Centrelink to cut youth benefits

Planned cuts to Newstart to hit students where it hurts

Under 25 and on Centrelink benefits? Brace yourself. More welfare cuts are coming.

Further welfare cuts on the table

  • Following the raft of unpopular cuts the government have announced in recent months, along comes another set of proposed changes.
  • In order to fund higher child care rebates for working families, the government have decided to cut welfare payments to young people aged under 25.

What are the proposed changes?

  • The government is hoping to pass a bill that will mean anyone who is unemployed and aged under 25 years old will no longer be able to receive Newstart.
  • Instead, these young people will be placed on Youth Allowance.

What will the impact on benefit payments be?

  • As a result, unemployed people under 25 years old will lose $45 a week.
  • Newstart currently pays them $528 a fortnight, but under Youth Allowance, their benefit payment will drop to $438 a fortnight.

But that’s not all

  • If losing $90 a fortnight isn’t a big enough hit for unemployed young Aussies, there’s more.
  • A new four week exclusion period will also be introduced.

Four week wait for benefit payments

  • Anyone under 25 years old who becomes unemployed will have to wait for four weeks before Centrelink will pay them any benefits.
  • The government claim they’ve set aside emergency funds to help young people who are experiencing genuine hardship during this four week waiting period.
  • But that’s likely to be little comfort to young Aussies who find themselves unemployed and struggling to get by.

What are they thinking?

  • The government say these measures will help address youth unemployment.
  • They say that reducing the amount of the benefit Centrelink pays to young people will encourage them to instead find work and become self-sufficient, or further their education and training to make them more employable.

Student groups are furious

  • Groups advocating for young Aussies, such as the National Union of Students (NUS), are already furious with Centrelink following the recent mess around their attempts to falsely accuse many students of welfare fraud.
  • The NUS are angry at this proposal to force students under 25 onto the lower Youth Allowance benefit payment.
  • They say it’s a really unfair proposal that will impact those who are already struggling to get by.

Have your say!

  • What do you think of these proposed changes for unemployed people under 25 years old?
  • Do you think they’ll help reduce youth unemployment, or just make life even harder for young people?