Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has congratulated the Senate for voting down the Government’s proposal for people under 25 to wait four weeks for a social security support payment. This had been reduced from six months in response to strong community backlash, including people from Indi.
“Changes to social service payments proposed in the 2014-15 Budget were very unpopular with people surveyed in my Budget Impact Tour,” Ms McGowan said.
“I’m pleased the Senate has stood up for regional Australians and listened to the concerns people had about this waiting period the Government wanted to impose.
“High unemployment in Indi, including the youth unemployment annual rate at 17.7 per cent, means a four-week waiting period for a social security payment was unacceptable.”
Ms McGowan said job seekers needed Government assistance to get them into work and cutting support payments would hinder rather than help youth get into employment.
“The lack of transport options also impacts young people’s ability to get to training, interviews and job agency appointments. If the Government is serious about getting young people into work, there needs to be a plan in place looking at many factors,” Ms McGowan said.
“Mental health issues among youth are also higher in regional Australia and this measure had the potential to make this even worse.”