‘Ageist’ jobs scheme faces major hurdle
YOUNG people in the inner city and working class Queensland suburbs looking for work are more likely be able to cash in on a $200-a-week wage subsidy, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison calls for action to prevent a "lost generation".
Budget centrepiece the JobMaker hiring credit, which pays employers a subsidy for every young person they hire under the age of 35, will face its first major hurdle as it heads to Parliament this week.
Senate crossbenchers are already questioning the scheme's age limit.
But Prime Minister Scott Morrison is urging support for the plan, pointing to new data which shows young people have been hit with joblessness at four times the rate of the rest of the population.
The areas most likely to benefit have also been revealed, with analysis showing the average age of inner-city electorates of Griffith and Brisbane are just 33, well below the cut off age of 35. Rankin and Oxley, in Logan and Ipswich, also have an average age of 33, as does Herbert in Townsville.
Mr Morrison said a plan was needed to help young people hit hardest by the recession.
"We also know from past experience that if young people lose work in a recession and can't find their way back, they risk becoming a lost generation," he said.
"We can't let this happen. We must do everything we can that young people do not start their working life on welfare."
JobMaker would pay a wage subsidy of $200 a week to businesses that employ someone aged 29 or under, and $100 a week for someone aged 30-35.
The Opposition has been critical of the scheme, with Opposition treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers last week saying the hiring subsidies may not support secure or permanent jobs, and that more than 900,000 Australians older than 35 had been "deliberately excluded".
Key crossbenchers Pauline Hanson and Rex Patrick have called the scheme "ageist" and "blatantly discriminatory".
Mr Morrison said the Opposition needed to show they were serious about youth unemployment by supporting the legislation.
"This is about supporting the young people who need the most help," he said.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data from March to September shows there has been a 6.1 per cent decrease in jobs for people aged 15-34, compared to a 1.4 per cent fall for jobs for people aged 35 and older.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said JobMaker would help up to 450,000 young people.
"This COVID-19 recession has cost Australians dearly. We should not allow it to cost young Australians their start in life," he said.
Originally published as 'Ageist' jobs scheme faces major hurdle