Plan for pre-paid benefit cards

  • The government is planning on introducing a pre-paid benefit cards to reduce the number of claimants spending money on alcohol, drugs and gambling. Coins

    Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has said that this would help "on the margins break the cycle of poverty" reports the BBC.

    The cars will only be able to purchase some items in some stores and will not be valid in betting shops or off licences. It will initially be piloted on a voluntary basis and will target people who have addiction problems.

    An estimated one in 15 working-age benefit claimants in England suffer from addiction to drugs, such as crack-cocaine and heroin, while an estimated one in 25 working-age benefit claimants is suffering from alcohol dependency.

    In his speech to the Conservative conference, Mr Duncan Smith said families in the "deepest difficulty" needed specific help.

    "I have long believed where parents have fallen into damaging spirals of alcohol or drug addiction, or even problem debt, we need to find ways to safeguard them and their families and ensure their basic needs are met. That means benefits being paid should go to supporting the wellbeing of their families not to feed their destructive habits."

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