During May and June 2011, Equality Rights Alliance documented women's experiences of Income Management in the Northern Territory.
This study is not intended to be an evaluation of the wider aspects of Income Management throughout the Northern Territory, but a limited qualitative study of selected urban accessible groups. Resource and time limits did not allow us to collect the views of women in remote communities. Given the timing, we did not have access to many women with refugee background on Income Management, or other non Indigenous recipients. We have made no attempt to quantify the effects of the program, just report on views of respondents on its effects.
This report is intended to inform our members and other interested parties, rather than make any policy recommendations. The introduction of income quarantining for women, who are usually the shoppers, will impact differently than on those who are not the primary parent or carer in the family. We believe this extended study will contribute to debates on the benefits or otherwise of this policy change. The information in this report is provided to assist government and community organisations, as well as media, to better understand the range of views of women living with Income Management.
We offer this study as a significant contribution to public understanding of the impact of Income Management policy and how some affected women feel about it. While it does not address how Income Management might affect school attendance, reported domestic violence, and payment of rent or other bills, the report does indicate whether these women feel that Income Management is useful assisting them in moving towards a more sustainable lifestyle. We wanted to find out if women felt that Income Management was a step towards empowering them for a better future.