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Tuesday, 8 November 1983
Page: 2373

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled, the humble petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia respectfully showeth:

1. That the unemployment benefit for minors aged sixteen and seventeen years has not increased in line with inflation and cost of living expenses and that it is impossible to obtain adequate food, transport, clothing and shelter on the current benefit of $40.00 per week.

2. That adequate food, clothing and shelter is the right of every human being and those people aged 16 and 17 years share the same costs for food, transport, clothing and shelter as those people aged 18 years and over.

3. That the unemployment benefit for minors is, at May 1983, $80.00 per week below the poverty line.

4. That the unemployment benefit for minors has risen by only $4.00 in eight years (since November 1975)-an increase of 11 per cent-compared with an increase in the adult rate of $29.90, or 77 per cent, over the same period of time.

5. That the Government is discriminating against those people aged 16 and 17 years by failing to maintain their unemployment benefit in line with those people aged 18 years and over.

Your petitioners most humbly pray that the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled:

1. Immediately increase the unemployment benefit for minors to establish equal parity to those rates existing in 1975.

2. Increase the unemployment benefit for minors to that of the unemployment benefit for adults in the next Budget.

3. Bring the adult unemployment benefit rate in line with the poverty-line level and maintain it at this rate thereafter.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.

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