Income Management Evaluations Positive – Feds
Tuesday, 7th October 2014 at 9:57 am
Federal Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews says the findings of reports from two evaluations on income management show the initiative is having a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable indigenous Australians.
The reports evaluate the introduction of voluntary income management in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands of South Australia, and the place based income management trial in five sites* across Australia.
Andrews said the reports show income management is helping individuals and families to better budget and stabilise their lives.
“The reports found that the vast majority of people who volunteered for income management were positive about the initiative, reporting lower stress levels and marked improvements in their ability to manage their money.
“In addition, those on voluntary income management reported they had reduced their use of substances such as alcohol and in the APY Lands there were also improvements reported in child well-being.
“The Government will consider the findings of these reports when making decisions about the longer-term directions for income management,” he said.
He said the future of income management will also be determined by the Indigenous Jobs and Training Review (Forrest Review), the Review of Australia’s Welfare System (McClure Review) and the evaluation of income management in the Northern Territory.
Compulsory income management was introduced to many Aboriginal communities in 2007 in the Howard Government’s Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER).
Income management works by quarantining a proportion of social security payments – both income support payments such as Newstart Allowance and Family Tax Benefits – which is directed to a special account. This money can only be used to buy ‘essentials’.
A number of major national community organisations have long opposed income management for aboriginal communities including peak body the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS).
*(Bankstown, New South Wales; Logan, Queensland; Rockhampton, Queensland; Playford, South Australia and Greater Shepparton, Victoria).