10C. Income management policies

Date: Friday 5 November

Time: 04.30PM–06.30PM

Chairs: Dr Katherine Curchin, Australian National University 

Session overview

The Australian government has been trialling income management policies since 2007. Income management applies to people who receive income support payments from the government (e.g. unemployment or parenting payments), restricting their choices over how they can spend their income. The goal of income management is to encourage spending on essentials and reduce spending on gambling, alcohol, and illegal drugs.  This session will bring together recent and ongoing research on the topic, from across a range of disciplines and methods. It will be an opportunity to hear from researchers working in this area, and to build a broader picture of the potential implications of extending or expanding current policies. Presenters will discuss whether the policy achieves its goals, as well as challenges with implementation and unintended effects. This research is particularly topical because in late 2022, parliament will vote on whether to make the current Cashless Debit Card trials permanent.


Measuring the social impacts of income management in the Northern Territory: an updated analysis 
Dr Rob Bray, Australian  National University (ANU)  

Income management of government payments on welfare: the Australian cashless debit card
Dr Luke Greenacre, Monash University 

The long shadow of welfare reform: health impacts of Australia’s ‘emergency response’ to Indigenous disadvantage 
Ms Mary-Alice Doyle, London School of Economics    

Barriers to implementing compulsory income management     
Professor Philip Mendes, Monash University