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Government needs to rethink Work for the Dole, as scheme threatens not-for-profits

The Australian Greens are calling for a rethink of the whole work for the dole program, as more details about the scheme emerge.

"Work for the dole punishes job seekers, will have perverse outcomes and put more pressure on not-for-profits," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services said today.

"Job seekers are now being asked to do impossible participation requirements and take part in ineffective work for the dole schemes. All the while they're being denied access to adequate income support or the personalised training and support they need to transition into secure work.

"Not-for-profits will end up bearing the cost of providing placements, with Government obviously lining them up as a cheap way of implementing their flawed work for the dole regime.

"Not-for-profits are not employment bodies and they are not training organisations. Being asked to provide placements for potentially hundreds of thousands of people will be disruptive to their ongoing work and will put even more strain on their operations.

"This shows just how out of touch the Government is. The language from the Prime Minister, Senator Abetz and their colleagues is laced with a disregard for job seekers and insinuations that people could walk out the front door and into a job whenever they want. The reality is totally different.

"The Federal Government is setting job seekers an impossible task by telling them to apply for 40 jobs a month and then threatening them with financial penalties if these applications don't meet a certain standard.

"This is another measure from the Government to punish job seekers, just as we have seen them doing with their plan to cut payments to unemployed people under the age of 30 for more than six months at a time.

"Doing a proper job application takes time and effort. How does the Government really expect people to meet their requirements when they're working for the dole and when they're living below the poverty line on Newstart, Youth Allowance or being denied income support altogether in the case of job seekers under 30?

"The Business Council of Australia, community groups and academics are all questioning the Government's approach, and it is time for Tony Abbott to pay attention," Senator Siewert concluded.


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