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Young People Need Jobs Support Not Scapegoating

Youth unemployment is a serious issue that cannot be dealt with by making scapegoats of young people and taking away social security payments, according to Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on Youth, says comments by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott about removing unemployment benefits from people under 30 are all about making headlines but add nothing to the debate.

"This is another example of Tony Abbott being more interested in finding someone to blame for our problems than finding a real solution,'' Senator Hanson-Young said.

"Australia's level of youth unemployment is unacceptably high, but penalising and punishing young people is not the way to achieve change.
"We know that young people are disproportionately affected in any economic downturn.

"We should be finding ways to drive job creation and giving incentives for employers to take on young employees, not just cutting off assistance and telling young Australians to travel thousands of kilometres across country to find work.''

ABS figures show the national rate of unemployment at 5.3 per cent, compared to 24.9 per cent for those aged 15 to 19 seeking full-time work.

"We know that once you get that first job, it's easier to find other work in the future. We need to be looking at ways we can work with the business community, to encourage them to give young people that important first break," Senator Hanson-Young said.

"We need realistic and practical plans to tackle youth unemployment, not just glib one-liners that make young people the scapegoat and reinforce negative stereotypes.''

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