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Harsh penalties for Jobseekers in the midst of a recession is cruel and unfair 

The Greens have called the Government's plan to bring back harsh penalties for people looking for work on the Jobseeker payment mean spirited and unfair.
 
“This is an approach solely driven by ideology”, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 
Compliance driven approaches that demonise people on income support do not help them find work. 
 
We are in the midst of a recession, the jobs are not there and we are basically making people chase their tails, pushing paper to keep this Government happy and line the pockets of private companies who are making a lot of money out of the unemployment industry. 
 
Not only are people on Jobseeker and Youth Allowance going to be living below the poverty line by the end of September, they now face the increased stress and anxiety of having their payments cut.  
 
Now is the ideal time to reset how we support jobseekers. We must move to a supportive model that meets people's needs and focuses on supporting people rather than punishing them because they can’t find jobs that are not there. 
 
Employment providers should be incentivised to provide a quality and supportive service rather than the current punitive mutual obligations approach.
 
We know we have a very large number of people who are unemployed, underemployed and not currently engaged in the labour market, many of whom will be engaging with job service providers and having to deal with mutual obligations for the first time. 
 
This will put a lot of pressure on a system that is already not fit for purpose and has been failing for a very long time and I have no confidence that the system is able to cope.  
 

Media Contact:
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180

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