The Greens say the Government’s proposed changes to mutual obligations miss the point. Many people on Newstart don’t have or are unable to afford the infrastructure to just “go online”.
"The changes to mutual obligations are not good enough, people can request online interviews and meetings but that doesn’t account for people who don’t have or just can’t afford the infrastructure to enable this.
"People on Newstart (now Jobseeker payment) are living on $40 a day. How can the government be sure they have access to a home computer and the internet at home?
"In addition there is going to be an influx of people onto Jobseeker payment who will be subject to mutual obligations who employment providers may struggle to support.
"The only responsible thing at a time like this is to suspend mutual obligations to flatten the curve of infections and minimise the risk to our health system. The arrangements for work for the dole are confusing and it should just be halted.
"The Government needs to stop punishing and demonising people on income support now."