Income management costs over $100 million a year

February 1, 2013

A new report by the Australian National Audit Office has found the federal government spends more than $100 million a year to administer income management in the Northern Territory.

Over 17,000 people were on income management at the end of June last year, while welfare quarantining remains a key component of the controversial NT Intervention,
The scheme costs the Commonwealth Government between $6600 and $7900 per person, per year.

Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney's Paddy Gibson says he condemns the government's decision to maintain compulsory income management.

"It's just appalling that the government would prioritise controlling and demonising people through the income management system rather than providing the jobs and the services that are badly needed," said Gibson.

"Aboriginal people who've been subjected to the intervention in 2007 have consistently said that what's needed is investment in the positive programs, in the services and the employment opportunities to try and turn around the situation that they find themselves in terms of disadvantage."

The Commonwealth government is looking at expanding the income management system around Australia and is currently trialling it in five locations around the country.

First published by the National Indigenous Radio Service.

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