Welfare payment quarantines increasing around the country

THE quarantining of welfare payments from recipients will be spread across the whole country, with income management numbers booming in key regional areas including Rockhampton and Logan.

Income management was originally trialled in the Northern Territory emergency response, later spreading to five key "areas of disadvantage".

Analysis just released by the National Welfare Rights Network shows income management those areas; Rockhampton, Logan, Playford, Bankstown and Greater Shepparton, has boomed.

The figures, revealed through a Senate inquiry, show almost 400 people are on income management in Rockhampton with nearly 800 under the policy in Logan, Queensland.

It reveals a massive 500% rise in income management recipients, who essentially have half their welfare payments quarantined by the Federal Government to be spent only on essential supplies, rather than gambling or alcohol.

The figures also showed the vast majority of those on income management were young Australians, at 72% of the total, in each town and the NT where the practice remains.

While his policy has been criticised by the welfare rights group and others, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has indicated a likely expansion.

He told The Australian on the weekend he was "keen to explore opportunities to expand it to other areas".


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