Virginia Eubanks’ wonderful book Automating Inequality stimulated thinking about technologies used to ration Australia’s welfare services and payments. The book includes case studies about some of the rationing and assessment systems used in the US that have reduced services to the most needy. These austere welfare systems become an impenetrable armoury in the ‘war on the poor’ because they make unseen decisions that determine levels of funding and services – and challenging them can be difficult.
This post reflects on the way these systems have been adopted in the context of services to the unemployed in Australia. It highlights existing examples of algorithm-based rationing systems and draws on the example of the Targeted Compliance Framework (TCF) to highlight how digitised citizen interfaces are already impenetrable. These examples provide warnings about how further digitisation of employment services risks further automation of welfare austerity…
SOURCE: Simone Casey. “Automating inequality – the Australian way” Power to persuade, June 25, 2019.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia