The Morrison Government’s decision to reintroduce mutual obligations for jobseekers has been labelled “cruel”, with fears it could push vulnerable people into further financial distress. Source: Pro Bono News.
Employment Minister Michaelia Cash and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston announced in a joint statement that mutual obligation arrangements will return for all jobseekers from September 28, with the exception of lockdown-hit Victoria.
Mutual obligations were suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions in March, but the ministers said the time was right to slowly reintroduce compliance measures.
Failure to meet these requirements – such as participating in appointments with an employment service provider and agreeing to a job plan – could result in income support payment suspensions or penalties.
The Australian Unemployed Workers Union (AUWU) has labelled the announcement “cruel” and “callous”.
AUWU spokesperson Kristin O’Connell said this was an ideological move by the government that did not help jobseekers.
Ms O’Connell highlighted the dire impacts this would have on jobseekers when combined with the looming $300 cut to the coronavirus supplement.
She said it would be a particular shock to the 800,000-odd new JobSeeker recipients who may never have experienced mutual obligations before.
The Greens have also slammed the Government’s announcement, calling the plan “mean spirited and unfair”.
Meanwhile, Labor leader Anthony Albanese said there “needs to be a bit of common sense” around enforcing mutual obligations in the current job market, but he did say if the Opposition supports the announcement.
‘It's a heartless decision’: Morrison government reintroduces welfare mutual obligations (By Luke Michael, Pro Bono News)