Jay Coonan from the Antipoverty Centre talks about the research report he co-authored, Punishment for profit.
The report highlights how billions of government dollars are paid to corporate entities, supposedly to help unemployed people into work. Instead they punish and bully people they are meant to support, and force them into meaningless activities under the threat of losing Centrelink payments. In general, the 'Mutual Obligations' scheme (as it is known) impedes people from finding their way into paid work, traps them in poverty, and worsens their health and future life prospects.
The report offers a range of recommendations, including the government taking back responsibility for supporting people who are unemployed, rather than outsourcing the job to profiteers.
Jennifer Borrell & Jacques Boulet