MPs revolt over under-30s dole delay

By Leith van Onselen

The Abbott Government is facing further dissent from within, this time from Coalition MPs that are opposed to the Government’s plan to make job seekers aged under 30 wait six months before receiving Youth Allowance or Newstart. From ABC News:

Pressure is on the Federal government from regional backbenchers over plans to make young people wait six months before getting unemployment benefits.

The member for Page Kevin Hogan is among those lobbying for some relief in the plan.

Together with the group of backbenchers, he has been talking with Social Services Minister Scott Morrison.

Kevin Hogan’s comments to the ABC about the policy comes just a day after the Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis went public with her concerns.

“Obviously we do not want people to be literally starving in the street, I mean that is not what Australia is about, so there is discussion about how we can implement that better,” Mr Hogan said…

The member for Richmond is appalled by the plan to make young people wait for the dole.

Justine Elliot is worried about what the waiting period will mean for areas of high unemployment like the north coast.

“It is in fact incredibly unfair when you are saying to those people under 30 you’re not getting Newstart for six months, it means that you will be seeing a lot more people going into poverty, particularly on the north coast,” Ms Elliot said.

Thankfully, it looks as if the Government may have junked its policy once and for all. From The AFR:

On Wednesday, Liberal MPAnn Sudmalis said [Social Services Minister Scott] Morrison had assured her and more than 30 other colleagues in a meeting last week that a budget plan to force the young unemployed to wait six months before receiving the dole was set to be scrapped.

The Government always faced an uphill battle getting its plan through the Senate, so it is heartening to hear that it will be dropped once and for all.

Australia’s youth should breathe a collective sigh of relief as well.

Anyone with even a modest understanding of employment statistics (and common sense) would recognise that youth employment outcomes are poor not because they are lazy, but because the economy is too weak to generate sufficient jobs. This is why youth unemployment is at its highest level since 1998 and underemployment is at all time highs (see below charts).

ScreenHunter_6152 Feb. 19 13.52
ScreenHunter_6153 Feb. 19 13.53

The Abbott Government has erred badly in seeking to punish the young unemployed for no other reason than them being born at the wrong time and experiencing the worst employment conditions since the fallout from the early-1990s recession.

It’s moves are all the more hypocritical given its planned special incentive payments to employers that take on workers over the age of 50 who have been unemployed for more than six months – a measure that would crowd-out younger workers even more.

It also brings into focus the egregiousness of the Government’s open slather approach to foreign working visas, even though its own Department of Employment’s latest Skill Shortages Statistical Summary revealed that “the availability of skilled workers is greater than it has been since the current series began in 2007, and fewer occupations are in shortage”:

There are generally large fields of applicants vying for skilled jobs and employers fill a high proportion of their vacancies… Almost all employers attract applicants, with just 4 per cent not receiving any interest in their vacancies…

ScreenHunter_5752 Jan. 28 07.33

It’s time for Australia to stop eating its youth.

[email protected]

Unconventional Economist


    • The maximum word count for slogans in this country is three.

      How about ‘Stop eating millenials’

    • Intergenerational theft in this country is rife. No wonder I want to leave again, it’s not the country I hate. I love it, it’s the way it’s being run into the ground to continue to support the boomers way of life.

      • In the first year of TA in office, departures have risen about 7%. My guess is that if he stays in office too much longer, we will see bigger and bigger outbound migration numbers.

    • Is he pragmatic enough to understand that repeating IPA talking points and working through the IPA ‘crash through AND crash’ recipe is the fast track to opposition.

      (Notice how many of those sound very familiar – John Roskam has his finger prints all over this govt)

      Morrison comes across as being a much less flexible thinker than that.

      The only real hope for the LNP is if they get a dose of DLP economics from some LNP retirement homes (or old Point of View video tapes or more likely from Greg Sheridan) as while there is a lot of dud stuff in that, it will certainly be a hell of lot better than what they are trying to dish out at the moment.

      In fact DLP economics will probably put them to the left of the neo-lib mini me’s like Husic, Bowen and Wong.

    • Fuck off. Morrison’s a wolf in sheeps clothing. On Tuesday he simultaneously defended retirees with $2m in financial assets being able to access the part pension costing the government $500m per year yet was happy to justify making the young wait 6 months to access the dole as a legitimate budget saving measure. No wonder they have a credibility issue.

      • Yes

        When I put

        “..Morrison comes across as being a much less flexible thinker than that…”

        into Google Translate using the English to LNP Reality translator

        I got the first two words of your comment.

        I must use that translation more often.

      • Hear ya Wing!
        Scott ( and the whole team) are partners / partner ‘wannabees’ at ‘Young, Dewey, Feckham & Howe’

        Another ‘widening channel’ of senior benefit and often overlooked is Aged Care. Currently, the A Gov’t is on the hook annually for ~ $13bil to help subsidize the costs of some pretty big annual tickets. (Over 1.0 mil receive benefits)

        This is expected to double in 10 years to >$26 billion. While we’d all like to see the old timers well treated and cared for in their twilight years, this is after all, their expense.

        The vast proportion of the annual ticket is not paid by the resident–again likely 70% being tax payer supported. In many counties, help is provided ( as it should be) but only after personal assets are ‘tapped’ first.

        In Australia, while the commitment from the applicant has increased from Jul 2014, the personal cost / valued received is still very generous.

  1. The member for Page Kevin Hogan is among those lobbying for some relief in the plan.

    FYI, Page is up our way an includes much of the Northern Rivers of NSW. Its one of those bellwether electorates that usually changes with government (1996, 2007 and 2013) so no wonder Mr Hogan is worried. He won 52.5-48.5 2PP in 2013. He’d be well behind now based on recent polling.

    • Tassie TomMEMBER

      There’s plenty of bone lazy people over 30 up there (everywhere actually), probably proportionally more than under-30s.

  2. I’ve lived in a number of industrialised countries and I don’t think any of them would come up with such a viciously harebrained idea in the first place….except Australia…..

    Its close on 9 months since the budget, why are these coalition MPs only now expressing their reservations?

    – because they already know its going to be dumped?
    – it wasn’t going to get through anyway?

    – both probably – and they want to look good in the eyes of some naïve voters

    • @Jonah – “why are these coalition MPs only now expressing their reservations?”

      Because they believe in them – it’s only because the collective zeitgeist is in uproar that they are changing tact.

      Nothing like electoral oblivion for a change of heart.

    • ‘they want to look good in the eyes of some naïve voters’

      Nailed it! But you’d have to be naive & one eyed indeed!

    • Its close on 9 months since the budget, why are these coalition MPs only now expressing their reservations?

      Bigger question: why are these MPs in the Liberal Party ?

      This is a policy vector that’s been apparent for 15+ years. NOBODY over the age of 25 or so should have been surprised by this policy.

      If you’re only just now figuring out the leadership of the Liberal Party is a group of evil psychopaths, then you’ve grossly failed the “paying attention to reality” test.

      If you’ve got a social conscience, the political far right is no place to be hanging out.

      • Bigger mystery is why is there a left faction in the ALP? It’s been obvious to anyone paying attention that they abanonded the left a long time ago, Keating was pure Neoclassical economics and the party has nevery looked back.

        Both parties have an internal contradiction between what their charter claims they stand for and what they currently stand for. Some members still clinging to old dreams.

  3. “why are these coalition MPs only now expressing their reservations?”

    Because they only have the guts to confront Abbott now that he is wounded.

    • No. They’ve finally realised with Abbott at the helm they’ll lose the next election…and their own seats. Nothing like a threat to the pay packet to sharpen judgement.

      • Well it took 3d1k 18 months to figure out Abbott was a dead cert to lose the next election, and he’s a professional spinmeister. MPs can hang on much longer than seems sensible. Look at how late the ALP dumped Gillard in 2013 when it had been obvious for two years they were going to get slaughtered at the next election.

      • 12 months. 14 months to go public. G20 killed it.

        I don’t back away from my view that chunks of the media were against Abbott from the getgo. But Abbott and Hockey lost control of the agenda, ceded it to media and amazingly considering how appalling they are, Labor.

        A totally disfunctional Senate guided by personal rather than national interest hasn’t helped.

        IMO if Abbott and Hockey and Hockey stay in current roles, defeat at the next election is guaranteed. It’s more important than just Abbott and Hockey. A return of the remants of the RuddGillard years is unthinkable. And seriously, who wants Bill.

      • I don’t back away from my view that chunks of the media were
        right about Abbott from the getgo.


      • “Why did it take them so long?”
        They just now realized that this electorate is willing to turf out governments after one term.

      • A totally disfunctional psychopathic LNP guided by personal rather than national interest hasn’t helped. – FTFY.

      • god that was pathetic. The Cupboard supported Abbott to the hilt, don’t whinge you sook.

        Btw, the media had no impact on Abbott’s standing, he’s solely responsible for that as he’s a complete dick with no personality and incompetent, so nothing to balance out his serious short comings.

  4. Can’t they all just use their parent’s equity and get a ‘reno then flip business’ happening?

    These people obviously live in a very different world to modern Australia

    Will be a bull market for Cash Converters though…how do they think people will survive?

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      A big over supply of “entertainers” to hit the market soon, the days of young working girls earning as much as plumbers may be coming to an end.

  5. Imo what the LNP is trying and getting away with is supporting the boomers as they are powerful voting block with the knowledge their offspring will support this, not realising how they’re being screwed.

    I’m not sure most boomers realise what they are leaving behind for their kids, too ignorant to what is heading our way.