Crime and Youth Suicide set to Soar Under the Abbott Govt
The harsh and punitive measures unveiled in the Abbott Government Budget are set to create an underclass of Australian citizens consisting predominantly of those who are already disadvantaged; the elderly who depend on welfare to make ends meet, and the unemployed – especially young people.
The unemployment rate for 15 to 24 year olds is rising rapidly and those on Newstart benefits are on them for longer.
The national average youth unemployment rate 12.5 per cent however the figures vary from State to Sate and paint a more shocking picture.
In Cairns, the youth unemployment rate has jumped 88 per cent in two years.
In Brisbane’s south and west it is more than 60 per cent.
In Sydney’s Hills district it is up 73 per cent and in Melbourne’s east the increase is almost 50 per cent.
Today, one in five young people aged 15 to 24 in west and northwest Tasmania, in Cairns, and northern Adelaide are without a job.
Brotherhood of St Laurence executive director Tony Nicholson says youth unemployment has been climbing disproportionately since the global financial crisis began and is now more than double that of the entire workforce.
“Youth unemployment as high as 21 per cent in some areas of our country is a scandal for our young people, our communities and our economy,” Mr Nicholson said.
“That’s verging on the trainwreck economies of Europe but it’s happening here in a country which has endured relatively less economic turmoil than those countries in the eurozone.
“The plight of our young unemployed in Australia needs to be put in the spotlight because we are at serious risk of letting a generation fall on to the margins of society.”
Contrary to the views of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey, finding work is especially challenging for young people.
When retailers start recruiting shop assistants with university degrees, what hope is there for those who have no formal qualifications?
According to John Mendoza, younger Australians are being actively singled out by the Abbott Government. It is discriminatory, divisive and dangerous.
“The Government’s own figures show that only just over half (53 per cent) of all people under 30 who are on Newstart find a job within the new six-month limit.
More than one in four remain unemployed after 12 months on Newstart, not by choice but simply because the jobs are non-existent.
So the Government knows these young people will have no income at all after six months, except in special circumstances.
Australia already has an unacceptably high rate of youth suicide and self-harm. Suicide is the leading cause of death for men aged between 15 and 44 is suicide.
For women, nearly one in every three deaths for those aged 16-24 is a suicide.
It is a national tragedy that, every day in Australia, at least seven Australians take their own life and around 200 people will attempt to do so.
Every day more than 85 Australians are admitted to hospital as a result of deliberate self-harm.
Even without mental health problems, long-term unemployment and without access to basic social support, will on the available evidence put many young people at risk of suicide.
Punishing young people in such a harsh and uncaring way is no way for a first world Government to behave.
It’s reprehensible and unacceptable for we, as Australians, with a vested interest in the nation’s future, to stand by and let this Government throw a generation of young people onto the scrap heap and leave them desperate and destitute.
We simply cannot allow this to happen.