October 07, 2020

PAT CONROY, MEMBER FOR SHORTLAND: Well last night’s Budget was a grab bag of initiatives without a comprehensive plan to get the one and a half million unemployed Australians back into work, and tragically this Government has declared war on every single unemployed Australian aged over the age of 35. Let me repeat that: Mr Morrison has declared war on every unemployed Australian aged over the age of 35 through his wage subsidy which excludes the 920,000 Australians who are aged over the age of 35.
Just think about it for a moment. You might have lost your job during the COVID Morrison recession or you’re about to lose it because JobKeeper is being abolished, you’re then going onto the much reduced JobSeeker subsidy, you’re on a JobSeeker payment of only $40 a day because of this heartless Government, and then if you’re aged over the age of 35, you then go for a job interview where – what is your chance when the person next to you who is interviewing for the job is aged 29 and the employer gets $200 a week subsidy to hire that 29 year old but not that 45 year old?
So the question for Mr Morrison is why is a 36 year old unemployed Australian worth less than a 29 year old? Why is Mr Morrison making it harder for everyone aged over 35 - most of whom have families that depend on them to get new jobs – why is Mr Morrison potentially condemning a generation of older Australians who already face age discrimination, who already face real challenges re-entering the workforce, into further unemployment during this Morrison recession because of his decision to have the wage subsidy cut out at 35? It’s a disgrace. It’s incredibly concerning, and he needs to rethink this policy.