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ACOSS report finds Government’s approach to just “go get a job” won’t cut it

ACOSS and Jobs Australia’s Faces of Unemployment report released today highlights exactly how difficult life is for people trying to find a job on Newstart.

“This report highlights demographic groups stuck long term on the appalling low Newstart and Youth Allowance payments and the failure of the current employment services to help certain groups, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“People over 45yrs old are the largest group of long term unemployed, it is obvious the system is failing them, those with disabilities are forced to live long term on Newstart, forced off the higher DSP payment and First Nations Peoples are once again disproportionally affected.

“Our employment framework is punitive and demeaning. We have one of the harshest compliance regimes and activity requirements for people looking for work, and yet we spend less than half the OECD average on employment assistance and services.

“There is a lack of investment in quality employment services meaning older people and those who have been out of the workforce for longer periods just don’t get the help they need.

“This is a systematic policy failure and successive Governments have simply not being doing their job.

“The Coalition is focused on punishing people simply for accessing our social safety net, meanwhile parents can’t feed their kids.

“Mr Morrison’s hollow statement that “if you have a go, you get a go” is simply not true. The jobs aren’t there and the ones that are available are more often casual and insecure.

“I ask Mr Morrison to “have a go” at living on $38 a day – while trying to feed his family and secure employment. I would ask him to “have a go” at actually doing his job which is, as Prime Minster of this country, making sure that people in a wealthy nation such as ours are not living in poverty and under extreme stress.

“I have a secured an inquiry in the jobactive regime and we will soon be hearing first hand from people who have been subjected to this unfair and punitive job compliance framework and the impact it has had on their lives.

“This week the Greens have introduced a bill to raise Newstart by $75 a week which has not been increased since 1994. The least this Parliament can do is make sure people in our community aren’t living in poverty while they look for work.

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Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie 0418 401 180          

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