The Australian Greens have called on the Abbott Government to re-think its Work for the Dole changes, amid serious concerns about the policy.
"The Government is more interested in punishing job seekers than helping people into work, and their expansion of Work for the Dole is more evidence of that," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services said today.
"People shouldn't be demonised just because they don't have a job. Work for the Dole is a simplistic, one-size-fits-all response to unemployment. Past experiences show the regime is not effective for most people, and that people cycle in and out of programs because they're not getting the support they need to enter the workforce.
"Work for the Dole also fails to address the reality that there just aren't enough jobs out there.
"Where are people supposed to find the 40 jobs per month they're being told to apply for? Constant rejections from employers could have terrible effects on the confidence and mental health of jobseekers. In addition, the impact on businesses is likely to be substantial with potentially over 720,000 people making 40 applications for month. So much for cutting red tape.
"Reports from organisations such as Anglicare and Brotherhood of St Laurence have questioned the "a job at all cost" philosophy, pointing to the fact that quality support and training lead to far stronger outcomes.
"If the Government was genuine about wanting to help people into work, they would be investing more in case management for jobseekers and would be doing more to work with employers to generate proper jobs.
"The Government should listen to the clear message coming from the community, academics and experts and abandon Work for the Dole in favour of the investments we need to help people into secure employment," Senator Siewert concluded.