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The mutual obligation policy in Australia : the rhetoric and reasoning of recent social security policy

Parker, Stephen and Fopp, Rodney 2004, The mutual obligation policy in Australia : the rhetoric and reasoning of recent social security policy, Contemporary politics, vol. 10, no. 3-4, pp. 257-269, doi: 10.1080/1356977042000316718.

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Title The mutual obligation policy in Australia : the rhetoric and reasoning of recent social security policy
Author(s) Parker, Stephen
Fopp, Rodney
Journal name Contemporary politics
Volume number 10
Issue number 3-4
Start page 257
End page 269
Total pages 13
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Oxon, England
Publication date 2004
ISSN 1356-9775
1469-3631
Keyword(s) mutual obligation policy
Australia
unemployment benefits
social security
Summary Since 1997, the Australian Federal Liberal Government has introduced policies which have sought to reduce rates of unemployment, particularly long-term unemployment. The policy, known as Mutual Obligation, increased the expectations on unemployed people in return for their social security payment. At the same time, previous labour market programmes and government assistance schemes were scrapped or privatised. This article explores the justification of the term 'Mutual Obligation' by examining both the language and the underlying principles of the policy. By defining the problem of unemployment in terms of flaws in the previous social security system, the stage is set for the government to introduce policies which remedy those flaws by emphasising self- reliance in favour of government assistance. Further, by invoking notions of fairness and mutuality, the article argues that the term 'Mutual Obligation' masks both the extent and the strength of the obligations imposed on unemployed people.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/1356977042000316718
Field of Research 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30043275

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Education
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