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Thursday, 23 August 2018
Page: 5631

Senator LEYONHJELM (New South Wales) (09:31): I rise to speak in support of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card Trial Expansion) Bill 2018. People are not entitled to welfare. It is charity. It's the gift of taxpayers, and most taxpayers would like their gift of welfare to be provided in kind rather than in cash. So, while calling the cashless debit card a trial is wearing a little thin, I continue to be comfortable with the continuation of the expansion of the cashless debit card. But let me propose another expansion. Let's provide remuneration to parliamentarians through the cashless debit card, and let's work on their incentives by adjusting their remuneration according to how well they look after the government's finances. All parliamentarians who vote for increasing government spending can compensate us by accepting a hit to their remuneration. A single downward adjustment to their debit card balance would do it. Attempting to shepherd the unemployed into employment through programs such as the cashless debit card is laudable, but the ballooning budget deficit is only part of the government's financial problem. So let's extend the cashless debit card to the parliamentarians who've got us into this financial hole so they can put their money where their mouth is.