in a blunt response to a question about how a young person who had lost unemployment benefits would be able to afford it, the treasurer said: “I would expect you’d be in a job.”
You would expect that, because either you don’t understand just how hard it is to get a job as a young person, or you don’t care. Let me break down why your expectations are unreasonable.
The youth aren’t responsible for the economic climate of the day
Joe, show me a country where youth unemployment is lower than general unemployment. Or a country where the young, the poor and the unemployed run the economy, where the rich and the old have to sit back and take the scraps of what the government has decided to give them. Oh you can’t? Maybe it’s because the young and the marginalised are ruled over by the old and the wealthy. Employment availability is controlled by people like you and your self-righteous mates in parliament, along with business some of whom donate to your party. Young people have high unemployment in pretty much every country in the world, and it has nothing to do with the availability of welfare programs.
Inexperienced youth can’t help that they are inexperienced
In fairness, it’s only partly the government’s fault for not looking after the young people to ensure they have appropriate skills and there’s jobs available. Getting someone to put faith in you to get your foot in the door, and getting that experience you need to maintain stable employment is actually pretty fucking hard. Youth unemployment is high simply because it is much easier for a company to hire someone with existing job experience. Until you get that first job, it’s an uphill battle convincing employers of your worth. Even if you happen to be in a job as a young person, you are more likely to have a lower skilled job. There’s also a culture of last in first out in many workplaces, meaning younger people get the sack first in difficult times.
People in their twenties need to eat, just like old people
I just thought that I would remind you of that fact, Joe. What do you think they should do? If you think that it is bad that a person aged 30+ temporarily losing their job means they go hungry and lose their accommodation, why do you think it is okay for it to happen to someone aged 18-30? Why don’t these rules preventing unemployment benefit access apply to people over 30? Given the above two points, the only conclusion I can come to is that you have nothing but contempt for the younger generation.
So before you go expecting young people to have jobs, maybe you should remember that the circumstances that young people find themselves in is not of their own making. Out of all the people that you expect to have a job, why is it the young? One thing is for sure, simply wanting really badly to have a job, and going for interviews, and getting an education is not going to guarantee you getting a job. And your changes, Joe, mean that some of those who try hard will end up hungry and on the street. Life is dangerous in Hockey’s Australia.