Category: Government and Politics / Budget / Welfare / Community and Society / Business, Economics and Finance

Unemployed to be cut off from welfare for turning down 'suitable' work

11:03 UTC+8 May 11, 2017 | Dan Conifer

Unemployed people will be immediately cut off from welfare payments if they do not accept "suitable work", the Federal Government says.

The Coalition wants to toughen the rules for welfare recipients, including through drug tests for Centrelink recipients and a demerit point system for jobseekers.

Payments would be reduced or suspended for those failing to attend job interviews or work-for-the-dole activities.

But Human Services Minister Alan Tudge said payments would be instantly cancelled for four weeks if a reasonable job offer was rejected.

"If you fail to take a job which is suitable for you, then you will have your payment cancelled immediately," Mr Tudge said.

"In that way, again, it's similar to your driver's licence; that if you do a very serious breach, you will have your licence cancelled immediately."

Asked whether an aeronautical engineer would be expected to work in a cafe, Social Services Minister Christian Porter indicated that could happen.

"Whether your training, at first instance, was with that job in mind shouldn't be the determinant as to whether or not that is a good job for you to have," Mr Porter said.

"All jobs are better than being on unemployment benefits.

"This notion that there's a perfect or better or worse job is not one that we accept."


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