FAMILY FIRST MLC Robert Brokenshire has laid blame on the State Government for the sad situation revealed by Family First today, whereby some 1,400 South Australians have been receiving a Newstart unemployment pension for over 10 years. The figures, obtained by Mr Brokenshire under Freedom of Information laws, also show that:
- At least 10 South Australians have been receiving Newstart for at least 22 years since Newstart began – and arguably longer, if they were on the former ‘unemployment benefit’ before that;
- 55 South Australians have been on Newstart for over 20 years.
“Family First believes that State Labor, in office now for 12 of those years, has to take the blame for long term unemployment like this”, Mr Brokenshire said.
“Labor have reduced job creation and training opportunities during their time in office, and now been the Party that have seen the collapse of Mitsubishi and now Holden in this state, and the failure of the Olympic Dam mine to expand.
“Labor have taxed and charged businesses out of existence or, if they have survived, out of having the capacity to provide employment. The combined cost of Workcover levies, payroll tax and land tax cripples business here, as they pay more on those three key indicators compared to any other state. Labor must provide relief for employers so that they can grow their businesses and provide more jobs.
“I also call upon the Government to use the information obtained by Family First today to target job creation initiatives in those areas where people have been unemployed for a very long time. It is soul-destroying for the individual and their family to be on unemployment benefits for 10, if not 20 or more, years. To give a person dignity when they have work capacity, they need to be able to work.”