The Morrison government has introduced a bill to parliament to make the cashless debit card trial ‘ongoing’.
The first independent, multisite study of compulsory income management in Australia suggest little evidence to support political enthusiasm to extend the policy.
There’s no evidence drug use is a barrier to job seeking. And testing can’t distinguish between one off, irregular or regular use.
Income management was first applied to Indigenous communities before being implemented more widely. The Healthy Welfare Card policy appears to be on this same path.
Various studies, culminating in the final evaluation report of income management in the Northern Territory, have found such programs don’t achieve the claimed benefits. Why did the budget extend them?