Labor has called on the government to immediately bring on laws for debate allowing businesses that hire unemployed young people to be paid at least $100 each week by taxpayers.
The government has been badgering Labor for the past week to support the laws, but has not listed it for debate in parliament until at least Tuesday afternoon.
Opposition business manager Tony Burke told parliament on Monday – just after question time – Labor would facilitate passing the bill through the lower house.
“Legislation doesn’t just magically waft through this place – someone has to move it and someone has to bring it on,” Mr Burke said.
He said the government was more interested in wedging Labor than dealing with the bill.
Employers that take on jobless people aged under 30 will receive $200 a week, while those who hire people aged between 30 and 35 will receive regular payments of $100.
The federal government expects the $4 billion program to help create 450,000 jobs over the next 12 months.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said people aged under 35 were four times more likely to have lost their jobs or had their hours cut during the coronavirus economic crisis.
“We also know from past experience that if young people lose work in a recession and can’t find their way back, they risk becoming a lost generation,” he said on Monday.
“We can’t let this happen. We must do everything we can that young people do not start their working life on welfare.”
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said Labor had no problem with young people being given support but was concerned 928,000 jobless people aged over 35 would miss out.
Labor wants the bill referred to a Senate committee for close examination once it passes the lower house.
“The fact is that we’ve been supportive of all measures, but what we have done at the same time is point out inadequacies,” Mr Albanese told reporters in Canberra.
“We’ll pass it through the House of Representatives, but it is appropriate that the detail of schemes get examined because we’re concerned that so many Australians have been left behind.”
The prime minister points out Labor electorates are likely to be the biggest winners from the program, as they are home to high numbers of young people.