Territorians on the NT SeniorsRecognition Scheme will now have more flexibility and choice with theintroduction of a new VISA debit card that will replace the existing papertravel vouchers.
The card will make it easierfor seniors to access their $500 payment which can be used towards travel(including online travel bookings), accommodation, electricity, and water. The card willreduce the burden for seniors and allows immediate access to the payment andremoves the need for reimbursement.
For the very first time, thepayment can now also be used towards the cost of fuel, which will assist seniorTerritorians who drive.
The debit card will be providedto all NT Seniors Recognition Scheme members from July 2020, but members with avalid and unused travel voucher can apply later this year to change theirvoucher to a card.
The debit card will look andoperate like a regular VISA card and it will be PIN protected. Members cannotwithdraw cash.
The new debit card will beeasier to manage administratively and it will deliver greater efficiencies formembers, businesses and Government, as well as help prevent fraud and rortingof the scheme.
The Territory Labor Governmentintroduced the NT Seniors Recognition Scheme last year to acknowledge thecontribution of all senior Territorians 65 years and over, and delivered a keyelection commitment.
Quotesfrom Minister for Territory Families, Dale Wakefield
We value our seniorTerritorians and their vital role in our families and community, as well as theircontribution to our economy.
We have listened to members onthe NT Seniors Recognition Scheme who said that they want more flexibility andchoice on how they use their annual $500 payment. We are delivering that withthe new debit cards which will replace the travel vouchers.
The new debit card is a winfor senior Territorians and businesses in this program, as it easesadministrative burdens and ensures that we are delivering a scheme that isrobust and helps to prevent fraud.
Quotesfrom Council on the Ageing NT (COTA NT) CEO, Sue Shearer
This is a very early Christmaspresent for seniors! COTA NT has been canvassing seniors throughout the NT andthe response was for a more flexible scheme with more choices and theGovernment has delivered on this for Territory seniors.
This is also a win for thelocal economy as seniors are renowned supporters of local business and the $500will be spent locally. COTA NT will also continue to lobby for even moreselected vendors to be added so even more local businesses in the Territory canbenefit.