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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 63

(Question No. 4686)

Mr Blunt asked the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, upon notice, on 25 September 1986:

Did he calculate the cost of a compulsory work for unemployment benefits scheme at $700 million; if so, what are the details and basis for the (a) Commonwealth contribution of $20 per placement in such a scheme, (b) $7.50 travel allowance and (c) CES staffing and administrative costs.

Mr Willis —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The calculation of the cost of a compulsory work for unemployment benefits scheme was carried out by the Department of Employment and Industrial Relations.

(a) The Commonwealth contribution of $20 per placement per week was considered to be a conservative estimate of costs incurred in maintaining placements on the basis of the cost of placements in a similar but voluntary scheme in Canada where the cost of such provision is $C25 per placement per week (around $A30).

The cost per placement per week in the Volunteer Youth Program (VYP) is around $30.

(b) The basis for the average $7.50 travel allowance estimate is the current provision under the VYP of travel reimbursement of up to $15 per week. In light of this maximum level, a $7.50 average is not considered unreasonable.

(c) Commonwealth Employment Service (CES) staffing and administration costs are based entirely on the standard CES Staffing Formula allowing for normal CES activity to fill the required number of positions.