There is some misinformation floating around that only muddies the real issues surrounding the Department of Human Services polices on Income Management of people who receive Income Support Payments (Centrelink) under the Social Securities Act (notice I did not use the word “welfare” to describe it. Cos there is a difference).
One of the things I wanted to clarify so that people don’t misdirect their energy fighting myths and urban legends. You need to focus your energy on fighting the facts and the facts are that for over ten years Income Management has not proven to “work”. By work I mean achieve anything that has a positive outcome for the nation and the communities and people within it who are experiencing serious socio-economic issues.
If you haven’t already read my other previous articles about Income Management and Indue I recommend you do. Whether you get a payment – any kind of payment, even if you work and get Family Tax Benefit) – or not, you need to know what is going on with this issue. It doesn’t just affect people getting payments. It affects people paying taxes and revenue and people who vote for the members of our Parliament. You would want to know if your government wasted over $1.5 billion dollars with the intent to invest more into it, for a project that has failed over and over wouldn’t you?
The biggest myth floating around about Indue’s involvement in Income Management and the Cashless Debit Card is that members of the LNP own Indue or in any way directly benefit financially from it. They don’t. In fact no one person or group of persons own Indue.
Indue is owned by shareholders. The shareholders are financial institutions whom are of heritage banking origin ie members of COBA (previously known as Abacus Mutuals Association).
The Customer Owned Banking Association is the industry advocate for Australia’s customer owned banking sector. It is owned by its 72 member institutions: 51 credit unions, 3 building societies, 16 mutual banks and 2 others; and a number of affiliate members. – From the COBA Website
Now these credit unions, building societies, mutual banks ect are owned by the members or customers. Each customer/member has one share. This share entitles you to having a say in how that bank operates, spends any profits etc and is usually voted on at the financial institution’s AGM.
What this means is, if you currently bank with Bank Victoria, or Police Credit Union/QUDOS Bank for example, you are a shareholding member. If your institution is a member (like the two examples provided are) of COBA then they are the shareholding owners of Indue. You get to have a say in the operations of your bank/FI at the AGM as a shareholder. Your bank/FI gets to have a say in the operations of Indue as shareholders. No institution can hold more than 15% of Indue’s Class A (voting) shares. Excess of Class A shares are converted to Class B (non voting rights) shares.
Shocked? Yeah I bet you are. If you’re anything like me all you want to see in your bank account is interest accruing, no fees and great deals on lending. You really don’t pay that much attention to how it all happens. Maybe we should be paying more attention. (EDIT: Not all COBA members have shares in Indue Ltd. Shareholders are those institutions who use Indue’s ADI services. Some institutions may use other the other ADI’s such as Cuscal, Australian Settlements Ltd or banks authorised by APRA as ADI (Australian Deposit taking Institutions)
So, as you can see from this information “the LNP” aren’t directly profiting from Indue nor income management. Neither is Andrew Forrest. So why is everyone paranoid about the two and their involvement? You will learn more about it in my previous articles but here is a bit of a summary:-
- Income Management was first introduced by the Liberal Government under John Howard. This development started way back to a little earlier than 2007. It was around this time that Alan Tudge was a policy adviser to several members of the Howard Government. He had a particular interest in controlling how people spent their Income Support payments after working in the Cape York region.
- Indue became involved in the government’s plan for Income Management when the BasicsCard system was an epic fail on so many levels. Larry Anthony was the CEO of Indue at the time.
- There was an election. LNP lost. Labor had the task of making the whole mess better. It was under Labor that Indue were granted the first contract under the Income Management development scheme. There was influence from others on this decision and at the time Ministers moved through the Department of Human Services like a revolving door.
- Billions of dollars, a few Prime Ministers and some years later Alan Tudge just happens to get the Human Services portfolio for his very first time ever as a Minister. Big job. Of course he was the right man for it after all, he was in this from the beginning.
There is still SO much more I have come across and am doing research on as far as this Income Management scheme goes and in particular the privatisation of social security payments but it’s moving faster than I can put it all together and explain in terms the average Australian like me can understand – bear in mind living with Parkinson’s I experience an increasing level of cognitive impairment making it hard at times to take it all in a break it all down but I’m doing the best I can. I’m doing it, because I don’t believe that the system this current government wants to implement is a justified cost effective way of improving the lives of people who get trapped in the cycle of welfare dependence. I don’t believe that a private entity should be able to profit from the social security system that contributes to making Australia a first world country.
Most of all I don’t believe that we have been told the truth over the past ten years. It’s been sheltered behind the meeting doors of policy advisers and businessmen seeking to access the multi billion dollar industry that is welfare and now it’s costing ALL the taxpayers of Australia. Past, present and future.
Stay tuned. This is going to get ugly.
Read more about Income Management by searching the Income Management tag on the site or using the links below