The Government's approach to mutual obligations has been haphazard, without proper information given to people on income support”, Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“Mutual obligations should have been suspended for six months from the get-go in line with the Jobseeker and Jobkeeper programs which recognise this crisis will go for at least six months.
“The constant last minute extension to the suspension has been very stressful for people who are concerned firstly about the health risks of having to go out during this crisis and also the anxiety about losing their payments.
“While the start next week is a phase in, I’m very concerned that the system will not meet the needs of the huge number of jobseekers and that the system is not fit for purpose.
“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 I am not confident the system is prepared for this influx.”
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180