37.6 per cent of those surveyed strongly supported the card with another 15.9 per cent in support.
Of those rejecting the proposal, 19 per cent strongly opposed the card with another 8.8 per cent opposed.
Almost one in five, or 18.7 per cent, were neutral to the idea.
“53.5 per cent, so over 50 per cent of the population of Hinkler do support, which is obviously a majority,” Mr Stewart said.
Interestingly males were more likely to back the card, with males representing 61.1 per cent of those in support and compared to 46.5 per cent of females.
Survey participants were also asked which political party they support and Mr Stewart said Greens voters were the most divisive.
“Of the Greens who do support it, 34.6 per cent strongly support it and of those who don’t support it, 46.2 percent strongly oppose it.
“The Greens vote is cut very dramatically.
“There’s very few people who are sitting on the fence, they either see the social responsibility side of it or they don’t like the implications of its role.”
Unsurprisingly LNP voters made up the majority of supporters backing the card, with 73.4 percent of overall supporters also supporting the party
THE GREENS VOTE IS CUT VERY DRAMATICALLY. THERE’S VERY FEW PEOPLE WHO ARE SITTING ON THE FENCE, THEY EITHER SEE THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY SIDE OF IT OR THEY DON’T LIKE THE IMPLICATIONS OF ITS ROLE. REACHTEL SPOKESMAN JAMES STEWART
pushing for the trial.
In contrast just 27.1 per cent of Labor voters supported the card, with 49.7 per cent opposing it.
While the figures don’t exactly mirror Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt’s repeated claim that 75 per cent of people support the Cashless Card, the Cashless Card advocate said the results do show there was strong support across the electorate.
“Less than 30 per cent of people oppose the introduction of the card,” he said.
“We’ve always said it’s been strongly supported, but it’s not about politics.
“This is about trying to implement a policy, which is a difficult choice to make, but one which we think is necessary based on the feedback from frontline service providers.
“This is about the people of the electorate, in particular those children, not being provided those basic necessities.”
Mr Pitt said his office’s own figures of 75 per cent in support were based on a mail out to more than a third of the electorate with a very high response rate, as well as direct phone polling.
“We said its been strongly supported and that’s now been supported by what the NewsMail has done,” he said. Still to get through parliament, if approved for the Hinkler electorate, people aged 35 years and under on unemployment benefits or parenting payments would be given the card and have 80 per cent of their government payments placed on it.
“The legislation will go through parliament before the winter break in the next few weeks, and we’ll go back and have a debate,” Mr Pitt said.
“I’d once again urge the Labor Party to go back to their bipartisan position, this is policy which is difficult, but necessary.”
CARD PLAN: Hinkler MP Keith Pitt and Human Services Minister Alan Tudge in Hervey Bay to discuss the cashless welfare card.