Welfare recipients will be stripped of their Centrelink payments under a new dole demerit point system similar to one where dangerous drivers lose their licence.
Unemployment Australians presently receiving a Newstart allowance will lose welfare payments for up to a month if they repeatedly fail to apply for jobs, study or undergo training.
A new demerit point system will be introduced where they will lose their social security, in the same way dangerous drivers lose their licence for several months if they repeatedly speed or run red lights.
The new framework is set to be introduced following a deal struck between the Turnbull Government and the Nick Xenophon Team.
As part of the deal, welfare recipients will lose the ability to blame drug or alcohol addiction as a ‘reasonable excuse’ for missing mutual obligation requirements.
‘We are implementing the most comprehensive reforms of our welfare system in decades,’ Acting Social Services Minister Mathias Cormann told The Australian.
However, the government has dropped its proposal to randomly drug test welfare recipients, at the request of the NXT crossbenchers.
The party’s social services spokeswoman Rebekha Sharkie has moved amendments, including a review of the demerit points system within two years, exemptions for job seekers in remote areas and concessions for older job seekers after they have spent 12 months looking for work, The Australian reported.
‘Taxpayers quite rightly expect people to look for work or address barriers to look for work,’ she told the newspaper.
The Newstart unemployment benefit will be replaced with one ‘jobseeker’ payment from 2020, which will also cover partner and sickness allowances.
Labor and the Greens are opposing the government’s welfare measures, which means the Turnbull Government has had to rely on the Nick Xenophon Team, One Nation and Cory Bernardi’s Australians Conservatives to secure its reforms through the Senate.
Source: The Daily Mail