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Mr Morrison must stop playing games with Jobseeker’s lives and announce a permanent increase to Jobseeker

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 17 Feb 2021

The Greens say a so-called employment insurance scheme is an appalling idea and that Mr Morrison is being cruel to people on the Jobseeker payment, drip feeding potential plans for the JobSeeker payment through media leaks.

“This so-called insurance scheme would make an already appalling system worse, further entrenching poverty and homelessness”, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

“This concept is based on the assumption that has been disproven time and again, that poverty is an incentive to finding work. 

“Saying that tapering down someone’s payment will incentivise people to find work is ridiculous and contrary to evidence. 

"For a start you can’t find work is there isn’t enough jobs.

“We know that young people have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and we know that we have a cohort of people who are long term unemployed, older people who are discriminated against in the workplace and disabled people stuck on the Jobseeker payment all of whom would be severely adversely affected by this type of approach. 

“Young people who have not had the opportunity to enter the workforce will be stuck in poverty. 

“Before the pandemic hit the Government liked to spread mistruths that Newstart was a “transitional payment”.

“It’s simply false. In December 2019 the average time someone spent on Newstart was 298 weeks. 

“December 2019 figures also show that 97,243 people were on Newstart for 1-2 years,  172,181 for 2-5 years, 153,619 for 5-10 years and 134,352 for 10 years.

“This is about the lives of 1.3 million and whether they are going back to living on $40 a day. 

“Mr Morrison needs to stop playing games.”


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