Unions fear the implications of last night’s budget will be felt for years to come, with young job seekers among those most significantly impacted.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said, “The so-called budget for everyone will hurt some much more than others.”
“By removing the safety net for young job seekers, the Abbott Government has effectively given the next generation a ‘sink or swim’ ultimatum with no room for failure, while simultaneously making it harder for them to gain employment or earn enough.”
Ms Kearney said work for the dole has been proven to have a negative impact on young people getting a job.
“The government is inflicting pain on young people and reducing their chance to get a job. These policies will make youth unemployment worse,” she said.
“The unemployment rate for 15 to 24 year olds is more than double the national average at 12.5 per cent and is projected to rise.”
“What these workers need is a jobs plan and industry investment.”
“Where are the one million new jobs Mr Abbott promised? It’s unacceptable that the policy of this Government is to create obstacles to job creation instead of opportunity.”
“The $10k for older workers will be a disincentive to employers to hire younger workers, yet there are no incentives to balance the scales.”
“A government concerned with getting people into work and boosting productivity should be emphasising training programs and skills development, instead this government has gutted support for skills and training by cutting half a billion in funding as well as scrapping a range of key agencies such as the Australian Workforce Productivity Agency.”
“This intrinsically un-Australian budget from the Abbott Government is setting up a generation of young job seekers to be confined to poverty, with all the risks this entails for social cohesion.
“By scrapping apprentice tools payments and saddling them with debt, making university more expensive and changing interest on HELP while simultaneously dissolving universal health care and welfare safety nets, we are pushing these young workers to the edge and – in some cases – over.
“Increasing homelessness, poverty and stress is no recipe to improving work participation.
“Worst hit will be those without family support or with families already struggling.
“Overall this budget is permanent pain that gets a bit worse every year for the sick, young, students, pensioners and the unemployed while only inflicting a mosquito bite to high income earners.”
Download the ACTU media release: Youth unemployment.