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Response to Beazley



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Richard Alston ΡΑ χΙίΑ Μ ί !d:GAH

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SHADOW MINISTER FOR SOCIAL SECURITY

NEWS RELEASE RESPONSE TO BEAZLEY BEAZLEY ESTIMATES NUMBER ON DOLE FOR 6 OR MORE MONTHS WILL TOP 500,000

In attempting to attack the Coalition’s proposals to significantly tighten up the current dole work test, Kim Beazley has fallen flat on his face.

* His claim that 500,000 will be affected implies an increase of over 52% on the current number of 327,995. Presumably the 500,000 figure is based on Beazley's Department's estimates.

Thus it seems the Government is expecting an increase in numbers of Australians on the dole for 6 or more months of over 52%.

* All the Coalition's plan will do is merely ask the unemployed to provide evidence of what they are already required by Social Security to do. For Beazley to say that the Coalition's plan will impose a significant cost on employers (which the Coalition rejects) is to admit that Social Security and the CES are not fulfilling the terms of their own

guidelines.

* This much has already been pointed out by the Auditor-General who found in his recent 'Administration of the work test for unemployment benefits' (Audit Report No. 10 - a report that Beazley would do well to read) that:

Rather than performing spurious and ludicrous pseudo calculations making light of the plight of the unemployed, Mr Beazley would do more for the unemployed if he were to direct his public servants to do what they are paid to do and ensure that his projection of 500,000 Australians on the dole for 6 or more months is one forecast which is not met.

Either the Minister is desperately pulling figures out of the air in a dishonest attempt to discredit Coalition policy, or the 500,000 figure is an official forecast. Either way, the Minister must come clean.

"Staff in the CES network continue to hold the view that

work/activity testing is not compatible with the primary job placement role of the CES"; and

'Work testing often was considered onerous by CES staff.'

For further info, nhonn- [06] 277 3605. 25 February 1992