The “Say No to Government’s Income Management: Not in Bankstown, Not Anywhere” campaign coalition released the petition below in August.
To sign the petition, visit www.sayno2gim.info.
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To the honourable president and members of the senate in parliament assembled:
We the undersigned are opposed to the federal government’s income management system, which quarantines between 50% to 70% of Centrelink payments so they can only be used to buy “priority items” at government-approved stores.
Income management is bad social policy. The vulnerable in our community need improved social services, higher incomes and employment opportunities, not measures that control their lives and restrict their movements.
Aboriginal communities living under the Northern Territory (NT) intervention have experienced four years of hardship and humiliation as a result of income management.
There is no convincing evidence that income management has improved outcomes for welfare recipients.
Income management is a gross waste of funds. In both the NT and the new proposed ‘trial sites’, the estimated cost per recipient per year is more than $4500.
Income management is discriminatory. The Prescribed Area People’s Alliance, representing communities across the NT have said: “The Basics Card has disempowered us. It’s very racist. We are going backwards to the welfare days”.
As the system expands across Australia, both Indigenous people and other already stigmatised groups will bear the burden.
Income management unfairly disadvantages small businesses and co-operatives that do not have the resources to run the system or apply for a licence.
Your petitioners request that the Senate take action to ensure: A moratorium on the federal government’s income management system.
1. Immediate amnesty: Grant the right to immediate, unconditional exit from income management to the more than 15,000 people still on the system in the NT, along with Western Australia and Queensland.
2. No expansion: Abandon plans to expand income management into five new “trial sites” across Australia — Bankstown, Rockhampton, Shepparton, Logan and Playford.
3. New opportunities: Redirect investment planned for the income management system to increase the income of welfare recipients, create employment opportunities and improve social services.