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Australian Government Coat of Arms

Budget | 2014-15

Budget 2014-15
Australian Government Coat of Arms, Budget 2014-15

Young people should be learning, or earning

The Government's decision to change eligibility for Newstart for under 30s is designed to prevent young Australians from becoming reliant upon welfare

Young jobseeker reforms

The Government believes that assistance to the unemployed should help them move into employment, rather than encouraging them to remain on welfare.

In order to reach their full potential, all young Australians who can work should be earning, learning or participating in Work for the Dole.

Income support eligibility changes

From 1 January 2015, new jobseekers up to 30 years of age applying for Newstart or Youth Allowance (Other) (YA(O)) will participate in job search and employment services activities which are funded by the Government for six months before receiving the payment.

Current recipients of Newstart and YA(O) up to 30 years of age will also be covered by the same requirements from 1 July 2015.

Young people who do not have a full capacity to work (i.e. their capacity is less than 30 hours), are in education or training, or have a significant disability will all be exempt from these requirements, as will those with parenting responsibilities.

Recognition for past employment

The waiting period will reduce depending on past employment. Part-time employment would also be recognised on a pro‑rata basis.

After six months, the jobseeker will be required to participate in at least 25 hours per week of Work for the Dole activities and will be eligible to receive income support for six months.

Unemployment rates by age
This chart shows two series over the time period 1979 to 2014. The first series is the unemployment rate for people aged 15 to 24 and the second series is unemployment rate for people of all ages (aged 15 and over). While the two series generally move in the same direction, the chart shows that the unemployment rate for people aged 15 to 24 is consistently higher than for people of all ages.

Employer wage subsidy

If the job seeker is unable to secure employment after six months of Work for the Dole and Newstart or YA(O), a wage subsidy may be available to an employer for six months.

Other assistance

Rather than continue looking for work, job seekers can elect to undertake training or study which may make them eligible for student benefits.

Further information

More information on these changes is available at:

Other changes in the Budget

Reinforcing the need for young Australians to either earn or learn, from 1 January 2015, young people aged 22 to 24 years may be eligible for YA(O) instead of Newstart.

Currently, a student can continue to receive payment even while they are overseas on a holiday.

From 1 October 2014, students will continue to receive payments while overseas but only in certain circumstances such as studying or a family emergency.

Budget repair

As part of the Government's commitment to repair the Budget, all allowances (such as Newstart) will have their income and assets test thresholds remain at their current levels for three years from 1 July 2014. There will be no change to the actual payment rates of these allowances.

Looking forward

Our welfare system is complicated and costly, and in this Budget we begin the work of making it strong for the future.

Under 30s:

  • Up to 6 month waiting period with job search obligations until qualifying for income support
  • Discount for previous employment
  • Strengthened activity and job search obligations
  • 25 hours per week Work for the Dole

Under 25s:

  • No longer eligible for Newstart; may qualify instead for Youth Allowance (Other)