Riverina businesses and unemployed people will both save time under a plan to cut mandatory job applications, according to Labor candidate Mark Jeffreson.
Labor has pledged, if elected to, remove a Centrelink ‘mutual obligation' that people on unemployment benefits complete “20 job searches per month” with requirements set for each individual
Mr Jeffreson said he, as a business owner, had encountered the frustration of receiving large numbers of job applications that were clearly put in just to satisfy a Centrelink quota.
“It woulds help the employers but not having to process and deal with applications that are being done as part of a mutual obligation checklist,” he said.
“These are jobs that these applicants are never going to get but they have to be able to say to Centrelink that they applied for X amount of jobs.
“It’s going to help businesses be businesses instead of defacto employment groups and it will help job seekers by actually getting them into work instead of punishing them for not being in work.
“By allowing them to concentrate on jobs they can actually get, in will help the economy but putting people in work instead of living on $46 per day and trying to get by.”
The current job search requirements apply to people with the potential to work 15 to 29 hours per week.
The latest government figures show that 5195 people in the Riverina electorate received Newstart payments during June, including 1925 living within Wagga City Council’s boundaries.
Riverina MP Michael McCormack said Labor’s suggested changes would reverse the fall in unemployment seen under the Coalition.
“Under a Labor government it would be easier to get welfare,” he said.
“The best form of welfare is a job, and that is what our polices encourage.
“The unemployment rate is at its lowest point in more than a decade; why would people want to jeopardise that by going with some risky idea proposed by Labor?”
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