The Federal Government has confirmed it will abolish the cashless debit card.

Federal Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth on Friday said the government would terminate the program and establish alternative solutions to tackling gambling and alcohol abuse.

Ms Rishworth said a report from the Australian National Audit Office, as well as briefings from the department responsible, made clear that the cashless debit card did not provide any discernible benefit.

“The ANAO highlighted the lack of evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Cashless Debit Card,” she said.

“I will be working with local communities on better local solutions.

“The former Coalition government spent more than $170 million on the privatised cashless debit card – money that could have been spent on services locals need.”

The card has come under fire over claims it targeted First Nations people.

In February 2021 former Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said the Morrison Government was unable to claim any benefits as a result of the card.

“These trials were always about targeting First Nations peoples, stigmatising people on income support and those with addiction issues rather than addressing the underlying causes of disadvantage,” she said.

In late 2020, Aboriginal Peak Organisations Northern Territory spokesperson John Paterson described the card’s legislation as “a new Intervention”.