May 15, 2014

Labor will oppose Tony Abbott’s cruel attack on young jobseekers.

Tony Abbott’s Budget means young people under 30 who are looking for a job will be forced to wait six months before receiving any income support.

And after six months on work for the dole, if young people still cannot find work, they face another six months without Newstart.

Labor will also oppose Tony Abbott’s plans to push young people under 25 from Newstart onto the lower Youth Allowance. This is a cut of at least $48 a week, or almost $2,500 a year. 

“These changes will confine young people to a life of poverty. We will not support such punitive measures,” Shadow Minister for Families Jenny Macklin said. 

“How does Tony Abbott expect young people to find work if they have nothing to live on?” she said “Where does he expect them to live?”

Shadow Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Brendan O’Connor said as a proportion of income, young people will pay 100 times more than high income earners as a result of Tony Abbott’s twisted priorities.

“An example of the cruelty inflicted by this Budget is that a 24-year-old living independently on Newstart will be slugged with an almost 20 per cent cut in their support, while someone on $200,000 will pay $400, a meagre 0.2 per cent reduction,” he said.

“Tony Abbott has made it crystal clear he wants vulnerable, low income earners to do the heavy lifting in this Budget.”

Shadow Employment Services Minister Julie Collins said the best way to help young people find a job was to support them through training and work experience. Cutting their income support will not help them get into work or education or training.

“Labor understands the importance of giving young people a hand up to find work, not cruelly telling young Australians: you’re on your own,” Ms Collins said.

“The Abbott Government’s so called ‘Earn or Learn’ scheme is merely a smokescreen for slashing assistance to young people.”


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