Social Credit? Centrelink jobseeker overhauled with new ‘point-based system’

A sprouting seed of social credit?

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Australian jobseekers will now be required to earn ‘100 points’ a month by completing tasks and activities to keep receiving welfare payments.

CENTRELINK OVERHAUL

Welfare advocates are calling on the Labor Government to delay the rollout of a new mutual-obligation system, saying it will lead to “more punishments” and more automated payment suspensions.

From July 1, the list of job interviews, searches, income reporting and other tasks a person has to complete to get their JobSeeker payment is being scrapped and replaced with a Points-Based Activation System (PBAS).

The system, which was introduced by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment in 2020 in trial form, is due to replace the existing mutual-obligation system.

From July 4, the Jobactive program that has been running for many years will also be replaced by a new service called Workforce Australia Employment Services Provider.

Under the new system, those on Centrelink will have to earn “100 points” and do at least five job searches per month to keep getting payments, instead of having to submit 20 job applications.

To get these ‘points’, recipients must choose from a list of 30 activities that all have their own points value (ranging from 5 to 100), until you’ve made up the amount you need.

These tasks include online learning modules, attending job interviews or program participation.

 

While this new program allows more flexibility than the previous one, more tedious methods will now be required of job seekers to prove they deserve basic money to live.

For starters, certain programs are worth more than others, which gives off some pretty weird implications:

 

Programs like a PaTH Internship, the National Work Experience Program, and Launch into Work scheme are worth 25 points per week — if you do one a week, you’ll reach your 100 point target every month.

However, as we move down the list, other activities like Work for the Dole, the Adult Migrant English Program, and Skills for Education and Employment are only worth 20 points a week.

Which not only implies they are lesser tasks, it also means those who fill them out will have to do more of these tasks to reach their 100 point quota.

Be a good recipient and do as we ‘encourage’ you to do.

That being: An endless loop of revenue-generating, government-funded job schemes.

Other tasks recipients can pick up include five points for every five hours of paid work, 20 points for attending a job interview or 10 points for being a part of the Defence Force Reserves.

Pushing poor people into selling their bodies to the army? Fantastic.

Australians should definitely be a critical re: the concept of measuring the numerical worth of tasks people are forced to fill out just to be given welfare payments that are below the poverty line.

Edwina MacDonald, the Deputy Chief Executive of the Australian Council of Social Service, said she was concerned the system did not “provide the flexibility originally intended”.

She said it “risks reproducing the same issues that led to 200,000 people every month having their payment suspended in Jobactive”.

“Some people, particularly those with limited digital literacy or poor internet access, will experience significant challenges with the online reporting required,” she continued.

Kristin O’Connell, a spokesperson for the Antipoverty Centre, said there was “no transparency” about how the points were assigned to each activity or “how the computer is going to decide how many points you need”.

“The points are very unfair in that they don’t value people’s time,” she said, adding there had been little communication about the changes.

Instead of effective measures, this aims to turn recipients into just another number, rather than actual humans.

Perhaps this was the plan all along.

What is the deeper agenda at play with this new transition?

MYGOV: THE HOME OF DIGITAL IDENTITY

To contextualise, it is important to remind readers of the larger eco-system that welfare now exists in.

Centrelink is currently built into the government’s myGov system, which allows users to access a range of services (such as welfare) from one unique hub.

myGovID, expanding upon the familiar myGov system, has spent the two years going from beta to active status, currently allowing citizens the option of creating a digital identity that can then be used to log in.

It currently works like a digital equivalent of the 100 point ID check by using the ‘Document Verification Service’ to grant access, bypassing the need for security questions and traditional confirmation processes.

 

The new incarnation will soon incorporate the ‘Face Verification Service’ to verify identity documents like passports, Medicare cards and driver’s licences, and has now integrated with services like the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and others.

Starting to see the red flags here?

What happens when the traditional means are no longer an option, but mandatory?

Scan your face, earn your 100 points and we will permit you to have some money.

The Australian government has made public a new draft text of legislation designed to officially introduce an oversight body for the country’s digital identity scheme, meaning whole-of-service apps are coming.

Residents in New South Wales, for example, are already in line for a whole-of-government Digital ID that will let them connect their biometric details for access to services.

All centralised with the government, with all the services most will need moving forward.

Optional for now, but for how long will this last in a continued era of surveillance and control?

Could we be seeing the sprouting seeds of Australia’s social credit system?

Source: https://tottnews.com/2022/06/11/social-credit-centrelink-overhaul/

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