Young people will be guaranteed a job, secure income, and free education under a new Greens recovery plan to build ‘a better normal’ and restart the economy after the coronavirus economic shock.
The vision for a debt-financed recovery reaffirms the government’s role in responding to the crisis, and rejects the austerity approaches offered by the Liberal and Labor parties, charting a course for a government-led recovery that extends Australia’s social services, instead of slashing funding for education, healthcare, and the environment.
Greens Community Services Spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said “We have a unique opportunity here in WA to invest to recover.
“We can’t cut our way out of this crisis. The government and big corporations are calling for more cuts - to company taxes, to public spending, to workers’ rights - but that is a recipe for disaster.
“Our Jobs and Income Guarantee offers people security and decent work while setting Australia up for the future.
For older Australians, for those who haven’t reached retirement age and are staring down their last years in the workforce without access to a job, the half a million jobs being created through our investment package will offer hope and pathways back to employment.
"We need to make sure we are looking after people as we come out of this pandemic, I can’t see how anybody can think that it is okay to return the Jobseeker Payment to the old rate of $40 a day which will condemn unemployed Australians to poverty and will act as a barrier to employment.
Australian Greens Youth and Disability spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John said young people are really struggling as a result of COVID-19.
“History shows recessions disproportionately affect young people, with under-employment remaining persistently higher for years, even as the general population recovers.
“With the April 2020 ABS data showing that nearly 4 in 10 young people are now without a job or enough hours of work, it’s clear that we need to place addressing the challenges we face now at the centre of all plans to build a future for all of us.”
The Invest to Recover plan is part of the Green New Deal approach.
Key elements of the plan will:
- Create 870,000 jobs in the private and public sectors through projects that will build new energy infrastructure, 500,000 new public and community homes, expand TAFE and universities, save the arts and creative sectors, expand the care-based sectors and restore axed public service jobs;
- Renew and reshape the economy with $60bn in government support to revive manufacturing and grow new processing, manufacturing and pharmaceutical jobs in these industries that have been neglected or decimated in the era of Liberal/Labor free trade agreements, mining booms & neoliberal industry policy;
- Get Australia running on 100% renewable energy with $59bn investment in sustainable infrastructure
- Guarantee everyone under 30 either a free place at uni or TAFE, an apprenticeship or traineeship, or a secure job working on nation building, planet saving projects that will build our nation, restore our environment, and help care for Australians;
- Save Australia’s hard-hit arts, entertainment and creative industry with a $2.3bn Create Australia recovery package, that will put artists in every school and library in the country, and directly fund festivals, films and live performances; and
- Establish a $6.7bn Nature Fund to clean up our natural environment and create 13,000 jobs.