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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Budget pain for dole bludgers

Joe Hockey has brought down a budget that hurts everyone, he says, but it's set to hurt young people with no skills the most.

From 1 January 2015, unemployed under 25s will get Youth Allowance instead of Newstart, ($45 a week more) and the eligibility age for Newstart will rise from 22 to 25.

From 1 July, all job seekers between 18 and 30 who have been receiving payments for 12 months will be forced to Work For The Dole, 15 hours per week, for six months.

From 1 January 2015, all unemployed under 30s who apply for Newstart or Youth Allowance will have to wait six months before they can apply for the dole, then they must work for the dole for another six months. If they still haven't got a job by then, they will be cut off for another six months and the process will begin again. It's those six month periods with no government assistance at all that is a real concern to welfare groups.

During the six month waiting period, the under 30s must participate in the government funded "Job Search and Employment Service activities."  If they have a good previous employment record, the six month waiting period may not apply - for every year of previous employment, one month will be taken off the waiting period.

As an incentive for employers, if they pick a worker off the dole queue, they will receive that young person's dole payment for six months.

All Disability Support Pension recipients under 35 who signed on between 2008 and 2011 will be re-assessed and all recipients who leave the country for more than four weeks will have their pension cut off.

So from a young person's point of view, life is going to get tougher. Pressure is now on the family to support their relatives through times of unemployment which is likely to wear thin over time.

"The age of entitlement is over" said Joe Hockey on the eve of the Budget.  And he wasn't joking.