CAEPR Working Paper 108/2016 described the number and pattern of social security penalties being applied to jobseekers participating in the Remote Jobs and Communities Program. The paper argued that more onerous requirements of jobseekers in the remote areas covered by that scheme was a major driver of their being overrepresented among those being penalised across the social security system. From 1 July 2015, under what was renamed the Community Development Programme, even more stringent requirements were applied – in particular, the requirement that 18–49-year-olds participate in Work for the Dole for 25 hours per week, five days per week, year-round. The paper predicted that this would lead to further increases in penalties. This paper analyses the first release of data about penalties applied under the new arrangements, covering the period from 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015. It shows that penalties have, indeed, increased at a startling rate, and provides further evidence of the disproportionate impact of this change on Indigenous people.
Keywords: income support, employment, participation requirements, compliance, Community Development Programme
ISSN: 1442 3871