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Mr Morrison must stop bullying people on income support

Media Release
Adam Bandt 10 Mar 2021

The Greens have said that Mr Morrison’s continued attacks on people on income support is cruel and demonising of people in our community who are doing it the toughest.

Greens Leader Adam Bandt said that his electorate of Melbourne was one of the hardest hit by every reduction to JobSeeker, and that Scott Morrison's actions demonstrated he didn't care about the genuine causes of unemployment.

Lines from Leader of the Australian Greens and Member for Melbourne Adam Bandt MP:

"People in Melbourne are desperate to get back into work, but the jobs simply aren't there. Cafes are only just starting to open up, restaurants and bars are still offering only limited shifts, and even people with work aren't getting enough hours," Mr Bandt said.

"Forcing a mass exodus of jobseekers will cause incredible amounts of damage to Melbourne's hospitality industry and youth culture, worsening the battering it's already taken through the pandemic.

"The best thing that Scott Morrison could do to return jobs to Melbourne is to raise JobSeeker above the poverty level. That would ensure that people don't have to choose between eating and keeping a roof over their heads, and that money can continue flowing through Melbourne's local economy.

"From winding back JobKeeper to making JobSeekers jump through endless hoops even for poverty level payments, it's clear that Scott Morrison is waging an ideological war on people who need income support.”

Lines from Greens Community Services Spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert:

“It’s shameful the way this Government attacks people on income support, calling them job snobs, essentially implying they are undeserving of support”, Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

“What the Prime Minister is essentially suggesting is pretty much some sort of indentured labour.

“Mr Morrison is suggesting that people basically go on the road looking for seasonal work like back in the depression, homeless, subject to exploitation and poor conditions?

“This isn’t full time secure work we are talking about. This is telling people to uproot their lives, their responsibilities and support networks for a casual, insecure and temporary job in industries that have notoriously poor pay, conditions and accommodation. 

“It’s a very dangerous path to be going down in a democracy to be telling people what job they should be doing and where they should live.

“Meanwhile, the Job Provider system (Jobactive) which is meant to be finding people jobs is rife with bullying, harassment, of people being ignored or treated very poorly by their job providers.

“While the Government is doing next to nothing about the systemic issues with the Jobactive system they have empowered employers with the means to intimidate and bully Jobseekers with the DobSeeker line. 

“The Government won’t acknowledge how broken the job provider system they are pouring billions into is.”

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