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New figures revealing the average time spent on the dole is two years undermine Wayne Swan‘s claim that the Newstart allowance is a “temporary payment” between jobs.

The figures, released through the Senate estimates process, bolster the case mounted by Labor MPs and the welfare sector to increase the dole on the grounds it is not just a short-term support system.

As of August 31, the average time a recipient spent on Newstart was 104.2 weeks. This did not take into account breaks for short-term jobs or while on other welfare payments.

Labor MPs yesterday took a different line from Families Minister Jenny Macklin, who caused a furore when she claimed on Tuesday that she could survive on the dole.

Ms Macklin angered welfare groups by claiming she could live on Newstart payments of $246 a week – or about $35 a day – while defending cuts…

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About Kenneth Robson

I studied at Adelaide Boys' High School, and the University of Adelaide, Medical School. graduating in 1961. My field of specialisation was Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Prior to establishing my practice in Adelaide, I spent 5 years working in India, and Papua-New Guinea, in the field of reconstructive surgery for leprosy. In retirement I joined the Australian Technical Analyst Association and passed the two examinations for a Diploma inTechnical Analysis, and the designation Certified Financial Technician (CFTe) by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.
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