One of the most enduring images from the COVID-19 lockdown was the long queues outside CentreLink as newly made unemployed Australians breached social distancing to obtain financial assistance.
We risk repeating these scenes again with mutual obligation requirements beginning next week for welfare recipients, including those sacked during the coronavirus pandemic:
There are fears Australia’s welfare system won’t cope with an influx of unemployed people when job hunting requirements restart.
Mutual obligation requirements such as job interviews will begin again next Tuesday…
Mutual obligations have been suspended during the coronavirus pandemic due to strict social distancing rules and health concerns.
Greens senator Rachel Siewert wants obligations to be suspended for six months.
She is concerned the system won’t meet the needs of the huge number of jobseekers.
“We know we have a very large number of people who are unemployed, underemployed and not currently engaged in the labour market, many of whom will be engaging with job service providers and having to deal with mutual obligations for the first time,” she said.
“This will put a lot of pressure on a system that is already not fit for purpose and I am not confident the system is prepared for this influx.”
As noted this morning, there were 1.64 million people on JobSeeker on May 22 plus another 3.5 million on JobKeeper.
Prepare for CentreLink to get crush loaded once more.
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