Modia Minotaur

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Smart Card, Dumb Idea?

The notion that the newly mandated `Smart Card' is `not compulsory', as the Prime Minister has tirelessly reiterated since the announcement of its introduction yesterday, is a furphy - and one which many members of his own party, as well as others as diverse as Cameron Murphy of the Council for Civil Liberties and Peter Hendy of the Chamber of Commerce have expressed concerns over.

In a sense, a universal card would be fairer, because the one that's on offer by definition herds together the poor and middle class and excludes the rich - that is, those people who have no need for welfare benefits. The cards, which are to cost $1bn to roll out, are expected to help to crack down on that scourge of the nation, welfare fraud. Perhaps fixing the welfare system and then taking a good hard look at the ways people on six figure salaries can defraud the tax system would be a fairer and more cost effective solution? Perish the thought.

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