OPINION: Why should we reward people who stay off the dole?
COMMENT BY KATHY SUNDSTROM: PAYING people for staying off the dole for a year is a joke and insult to every hard-working Australian who will have to fund this inane scheme.
The Federal Government announced its Job Commitment Bonus this week to "encourage long-term unemployed young Australians to find and keep work".
It will pay jobseekers aged between 18 and 30 a $2500 lump sum if they can secure work for 12 months.
And then there's a further $4000 cash cherry if they stay in employment for another year.
Why the government would hand out cash to people for finding work is beyond me. But I do understand the issue - getting some people to get off the dole can be a problem.
Talk to a Sunshine Coast farmer and you will hear stories of how they have been messed around by people pretending to look for work to meet their Newstart obligations.
This is even more reason we should not reward those for doing what they should be trying hard to do anyway.
I also don't believe the Job Commitment Bonus is going to in any way help those seriously looking for work.The many caught in the vicious and soul-destroying unemployment cycle would give anything to gain full-time work.
If they are serious, they are not going to care about the small change the Commitment Bonus will offer in ongoing financial support.
It's as dumb and as meaningless as Kevin Rudd's handouts to boost the economy at the start of the Global Financial Crisis.
I've been on the wrong side of employment. I know what it's like to struggle to find a job and wonder how you are going to pay your bills.
But what disgusted my family was when we went to Centrelink to look for a job - not a handout, even though we did qualify - we couldn't get help as we hadn't been receiving the dole.
It's as if Newstart policies - and now the Job Commitment Bonus - are designed for those purposefully trying to milk the system.
I am sure government agencies can tell the difference between a dole bludger and a jobseeker.
The government should invest money in creating employment to boost small business. And if any handouts are going to be given, give tax concessions to small businesses providing meaningful work.