Thursday, 28 June 2012
Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011
I note, Senator Evans, that you just said there is evidence of improved fruit and vegetable sales and the like. I would like to ask that you take it on notice to provide the evidence you have to support that claim. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare evaluation of income management notes that what evidence exists, given the lack of quantifiable data, means that government cited evidence should be treated with caution. Are you aware that the research by the Menzies School of Health Research indicates that income quarantining has had no substantial impact on improving Indigenous child welfare and that there has been little change in store spending patterns? That is contrary to what you have just said, Senator Evans, in terms of fruit and vegetables.
According to the Menzies School of Health Research, there has been little change in store spending patterns, which is the only way income management might have been shown to improve or even change child wellbeing. Are you aware that the Menzies study concludes that federal measures associated with income management lack any significant empirical data to support maintenance of the policies? I would like to see the significant empirical data which is contrary to what the Menzies centre is saying, because Menzies is saying that there has been little change in store spending patterns.