Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews
Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews

Work-for-the-dole to expand with welfare reforms

THE Federal Government's work-for-the-dole scheme is set to be expanded as the government looks to reform some parts of its welfare funding.

After Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews last week announced a "review" of income support, a New South Wales Nationals MP says an expansion of work-for-the-dole was on the cards.

Assistant Employment Minister Luke Hartsuyker told News Corp that Prime Minister Tony Abbott was "very focussed" on the expansion.

He said the scheme would likely be expanded this year, to become compulsory, while the specific jobs to be limited to three months to prevent employers replacing staff with volunteers.

Mr Hartsuyker said the Abbott Government took a "very dim view" of those who refused to take work and stay on government benefits.

He said while many were genuinely looking for work, everyone who is capable of working should be.

His comments echo similar comments from Queensland Coalition backbenchers, with Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd last week hitting out at welfare rorters.

He said in a public meeting in Calliope that more needed to be done to stop the minority cheating the welfare system.

While Mr O'Dowd said it was not an attack on people on income support generally, there were those who claimed they needed the payments when they could instead be contributing by working.

Mr Hartsuyker said in a statement the government was reviewing the work-for-the-dole scheme, and was committed to getting long-term unemployed people back into jobs.



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