Over-55s on Newstart: Career Transition Assistance

Article published 23 April 2019

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THE April Budget ignored them and the Response to the Budget ignored them.

During the election campaign neither the Opposition nor the Government will want to talk about them.

750,000 people on Newstart will not be on the agenda of the main contenders in this year’s federal election, even though that’s 750,000 Australians living third-world lives below the poverty line.

185,000 of those 750,000 are people over the aged of 55, many of whom are long-term unemployed and will never work again.

Is the Government doing anything for those over-55 on Newstart?


A Government media release says: “The Government announced in the 2018–19 Budget that it would bring forward the national rollout of Career Transition Assistance to 1 July 2019 and reduce the eligibility age from 50 to 45 to help more Australians increase their job readiness.”

In the Government’s words, Career Transition Assistance is a program to “deliver tailored support to Australians over 45, boosting their skills, strengthening their resilience and teaching new job-search techniques”.

Sounds good, but how about giving people on Newstart a decent increase in their payment first? Then they might be able to sort out their employment situation.

As it is, they’re scratching around for the money for a train fare to attend a job interview or, God forbid, an interview with the Career Transition Assistance program itself.


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