The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has made an impassioned plea for the Australian Government to drop the proposal that young people up to 30 years of age receive no state benefits for six months at a time, should they find themselves out of work.
In a strongly worded statement Cassandra Goldie, CEO of ACOSS, said such a policy would have a ‘brutal impact’ on people’s lives. Moreover, she said that the redefining of youth to mean anyone up to 30 years of age implied that young people become the responsibility of their parents again and live at home and was ‘simply not realistic’ in many instances.
ACOSS has called for a ‘serious plan’ to counter youth unemployment, including investment in effective jobs programs such as the successful Youth Connections program, which is no longer funded. Dr Goldie said that removing income support would do nothing to help young people looking for work, and would only lead to more young people ‘going without food and shelter and turning to charities for help’.