Cashless welfare popular with users: MP

Before trials of cashless welfare cards began, the remote South Australian indigenous community of Oak Valley was getting one food truck delivery a fortnight.

Now the food deliveries are arriving weekly and the whole region is reporting reduced instances of gambling, drinking and increased local business turnover, local federal MP Rowan Ramsey says.

A trial of the program is due to end in June but the government's trying to continue the trial and expand it to further sites.

Mr Ramsey said the card was popular with the broader population but also those he's spoken to who are on welfare.

"The welfare card is designed so it won't impact on your lifestyle at all if in fact you're managing your lifestyle well," he said.

Figures show that since the trial began 40 per cent of welfare recipients are drinking less frequently, 48 per cent are gambling less and 48 per cent are taking fewer drugs, Mr Ramsey said.

"Sure it comes with some challenge for some people but they are the people exactly who need our help and to shy away and turn our back on them is a retrograde step," Mr Ramsey said.

But Labor MP Linda Burney says evidence of the trial's success is vague and insufficiently credible.

Her party doesn't support a wider roll-out and will vote against extending the trial.

But Ms Burney said Labour would introduce an amendment to extend the existing trials for another year.

"Labor understands that the complexity of chronic unemployment and poverty and such entrenched social issues cannot and will not simply be solved by income management alone," she said.

Under the trial, 80 per cent of a person's welfare payment is put onto a cashless debit card, which cannot be used to gamble or buy alcohol.

The remaining 20 per cent is put into a bank account and can be withdrawn as cash.

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