Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance released this statement on May 30.
The federal Coalition government plans to ramp up Work for the Dole for job seekers under 30.
From July 1, it will apply in 18 high unemployment regions across Australia, and will be rolled out nationwide from July 1 next year.
The program, which was initiated under the John Howard government, forces long-term unemployed young people (those who have been receiving Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance for more than 12 months) to work 15 hours a week for six months. Refusal to work could result in being penalised one tenth of their fortnightly payment for every day absent, which will cut deep into wages that are already below the poverty line.
This is not a choice for young Australians. This is a threat, it is forced labour, and it is wrong.
Recent high-profile corporate announcements of mass redundancies and decreasing rates of university graduate employment demonstrate that it is increasingly hard for both unskilled and well-educated people to find work.
Despite this, young people are once again being told it is their fault they cannot find work, and it is time to stop being lazy and lift themselves up.
This is a slap in the face to young unemployed people across the nation, made worse by a budget that cuts 16,500 public service jobs, but has no significant plans to create other jobs.
This is accompanied by factory closures in traditionally working-class communities, such as Geelong.
The government is cutting programs that are... READ MORE