The federal government has bowed to public pressure and abandoned its plan to force job seekers to apply for 40 jobs each per month to access the dole.
Speaking to ABC Radio this morning, Employment Minister Eric Abetz confirmed dumping of the controversial policy, which members of the small business community said would create a red tape nightmare.
Instead, the government will maintain the current requirement for job seekers to apply for 20 jobs per month in its plan for the job services sector.
“We have listened to the community feedback, and whilst we are very strongly of the view that a job seeker should have as their full-time job, gaining employment, we do understand that for business it would be a burden and it might diminish the value of job applications if we have too many applications being undertaken,” said Abetz.
Abetz also confirmed in the same interview the government will extend the Work for the Dole scheme.
Unemployed people under the age of 30 will have to complete 25 hours a week to access welfare payments, while those aged between 30 and 50 will have to undertake 15 hours of work.
Plans for online IP database underway
The federal government will establish a “world-first” online database for intellectual property rights, reports Fairfax.
The database, which will be updated annually, is expected to include more than 350 million items, including details of rights to patents, trademarks and designs.
“Placing IP rights data on the web in a way that is easily searchable will make it easier for business to come together to innovate, create jobs and boost our economy,” said Bob Baldwin, parliamentary secretary to Industry Minister Ian McFarlane.
“The data includes information about IP rights applications that can be matched to individual firms along with information about their size, their technology and their geographic location.”
Shares down on open
Aussie shares have fallen sharply during earlier trading, following yesterday’s sluggish trading as a result of a public holiday in a number of states.
CMC Markets chief strategist Michael McCarthy said investors will today be watching a mooted deal between miners Glencore and Rio, while also keeping an eye on the statement from the Reserve Bank following its monthly meeting.
“No change is expected in interest rates, or the outlook for an ‘extended period of stability’,” said McCarthy.
“The likely focus for markets is any rhetoric around housing prices and level of the Australian dollar. For shares, today’s meeting is a hurdle to clear rather than a potential game-changer.”
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 80.9 points to 5212 points at 12.00pm AEST. On Monday, the Dow Jones closed 17.78 points lower, down 0.1% to 16991.9 points.