The Tory pre-paid punishment and anti-welfare card. Again

Something like this has been mooted for a very long time. Back in the 1990s various countries experimented with the ‘electronic bourse’, a smart card, which would allow people to pay without cash. The result was disastrous. The French eventually abandoned it, and the combined biometric ID card, hyped by the Indonesian government as ‘unbreakable’ was also, er, broken. Within three weeks of launch, counterfeit cards were being produced on the Indonesian black market.

Politics and Insights

Iain Duncan Smith told delegates at the Tory conference in Birmingham: “I have long believed that where parents have fallen into a damaging spiral – drug or alcohol addiction, even problem debt, or more – we need to find ways to safeguard them – and more importantly, their families, their children, ensuring their basic needs are met.

Benefits paid should go to support the well-being of families, not “to feed their destructive habits”.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith proposed that a “smartcard” scheme would see benefit payments loaded onto prepaid cash cards, and that transactions would be automatically stopped if people tried to buy anything on them but essentials. Again.

Smart Cardsentered our collective consciousness during autumn 2012, as Iain Duncan Smith declared his intention to attempt to discipline Britain’s “troubled” families. In unveiling his proposals at the Conservative Conference  back in October  2012, Duncan Smith…

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