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Greens call for abandonment of income management

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 29 Jul 2013

The Australian Greens have called for the expensive and wasteful regime of income management to be abandoned as a new Monash University report questions the evaluations that have been used to justify the policy's expansion.

"Reports such as this provide us with an insight into income management that the Government is unable or unwilling to provide," Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"By its nature, income management targets deeply vulnerable people, and there are serious doubts about its long term effectiveness.

"Since income management began under the NT Intervention and was expanded under Stronger Futures, the Government has been notorious for delaying the release of reports, spinning the numbers and avoiding proper scrutiny of their policies.

"Despite this, income management has been expanded through Stronger Futures without adequate consultation and it continues to rack up a hefty cost to the taxpayer.

"The personal contact I have had across the NT and around the country reflects the anecdotal evidence that people being income managed feel embarrassed and stigmatised by the regime. Any positives being experienced, such as access to fee-free banking, is not enough to overcome the negative aspects that people are experiencing.

"The money being spend on income management would be better invested directly into communities in order to provide specialist, direct programs to address things like financial management, better access to fresh food, a reduction in alcohol and drug abuse and better support for parents and people looking for work.

"The Greens support a direct investment in programs and communities that address the underlying causes of disadvantages people are facing. There's no evidence to suggest income management does this over the long term," Senator Siewert concluded.


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