The Homeless Persons’ Legal Service has responded to the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs call for submissions into models of income management proposed for vulnerable welfare recipients.
HPLS expressed concern that the proposed Vulnerable Welfare Payment Recipient Measure (Policy Outline One) will have the result of forcing all people who are experiencing homelessness to be subject to compulsory income management.
The consultation document details that ‘people who are homeless or who are at risk of homelessness’ are automatically deemed as vulnerable persons who are thus subject to compulsory income management. HPLS believes such compulsory measures are not only unnecessary but an ineffective response to the problems that many homeless people experience with income management.
HPLS submits that simply because a person is homeless or at risk of homelessness does not mean that he or she requires or would benefit from compulsory income management. In fact, for many it would be very disempowering as it further entrenches the perception that all potentially vulnerable people must be treated differently from the mainstream community.
HPLS believes the Federal Government should fund and develop access to programs such financial skills and counselling that teach and entrench independence rather than focussing on compulsory income management.