Sep 20, 2010

Business as usual under Labor’s ‘new’ income management

Implementation of income management reforms has just meant one more round of racist, humiliating interaction with government bureaucracy for communities suffering under the intervention, writes Paddy Gibson.

The new system of income management designed by the federal Labor government has been progressively rolling out across the Northern Territory since the start of August.


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11 thoughts on “Business as usual under Labor’s ‘new’ income management

  1. Darren Gilchrist

    Shame Australia. Shame.

  2. Lorna

    So I gather you would all prefer for them to be given “food stamps” in stead. clearly people of all races and colour who have a history of mismanagement of tax payer funded income should have their income “managed”. If you don’t like it, how about earning your own money for a change.

  3. Robert

    If it’s so good for people, let’s run a pilot programme for for the public service – starting with Centrelink NT offices

  4. Jon Altman

    Lorna, I am not sure that you read Paddy’s story properly, these three people are pensioners who according to Australian law are now allowed to control their own pension income in the Northern Territory. Despite a number of inducements to stay on BasicsCard they seem to want to exercise a choice to exit income management and manage their own pension income like other Australians do. I think that Paddy’s observations are very important because they show an institutional reluctance to allow the new income management laws to work in new ways. This may just be ‘path dependency’ but it may also reflect unintended institutional barriers to return to the old system. Next time Minister Macklin’s office issues a media release on how many pensioners have chosen to remain with income management and the Basics Card re-read this story, Paddy has done us all a service with an alternate narrative (not the only one) from community.

  5. huffnpuff

    bloody disgraceful , not every body waste their money ,

    this so un fair to all in concern

    the goverment is using your land for nucular waste ,

    have the leased this land from the traditional land owners

    the goverment just gave the Aslyum Seekers $100,000.00 dollars in compensation and their was 50 of them, that received this money in the last 2 years.

    and the goverment make these people the aboriginal people have a basic card to live from ,

    shame shame shame on the goverment

  6. Mr Squid

    jenny macklin. a howard racist to the last.

  7. Liz45

    @LORNA – I’m a pensioner. I’m entitled to a single aged pension. I live in a NSW Dept of Housing unit. I can nominate to have my rent deducted each fortnight. I’m a non-indigenous woman. May should have the same rights as me – if not, I want to know why, and when they’re going to stop this blatant racist behaviour. The patronising, paternalistic crap dished out by the bloke at Centrelink is a bloody disgrace, and any fair minded person who agrees with him is encouraging racism. It must stop! May is entitled to manage her pension as I manage mine. Centrelink could conduct courses for those people who may have difficulties budgeting, as they’ve done before, and stopped in other cases even though it was popular. The difference is, it is voluntary!

    What this govt and Howard before them is doing, is bringing back the bully beef, tea, sugar and flour rations of last century. Sometimes the tea and sugar was mixed up when they got it. We have given an indertaking in recent times, that we’ll abide by the UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. If we don’t intend to do it in practice, we should stand up and say so, instead of grand standing publicly, and then putting racist and patronising practices into action. It’s disgusting and demeaning, and should stop!

    What a bloody insult for the bloke at Centrelink to imply that he and May were the same. I bet he gets heaps more than a lousy $701 per fortnight???

  8. Denial_skeptic

    @Lorna, do the mathematics and tell me how hard done by you are personally by those that receive welfare. If you are in a position to criticise people having their income managed for them, you have not been sufficiently marginalised to understand how much of a violation it is. Also, one could argue, by your logic, that the government should step in and allow only those that can afford private health care to smoke cigarettes: $1094.4 million of medical costs were attributable to tobacco related illness in 99-98. Where do you want to draw the line at Government intervention? Stop projecting onto and demonising people that do not deserve it. Be consistent and show some informed discussion instead of trolling with blanket condemnations (my two cents).

  9. Liz45

    @DENIAL_SKEPTIC – Good for you. It makes me really mad. Racism is the greatest cause of ill health in my view. Fancy spending every day of your life while being demeaned and insulted. Parents have to see their kids bashed up and demoralised by racist taunts. No wonder their life expectancy is much lower than non-indigenous people. Lorna should stop listening to shock jocks, reading msm and educate herself. She could start with ABS, Black Deaths in Custody report, Bringing them Home report on the Stolen Generations, and read some books! Might enlighten her!

    Jenny Macklin is a disgrace and a huge disappointment! How depressing! I had hopes……..I can only imagine how demoralised aboriginal people must feel! Such high hopes, and more of the same!
    I understand there’s money in the NT courtesy of the Fed Govt.-Brand new 4 Whell drive Toyotas and homes for govt beaurecrats-not much for the ‘ordinary’ people though!

  10. Elan

    On Crikey at least, there is a fair degree of understanding and compassion.

    The Lorna’s of this country are in abundance. At least she had the guts to post an opposing view.
    Such folk have no perception of any system/decision/situation ….until they are affected.

    It is simply-‘we pay you; we own you’. Not a one with this view would sit quietly in the same circumstances,-though of course they will deny it.

    You are disgusted by this my fellow posters???-then get involved. An SA fiercely Independent, MP Nick Xenophon (and fighter for the downtrodden…….) voted WITH the Government.

    I took him on at a public forum-and had a coffee with him a few days later to discuss IM. (I have worked with Nick when he was a State MP. I know him).

    It was a good catch-up on many levels;-but not on IM. I was astonished and hugely disappointed at the rationale he had used to justify his decision. It was abundantly clear that this ‘independent’ had accepted advice from those who were promoting IM….ONLY. His own Hansard speech to the House referred to the ‘many approaches I have received imploring me NOT to support this Bill’ (not verbatim).

    (Just over 90 submissions were received by Government on the extension of the scheme. From private citizens;-and from organisations like Anglicare/Red Cross etc., in other words highly experienced-and in many cases; ‘coal-face’ involved bodies.

    88…..88! were against this vile programme. They were all ignored).

    These submissions mattered little to those who were hell-bent in finding an easy solution to societal problems in many of these communities.

    God Forbid they they spend money on targeted assistance schemes. The Lorna’s of this world are only too happy to have massive amounts of taxpayer funds spent on this programme.

    Somebody stop me!

    If nothing is done about this-make no mistake the Salvo’s catch cry of ‘down every street, knock on every door’ WILL happen to someone close to you.

    Governments do not want more control as such, (just my opinion). What they want is easy options. What they seek at State/Federal level is (ironically) money saving programmes.

    They want to squander money on what they see as important. (Like a new Sports Stadium-SA).

    That a compassionate independent MP chose to take advice of Noel Pearson’s view of Indigenous peoples’ ‘victimhood’ stance; is an outrage.

    Mr Pearson is hardly ‘playmate of the month’ in MOST indigenous communities. And it is NOT because he tells the truth,-it is because he promotes his view of the truth-which needless to say was most appealing to the Howard Government-and now their facsimile!

    Posting here is great. But if you want to do something about this;-start protesting NOW!

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