|JESUIT SAYS GOVT NEGLECTING DISABLED AND LONG TERM UNEMPLOYED|
The Federal Government is failing disabled and long term unemployed while it seeks to extend its programs for unemployed youth, according to the director of a leading Church welfare agency in Melbourne.|
Fr Peter Norden of Jesuit Social Services said: "The Federal Employment Minister simply could not imagine how to tackle the multiple disabilities of the long term unemployed young people we were working with."
Federal Employment Minister Tony Abbott has announced his intention to develop his "mutual obligation" programs for the young unemployed. But Fr Norden says apparent government successes on the youth unemployment front are concealing the increasing number of young unemployed who are being moved on to disability support pensions.
"The present government programs which make up Job Network are failing the long term unemployed and those with multiple disabilities", he said. "National job growth figures which the government regularly releases are concealing the fact that there is an increasing number of young unemployed who are being moved onto disability support pensions," he said.
"The failure of the Federal Government to even attempt to tackle this difficult issue is also evidenced in the 80% increase in the national prison population over the last ten years," he added.
Jesuit Social Services