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Election 2013: Apartheid in Oz?   
Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Produced by Alexia Attwood

Story audio

As we continue our coverage comparing policy in the leadup to the election, today we’re looking at the policy of income management or income quarantining. Despite much contention over whether the policy is patronising or effective, both major parties have very similar policies in this area.

Income quarantining forces people on welfare payments to spend a portion of their income on essential items like food and rent. Their income is loaded onto a ‘basics card’ that resembles an efpos card, and can only be used in certain shops. Income management was a policy introduced under the Howard Government but was left largely unchanged when Rudd became Prime Minister. The program runs mostly in the Northern Territory but also in selected areas across Australia such as Bankstown in New South Wales and Rockhampton in Queensland. Image: by Pierre Pouliquin

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Dr Ruth Phillips, Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney

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