Rethink on harsh job search plan a victory for common sense

Statement from ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie

“We are pleased that the Government has listened to the concerns expressed by ACOSS, the business community and many others about the ill-conceived proposal to force jobseekers to apply for 40 jobs a month. At a time when there is only one job available for every five people looking for work, this would have been counter-productive and demoralising for jobseekers and an unhelpful burden on employers.”

“We are also pleased to see the Government abandon its proposal to shift compliance functions from Centrelink to employment services.

“The investment in wage subsidies is welcome, though more resources are needed to broaden access to subsidies and ensure their effectiveness. Subsidies should also be complemented by demand-led employment approaches with strong partnerships between employers, employment services and jobseekers, as proposed by ACOSS in alliance with the Business Council of Australia and the ACTU.

“We remain very concerned that the major plank in the Government’s employment policy is compulsory work for the dole, despite the evidence that it fails to achieve sustained employment outcomes.

“We now urge the Government to listen to the community’s deep concerns about its proposal to deprive young people under 30 years from income for six months of every year. Despite the strong community opposition, this proposal still remains in the bills reintroduced into federal parliament last week.”