$1000 jobs bonus 'joke'

A SUNSHINE Coast employment agency director has described the Federal Government's plan to give $1000 to businesses which employ an over-50 worker as idiotic and out of touch.

Treasurer Wayne Swan announced the Jobs Bonus yesterday, which is intended to cut unemployment among mature-aged workers by offering employers $1000 to give them three months' work.

Mr Swan said 10,000 participating businesses nationwide would benefit over the next four years.

New Staff Solutions director Peta Simpson said the initiative was "more bull" from a government which did not have a clue.

"If you were an employer trying to make ends meet, would $1000 really make a difference?" Ms Simpson said.

"It is just the government throwing money at things without having any idea of what is actually happening to businesses."

Employers who take advantage of the Jobs Bonus will receive around $77 a week to employ the over-50 worker.

The scheme follows the release of the Economic Potential of Senior Australians report last year, which found a high need for older workers to re-enter the workforce.

"It's all about giving older Australians more choice, and the opportunity for some extra financial security if they want to keep bringing home a pay cheque in their later years," Mr Swan said.

Ms Simpson was adamant that despite the government's hopeful outlook, employers would not retain workers past the three-month threshold.

"I could see some businesses just taking the money, only to realise it's an idiotic quick fix which is not going to benefit them or the unemployed," she said.

"In a struggling workplace, it is only the employees with a 'can do, will do, will fit' attitude who will get a job -- $1000 will not make a difference to anyone's lives."

The bonus will start on July 1.



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