Greens condemn Rudd Government move to nation-wide welfare quarantining

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"This is the biggest negative shift in social policy from an ALP Government ever," said Greens community services spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"I am shocked that a Labor Government would countenance such poor social policy without a shred of evidence of positive outcomes from this level of social control."

"This is a huge shift in values away from a culture of a 'fair go for all' and towards a paternalistic approach that restricts the choices of the disadvantaged 'for their own good'."

"It is unbelievable that the Rudd Government thinks that simply because some people are unemployed or single parents they cannot look after their children or manage their money," said Senator Siewert.

"They are so focused on preserving the failed intervention measures that they are prepared to make this massive change to our welfare system."

"Ms Macklin has claimed that "...the majority of people we consulted in the Northern Territory (on prescribed Aboriginal communities) are in favour of income management," but this claim was not supported by the recent report of her own department into the NTER consultations, nor by any empirical evidence."

This report has been called into question by an independent analysis of the consultation released by the Melbourne Law School and endorsed by ex-Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser.

"With limited money on the ground for social services and charity groups struggling with rising levels of unmet need, I cannot see how such risky and expensive experiments in social policy can be justified," concluded Senator Siewert.

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