Activities per year
A new form of conditional welfare through income management is being trialled in Australia, dubbed the “Cashless Debit Card”. It aims to reduce gambling, alcohol and illegal drug use to address social pathologies related to crime and welfare. Routinely collected data from government were used to assess if the targeted reductions arose. Store sales data were also used to evaluate impact on food purchases. No substantive impact on measures of gambling (p =.175), and intoxicant abuse (p =.662) were found. An increased spend on healthy foods (95%CI: 12.0% to 150.0%) was observed, but decreased as a proportion of all foods (95%CI: −6.3% to −13.1%). Impacts on crime and Emergency Department presentations were not substantively found. We conclude that targeting individual choices may not be as effective as policies targeting the historical social structures that serve as antecedents to such social pathologies. IMPLICATIONS The Australian Cashless Debit Card is having nominal impact on the targeted behaviours of gambling and intoxicant abuse While there was an increase in shopping spend, the biggest increase was in spending on less healthy discretionary foods Policies that focus on addressing historical social structure may prove more impactful on welfare outcomes.
- Conditional Welfare
- Income Management
- Social Security
Submission 5: Submission to the Inquiry into the Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Continuation of Cashless Welfare) Bill 202021 Oct 2020
Activity: External Academic Engagement › Submissions to industry or govt committees, commissions and inquiries