Tuesday, 2 September 2014
Social Security Legislation Amendment (Stronger Penalties for Serious Failures) Bill 2014; Second Reading
Your response to this, Senator Brown, indicates your sensitivity on this point. Senator Cameron, your shadow spokesman, did not mention this legislation. He did not mention one aspect of this legislation; he did not mention one clause of this legislation—and there is a reason for that. The reason is that it is very hard to defend your claims when you go to the detail. You can talk in abstract, but, when we put the facts on the table about how detailed the process is and about how many chances people have, surely it is reasonable that we eventually hold them to a standard. That is what the coalition is advocating here—nothing more, nothing less.
We will continue to have all of those safeguards so that the vast bulk, the 98 per cent of job seekers who do the right thing, want to get a job and are trying their best, will not be affected by this legislation. But the Labor Party's argument is that there should be no standards. We should not hold anyone to account at any stage. We take a different view and we do not shy away from it. I commend this bill to the Senate.