The rules on who qualifies for unemployment benefits will be tightened to encourage the jobless to work.
“Australia’s income-support system is there as a safety net for people who genuinely cannot find a job, not as an option for those who simply refuse to work,”said employment minister Michaelia Cash.
The employment department released samples of reasons job hunters have given for remaining unemployed. They include:
- A 58-year-old man would not work for three hours on Sundays because that was when he played golf;
- A 19-year-old man turned down a job so as “to follow his dream of becoming an actor”;
- A 26-year-old man refused a job because “he doesn’t work with chickens”;
- A 50-year-old woman declined a receptionist job due to a “bad smell” in the office;
- A 33-year-old man rejected car-washing as “too difficult”;
- A 23-year-old man refused to become a driver’s assistant, because he wanted to drive.
The basic unemployment benefit in Australia is A$261.70 a week.