"Welfare Card"

  woody 11:13 20 Aug 2012

With the ever increasing problem of ensuring Gov handouts go to the correct needy people - should we adopt the "Welfare Card" idea?

  Aitchbee 11:22 20 Aug 2012

That idea would eliminate the banks so I can't see it catching on.

  interzone55 11:27 20 Aug 2012

Don't they already operate a scheme like that?

I've never claimed any kind of benefit, so I'm not 100% sure, but I thought the DWP had started a Post Office bank account scheme. I see people going into the Post Office to "cash their giro" and they pop a card into the chip & pin machine and wander off with their money. Same for pensions as well I think.

  Woolwell 11:32 20 Aug 2012

I guess that this refers to the Australian scheme BBC News.

How it would eliminate banks I have no idea. Perhaps Aitchbee may enlighten us.

  Aitchbee 11:45 20 Aug 2012

Currently, all benefits are paid directly into banks accounts. Welfare cards would be issued to the 'needy' from local benefits offices so the banks would not enter into the equation.Most asylum seekers are paid their benefits this way, I think.

  interzone55 11:55 20 Aug 2012


I remember now a story about banks being forced to open accounts for benefits claimants - are they still doing this?

I have a feeling that most banks would rather not have certain types of people on their books, such as those with no employment history, or people recently granted asylum...

  Woolwell 12:00 20 Aug 2012

Not all benefits are paid into bank accounts although most are. Advice Guide.

Banks should have basic bank accounts for those who have difficulty getting a standard current account Money Saving Expert - Basic Bank Accounts.

There are many more than benefit claimants who use banks so "elimination" is hardly likely.

  spuds 11:03 21 Aug 2012

I seem to recall when the DWP wanted to charge the system of payments, most banks were not interested, and that was the result of the Post Office Card Account introduction?.

Regarding Giro payments, there are a number of problems with that, and most if not all are well known by the authorities and even those still on a Giro scheme. I am not sure if it applies now, but many police stations gave out crime reference numbers on certain days, because someone had their Giro stolen (usually by a family member or neighbour?). By the time those reporting the theft arrived at the payment office for a 'top-up', the staff had already been forewarned!.

  finerty 03:04 22 Aug 2012

now days its paid into the bank account. if and only if yu dont have a bank account then they send a giro

  woody 09:37 22 Aug 2012

For those that do not fully understand the "Welfare Card" idea. It is a card where a certain amount of the Gov handouts - most benefits - is put on a card and can only be spent at certain authorized shops for food and essential items. No cash back ,no alcohol etc. It has been tried in Australia as a pilot and is now being extended. Some people have volunteered to go on the scheme as it helps them manage their income. Others think it is embarrassing.

  Condom 12:30 22 Aug 2012

I thought that the Giro bank had been taken over by Alliance & Leicester some years ago and they have of course now been taken over by Santander. Are we talking about a generic Giro or do they still exist today under this name. Perhaps I am just out of touch.

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