Culture

The Federal Government Has Come Up With A New Way To Screw Young People

Here's everything you need to know about today's sneaky bill in parliament.

Federal Parliament has been back for a whole two days, and it looks like the Coalition are working quick to stick the boot into young people.

Today the Turnbull Government introduced the very drily named ‘Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform) Bill 2017’ into parliament. The bill includes proposed changes to family tax benefits, the pension, childcare and paid parental leave.

But it also has a nasty sting for young jobseekers. Australians aged 22-24 will no longer be eligible for the Newstart allowance. Instead, they will have to try and claim Youth Allowance.

Why is this a big deal? Because single Youth Allowance recipients receive about $90 a fortnight less than those on Newstart.

According to the government this change will “provide incentives to young unemployed people to obtain the relevant education and training to increase employability”. However, young people won’t be forced to study in order to receive the new payments.

Instead, the government thinks that young people will take up studying as a result, because if they become students they will be able to earn more from casual jobs before their Youth Allowance payments are impacted.

If that sounds confusing it’s because it is.

Basically, the government is trying to save a bunch of money by putting people on a cheaper welfare system. But it’s also pretending like that’s actually a really good thing that will encourage education and jobs.

On top of all this the government will force young people shifted onto Youth Allowance to wait four weeks before they can actually access payments. The measure is clearly designed to cut welfare spending by picking on a vulnerable group — young jobseekers — and the government should at least have the guts to admit that, rather than dressing it up as scheme to “increase employability”.