August 07, 2015

A Senate Committee hearing into the Abbott Government’s plan to leave young jobseekers with nothing to live on for four weeks heard the cuts will push young people into poverty and make it less likely for them to find a job.


Major community and welfare organisations are united in their condemnation of Tony Abbott’s plan to make young people under 25 wait four weeks before accessing Newstart.  


Youth mental health organisation Headspace made it clear the Abbott Government’s policy will negatively impact on the mental health and wellbeing of young Australians, stating in its submission:


“[W]e believe these changes are unlikely to encourage greater workforce and education participation, but rather have the potential to impact negatively on the mental health and wellbeing of all young Australians and disproportionately on those already disadvantaged due to factors such as mental health difficulties, poverty, social isolation or disengagement from family.”




National Welfare Rights believe the cuts will do nothing to improve young people’s employment prospects and only serve to entrench disadvantage, stating:


“The likely outcome, despite the Government’s stated intentions, will be to exacerbate poverty and disadvantage.”


National Welfare Rights


The Australian Association of Social Workers stated in its submission that:


“This enforced destitution will further inhibit the ability of young people to look for work.”


Australian Association of Social Workers


UnitingCare were equally critical of the effect of the Government’s cuts:


“UnitingCare is not aware of any evidence that these measures will do anything other than lower the living standards, and increase the risk of harm, for an already vulnerable group of people.”


UnitingCare Australia


The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) slammed Scott Morrison’s cuts to young Australians looking for work:


"The only outcome that will be the result of this kind of proposal is to place more young people into financial hardship.”


ACOSS, Hansard


Labor will continue to stand up for young Australians by opposing these cuts when they are debated in the Senate next week.


Whether for one month or six, Labor will not support a measure which pushes young people into poverty and additional hardship.




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