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Maharey Bill "Ideological Claptrap" - Newman

The Social Security Amendment Bill, which had its first reading in Parliament today was “ideological claptrap” and did nothing to help unemployed people get back into meaningful jobs, ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

Dr Newman described Social Welfare Minister Steve Maharey as the “U-turn Minister,” who had failed to live up to promises he made while in Opposition.

“He has reneged on his pre-election promise to remove work-testing for sole parents.

“The only promises he has kept is to effectively destroy the work-for-the-dole scheme – the most cost-effective and successful of all of the 30 or more programmes run by the Department of Work and Income,” Dr Newman said.

Dr Newman said 30,000 people had participated in the Community Work Scheme and gained a wide range of valuable work and life skills.

“Of those, 54 per cent went on to get jobs or go into further training.

“The Community Work Scheme is by far the most cost-effective programme, costing only $21 per week on top of the benefit. In comparison putting people through the Limited Service Volunteer Scheme, with significantly worse results, cost more than $500 per week,” Dr Newman said.

She said Mr Maharey had failed to listen to advice and retain a scheme that was in line with international best practice.

“With this Bill Mr Maharey has turned his back on the unemployed and has put hollow ideology above the concerns of people desperately trying to re-enter the work force,” Dr Newman said.


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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