Both Centrelink and Medicare services will be located a new look Maroochydore Service Centre from Monday 18 May.
Both Centrelink and Medicare services will be located a new look Maroochydore Service Centre from Monday 18 May.

Dole change: Jobless won't have to apply for 40 jobs a month

A WIDESPREAD backlash has forced the Federal Government to scrap its plan to force unemployed people to apply for 40 jobs a month in order to receive taxpayer-funded employment benefits.

Instead it will keep the current requirement of 20 applications a month in place under its revamped $5.1 billion employment scheme which was initially revealed in this year's budget.

However, the government has no plans to scrap its controversial work-for-the-dole scheme which would see jobseekers complete up to 25 hours a week of community work in order to keep their dole payments.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Tuesday the government had consulted with the community to refine the process and dismissed suggestions his government had bowed to pressure.

"Surely the whole point of consultation is to refine and, where necessary, adjust what you are doing and some people might like to put a pejorative on it," he said.

"Is this not the whole point of consultation?

"Consultation that cannot result in any change is meaningless and the consultations that this government has will be fair dinkum."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said on Tuesday it was about time the government backed down from one of its long list of "stupid ideas".

"They have backed down on the stupid idea of asking people to send 40 job applications each month which was clearly going to become a beauracratic nightmare," he said.

"Small business could not believe it when they heard the government come up with this stupid idea."

Employment Minister Senator Eric Abetz, who released tender details about the re-gigged employment package, called on organisations that had the capacity to help more job seekers find and keep a job to submit proposals.

- APN NEWSDESK.


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