Welfare cuts to hit youth
EAST Lismore's Janaya Everingham is smashing stereotypes surrounding welfare recipients.
The 18-year-old gets Youth Allowance, attends high school, TAFE and a university access program, all while working part-time.
She's worried she, her mother Amanda Pellagreen who gets a parenting payment, and her friends will be worse off if Federal Budget welfare changes come into effect, especially with the Northern Rivers' high rate of youth unemployment.
Statistics from the Australian Local Government Association show 10.4% of people 15-24 in the region are unemployed and the share of part-time employment for this group shifted from 37.5% in 1999 to 50.4% in 2014.
Ms Everingham is concerned young adults trying to get ahead will be thrown into disorder if an unexpected situation occurs.
"The changes that could come worry me a lot," Ms Everingham said.
"My Youth Allowance payment is such a big help and I already get most of it cut if I work too much.
"If myself or my mum's payments were affected it would make a massive difference in our lives."
Ms Everingham worries her friends will also find themselves out of work without a lifeline if they lose their jobs.
"It's really hard to get a job if you're around 18 or so. Employers tend to want to employ younger teenagers who are cheaper.
"If they are between jobs having to work for payments will make it harder to find another job. That would be really horrible."
The Richmond River High student agrees Australia's national debt needs to be cut, but thinks other options should be explored.
"I worked and studied every day last week and I'm sure there are a lot of people like me worried about what's going to happen," she said.
"They need to find a way to make people who are always on the dole get to work or study without affecting others if they run into trouble."
Under the Federal Budget, recipients of either Youth or Newstart Allowance aged under 30 will have to wait six months before getting payments, although there are exemptions.
Eligibility for Family Tax Benefits and other parenting payments will be affected, with $6 billion cut from family welfare.