We need paid work. Let’s reframe the debate on Social Security

Cassandra Goldie, CEO of ACOSS, says under the government’s proposed demerit system, 80 thousand people are expected to lose between one to four week’s payment.

“How is making people destitute helping them to get paid work?” asks Dr Goldie.

“Our big problem is the lack of employment opportunities and serious concerns that people are giving up and losing hope, including young people.”

“Long term unemployment has nearly tripled since the Global Financial Crisis.

“For every job available there are ten applicants.

“The number of young people receiving income support payments remains high, particularly in regional areas where youth unemployment is a huge concern.

“The real issue for government is the availability of paid work and adequate supports including vocational education and training.

“The government must provide jobs and supports that work like the highly successful Youth Connections program, abolished in 2014.

“The government keeps trying to blame the victims in this debate when the rest of the country has moved on.

“This is lazy politics, lazy policy, and mean-spirited headline grabbing.

“Communities and business leaders need government to work with them and get behind local efforts to drive economic and social development.

“Front page headline grabbing further negates the extraordinary efforts communities make to give their young people a real chance.”

Please review ACOSS’ Social Security Snapshot showing current facts and trends in social security spending and policy in Australia.