Rally against the youth allowance
By Alison Dellit
MELBOURNE — Around 100 people gathered on August 6 to protest against the federal government's common youth allowance (CYA) for all young unemployed and students. Speakers at the rally explained the impact on young people of work for the dole schemes, changes to the Young Homeless Allowance and up-front fees for undergraduate students.
Shane Paxton, from the Unemployed Action Group, explained how he had been witch-hunted for refusing to take a job 3500 kilometres from his home and pointed to the lack of options for young people under Howard's "family friendly" policies.
With the introduction of the CYA, unemployed people under 18 will be ineligible for support unless the government deems them homeless. Gina Settle, women's officer for the Victorian TAFE Students and Apprentices Network, talked about the plight of young women in abusive family situations and the callousness of a system which measures whether or not someone has been abused "enough" to receive the Young Homeless Allowance.
Unemployed people between 18 and 21 years old will receive less money under the new scheme.
Everyone who attended the demonstration was urged to get involved in the Coalition for a Living Income, which meets every Tuesday, 6.30pm, at Trades Hall.