Rural Australians will be hardest hit by the Federal Government's revived proposal to make unemployed people wait longer before they can apply for welfare.
Department of Social Services figures separated into federal electorates show that of the 10 areas where most Australians are on Newstart, six are in regional areas.
And number one on the list is the NT's federal seat of Lingiari with 11,482 jobless.
The government is attempting to make changes to social security in a bid to save more than $290 million over the forward estimates.
One of the three changes in a bill - now set for the Senate - would make Australians wait up to six months before applying for some welfare payments, if they have $18,000 or more in liquid assets.
For couples, the figure is $36,000.
Labor's social services spokeswoman Linda Burney is hopeful the bill won't pass, and will speak to Pauline Hanson's One Nation about the proposal.
Ms Burney says the profile of someone on Newstart isn't in line with public perception, with most recipients over the age of 45.
"(The changes) are going to bite in places where it's really difficult to get re-employed if you're slightly older and lose employment, that's the danger of this," she said.
"Imagine a couple who have $36,000 in the bank, three kids, an old car, who have to re-train or move house, or someone gets sick. That's all there is between you and destitution.
"And destitution therefore creates other expenses, it's this rolling mess of ill-thought through policies and lack of communication between portfolios."
Electorates with most people in Newstart:
- 1. Lingiari, NT - 11,482 - Labor
- 2. Spence, SA: 11,040 - Labor
- 3. Leichhardt, Qld: 9160 - LNP
- 4. Grey, SA: 9032 - Liberal
- 5. Durack, WA: 8932 - Liberal
- 6. Fowler, NSW: 8557 - Labor
- 7. Kennedy, Qld: 8191 - Katter
- 8. Calwell, VIC: 7978 - Labor
- 9. Fraser, VIC: 7429 - Nationals
- 10. Page, NSW: 7429 - Nationals
- Source: Department of Social Services demographics June 2019
Senator Malarndirri McCarthy said Senator Sam McMahon must stand up for Territorians against the Government cuts .
"Senator McMahon needs to stand up for Territorians These cuts will disproportionately impact Territorians in their 50s and 60s, who have spent their entire working lives in the same industry, who are made redundant.
"Regional Australians are already doing it tough, they don't need Senator McMahon's Canberra mates making it tougher.
"Newstart needs to be increased and instead this Government is cutting payments, another example of the Morrison Government's agenda to punish the poor. Senator McMahon must stand up for our Northern Territory community and say enough is enough."
Senator McMahon today said to say the Government is cutting payments is misleading.
"The Payment Integrity legislation will make sensible changes to improve the long-term sustainability of our welfare payments system while maintaining appropriate support for those in need," she said.
"In 2018-19 the Government spent $111 billion of taxpayer money on social security payments - about one in every four dollars the Commonwealth spent."
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