Bankstown has been chosen as one of five communities to be part of the extended income management trials.
“This will help ensure welfare payments are spent in the best interests of children,” Mr Clare said.
“We want to make sure parents are spending their welfare payments on essential things like food, clothing and housing.
“Income management has already proven effective in trial locations in Perth and the Kimberley in Western Australia, Cape York in Queensland and throughout the Northern Territory.”
From 1 July 2012, income management will extend to vulnerable families and individuals in Bankstown that:
• are referred by state or territory child protection authorities;
• are assessed by Centrelink social workers as being vulnerable to financial crisis; and
• volunteer for income management.
Parents referred by child protection authorities will have 70 per cent of their income quarantined. People who volunteer or are referred by Centrelink staff will have 50 per cent of their income quarantined.
“Parents and individuals will have their quarantined income put on a BasicsCard which can only be spent at approved stores. These include Woolworths, Coles, Target, Kmart, Best and Less and Big W,” Mr Clare said.
“This is designed to make sure that welfare payments are spent in the best interest of children, rather than tobacco, alcohol and gambling.”
To further help parents manage their money, support services will also be provided to teach families financial literacy and budgeting skills.
“Financial literacy is the key to helping families manage their own budgets,” Mr Clare said.
“It will help give local families the financial skills they need to get their lives back on track.”
Issued: 12 May 2011
Media Contact: Chris Zogopoulos 02 9790 2466