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National Welfare Rights Network - welfare dependency first - jobs last.

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Hon Kevin Andrews MP

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service 10 November, 2005

Media Release


National Welfare Rights Network - Welfare Dependency First - Jobs Last

National Welfare Rights Network President, Michael Raper has today once again demonstrated that he values

welfare dependency above all else, including giving people a job.

It is disappointing that Mr Raper has grossly misrepresented the Government’s Welfare to Work and Workplace

Relations reforms.

The claim by Mr Raper that jobseekers will have to take any job that is offered to them or risk a penalty is simply

not true.

‘If you were offered a job, any job, any positions, and you decline it, you will suffer an 8 week no

payment breach.’

(Michael Raper, ABC Radio 612 AM, 10/11/05)

Mr Raper knows full well that a number of factors will have to be taken into consideration to determine whether a

job is suitable for the jobseeker. These include whether the person has the appropriate skills, experience or

qualifications for the job; whether they have access to appropriate child care; and the time taken to commute

between the person’s home and place of work.

It is also implied by Mr Raper that once a jobseeker takes a job, their terms and conditions of employment can fall

below the legal standards. This is simply misleading. Mr Raper knows that the Australian Fair Pay and Conditions

Standard guarantees various legislated minima.

‘If you are in a job and you resign because the conditions are down-graded, you will get no

support from Centrelink for 8 weeks under these provisions.’ (Michael Raper, ABC Radio 612

AM, 10/11/05)

Mr Raper’s comments undermines National Welfare Rights Network credibility and do nothing but mislead those

who they purport to represent.

It is about time that Mr Raper and National Welfare Rights Network stopped assuming that people on welfare

want to be condemned to a dead end existence in which they do not enjoy the benefits of getting a job and

participating in Australia’s prosperity.

Welfare dependency is not the answer and the National Welfare Rights Network should be honest enough to

acknowledge that the best form of welfare is a job.

For further information contact:

Russ Street 0417 044 712