Govt Continues Income Management
21 November 2013 at 11:45 am
The Federal Coalition Government will continue the controversial Cape York Income Management scheme in Aboriginal communities for another two years.
The Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews, and the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Nigel Scullion, said the extension formed part of the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013, introduced this week.
The move affects the four participating Cape York communities of Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge.
“The Family Responsibilities Commission has used income management as a useful tool to deliver positive outcomes for the four communities involved in the Cape York Welfare Reform,” Andrews said.
“Cape York Welfare Reform Evaluation 2012 found that income management is helping ensure the basic needs of individuals and families are being met in Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge.
“The continuation of income management to December 2015 as part of Cape York Welfare Reform will ensure residents continue to build on the significant benefits achieved to date to support their families and communities.”
Income Management sees Centrelink payments quarantined for spending on essential items only. The controversial budgeting program was expanded by the former Labor Government beyond the Northern Territory in July 2012 to five new trial sites, including Victoria.
Senator Scullion said that welfare reform was having positive impacts on the lives of people living in the four communities.
“Since this reform began in July 2008, the four communities have generated improvements such as more children going to school, parents taking more care and personal responsibility for their children as well as restoring local Indigenous authority,” Senator Scullion said.
Cape York Welfare Reform is a partnership between the Federal Government, the Queensland Government and the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership.
The Coalition’s decision comes despite a Monash University Report in July 2013, which found that Income Management policies imposed on local communities are not likely to provide an effective solution to complex social disadvantage.
The report says there is inadequate evidence on the effectiveness of Income Management, which undermines the Federal Government's compulsory scheme.
The report, targeting the Income Management Trial in Greater Shepparton, Victoria, examined the official evaluations of Income Management, which are used by the Federal Government to justify expanded programs.