Young people can now be placed on Income Management if they are judged by a Centrelink social worker to be vulnerable or at risk (using the Vulnerable Welfare Payment Recipient measure – see the FaHCSIA website below for more on this). If this happens, then 50% of their income support and family assistance payments will be income-managed and available to be spent only in certain outlets. The change came into effect on 1 July 2013.
Income Management, which has been operating in the Northern Territory for some time, is now being extended to some young people in the following areas: Bankstown (NSW), Playford and APY Lands (SA), Greater Shepparton (VIC), and Logan and Rockhampton (QLD).
Some community sector organisations have already expressed concern that these changes are inflexible and do not take into account the actual needs of the young people concerned. Furthermore, they say that there is very little evidence to suggest that such schemes have positive outcomes for the people whose income is being managed.
Further details about Income Management are available on the FaHCSIA website.
For an article by the Victorian Council of Social Service, see: http://vcoss.org.au/blog/income-management-now-targeting-vulnerable-young-people/
(Source: Youth Field Xpress July 2013)