Looking for work a full-time gig: Prime Minister

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says looking for a job should be a full-time job.

Mr Abbott is defending the coalition’s proposed tough new rules for jobseekers, which will require them to apply for 40 jobs a month in order to claim unemployment benefits.

Mr Abbott believes the new requirements are the least taxpayers expect of people on the dole.

‘‘We want people to have the chance to show the world what they can do, not just what they can’t do,’’ the prime minister told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.

‘‘Looking for work should be a full-time job if it’s being done on the commonwealth taxpayer.’’

Businesses are concerned they will be inundated with fake job applications once the welfare reforms come into effect in July 2015.Treasurer Joe Hockey says the government is willing to consult on the changes.

‘‘It was always intended to be flexible but ultimately we need Australians who are on unemployment benefits to get into work,’’ Mr Hockey told ABC radio.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said without the support of business the government’s expansion of the work for the dole program was ‘‘dead in the water’’.

AAP

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