28 May 2014

Today in Question Time, Tony Abbott was caught out again, not knowing the impacts of his own Budget on young Australians when he dismissed a question about the Government's decision to cut all youth unemployment prevention programs.

When asked a direct question about his decision to cut all youth unemployment prevention programs, he didn't know what they were, dismissing them as:

"...changes to the funding of certain programs" (Tony Abbott, 28 May 2014)

The Government has entirely cut all funding to Youth Connections, Partnership Brokers and National Career Advice; all designed to assist young Australians finish school and get work.

In a spectacular display of self-defeating logic, Tony Abbott defended cutting these programs, saying:

"Don't waste your life. Leave school and either improve your education or get a job." (Tony Abbott, 28 May 2014)

"If Tony Abbott really wants young people to improve their level of education or get a job he will reinstate funding for these programs immediately," Kate Ellis said.

With local services not scheduled to close their doors until the end of 2014, the Government has an opportunity to learn the facts about what they have done in the Budget, and reverse this counterproductive cut.

"If Tony Abbott doesn't want his so-called 'youngsters' on unemployment benefits, why has he cut all youth unemployment avoidance programs?" Kate Ellis said.

These are the facts Tony Abbott should have considered about Youth Connections before slashing these programs:

" It has a success rate of over 80 per cent
" Almost 100,000 young have been helped to complete year 12 and get job ready
" 70 per cent of students are from regional Australia
" 20 per cent of students are Indigenous
" These programs cost just $128 million to run.