Tensions and contradictions in Australian social policy reform: compulsory income management and the national disability insurance scheme

Marston, Greg, Cowling, Sally and Bielefeld, Shelley (2016) Tensions and contradictions in Australian social policy reform: compulsory income management and the national disability insurance scheme. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 51 4: 399-417. doi:10.1002/j.1839-4655.2016.tb01240.x


Author Marston, Greg
Cowling, Sally
Bielefeld, Shelley
Title Tensions and contradictions in Australian social policy reform: compulsory income management and the national disability insurance scheme
Journal name Australian Journal of Social Issues   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0157-6321
1839-4655
Publication date 2016-12-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/j.1839-4655.2016.tb01240.x
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 51
Issue 4
Start page 399
End page 417
Total pages 19
Place of publication Canberra, ACT, Australia
Publisher Australian Social Policy Association
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract This paper explores contemporary contradictions and tensions in Australian social policy principles and governmental practices that are being used to drive behavioural change, such as compulsory income management. By means of compulsory income management the Australian Government determines how certain categories of income support recipients can spend their payments through the practice of quarantining a proportion of that payment. In this process some groups in the community, particularly young unemployed people and Indigenous Australians, are being portrayed as requiring a paternalistic push in order to make responsible choices. The poverty experienced by some groups of income support recipients appears to be seen as a consequence of poor spending patterns rather than economic and social inequalities. By contrast, Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been constructed as a person centred system of support that recognises the importance of both human agency and structural investment to expand personal choices and control. Here we look at the rationale guiding these developments to explore the tensions and contradictions in social policy more broadly, identifying what would be required if governments sought to promote greater autonomy, dignity and respect for people receiving income support payments in Australia.
Keyword Income management
Justice
Disability insurance
Social welfare policy
Indigenous peoples
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Social Science Publications
 
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