Monday, 27 October 2014

Is the Abbott Government 'Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job' program shaping up to be a dud?

The Abbott Government Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job program commenced on 1 July 2014.

Eligible participants who have been unemployed for at least twelve months can receive financial assistance of up to $3,000 if relocating to a capital city, $6,000 if relocating to a regional area and an extra $3,000 if relocating with dependent children.

By 22 October 2014 only 145 people out of the estimated 745,500 unemployed persons across Australia (ABS 6202.0 Labour Force statistics September 2014) used this program to move from where they were living to take up a job elsewhere.

The Guardian reported that: In each state the majority of those relocating stayed within state borders. The largest number of relocations occurred within Queensland, where 26 of the 43 movers stayed in the state. Data showed that 30 people accessed the program from NSW, 27 from Victoria, 19 from South Australia, nine from Tasmania and six from WA. So far, no one has left the Northern Territory, but 15 people moved there from around Australia.
These 145 jobs are allegedly in accommodation and food services, manufacturing, and agriculture, forestry and fishing.

According to Federal Assistant Minister for Employment and Nationals MP for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker of these 97 men and 48 women, 42 were under 30 years of age and another 42 were between 30-40 years old.

With the national unemployment rate trending at 6% and only 0.019450033534540577% of the registered unemployed participating in this program to date, it is not shaping up to be a resounding success.

The former Federal Labor Government’s relocation incentives which commenced in early 2011 also did not have a high take up rate.

One has to suspect that the level of financial assistance on offer does not come close to meeting real life relocation costs for the majority of long-term unemployed Australians in 2014.

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