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‘Dole bludger’ Jez Heywood who is Australian Unemployed Workers Union president hits back in row


A graphic designer who has been on unemployment benefits since 2017 has hit back at critics who accuse him of defrauding taxpayers with a post that “proves” how many jobs he’s applied for in the past two weeks.

Jez Heywood, 47, has been an outspoken advocate for increasing JobSeeker payments and has had a bitter war of words with Sydney 2GB presenter Ben Fordham, who told him to ‘get a job’ last Friday.

To prove that he is actively looking for work, Mr. Heywood an apparent Centrelink statistic showing he had fulfilled his ‘mutual obligation’ to apply for the minimum requirement of 10 jobs in two weeks and beat it by one.

“For all the idiots telling me to get a job who clearly don’t know how reciprocal obligations work, please: 11 applications in the last two weeks,” he wrote.

Mr Heywood, who chairs the Australian Un Employment Workers Union, also posted a Seek job posting for a graphic designer in Hawthorn, an inner-east Melbourne suburb, saying there had been 100 applicants for the position.

Jez Heywood, 47, has been unemployed since 2017 and strongly supports increasing payments to JobSeeker

However, this “evidence” was met with opposition from some social media users.

“I don’t have a horse in this race. As far as I know there are some very good reasons why you are currently out of a job, but the fact that you applied for 11 jobs proves nothing anyway,” one person wrote.

“You wrote one request and hit submit 11 times, maybe 10 minutes of effort,” was another accusation.

But some jumped to Mr. Heyworth’s defense, saying, “It’s pretty obvious that the truth has really hurt some people!”

Another said: “What was done to you is beyond horrific. There must be consequences (for this)…destructive bullying.”

MR Heywood posted 'proof' that he had applied for 11 jobs in the past two weeks, exceeding the minimum requirement to remain on JobSeeker

MR Heywood posted ‘proof’ that he had applied for 11 jobs in the past two weeks, exceeding the minimum requirement to remain on JobSeeker

Mr Heywood has been at the center of a media frenzy since he told The Australian last week that the extra $2.85 allocated in the budget for people on JobSeeker on Tuesday was ‘absolutely nothing’.

After telling the newspaper he has limited job opportunities due to health problems, Mr Heywood said he would be homeless if he didn’t live rent-free in a granny flat on his parents’ estate in Melbourne.

On Friday, Fordham gave Mr Heywood blunt advice.

“Jez says you have to weigh every financial decision you make,” he told his breakfast listeners on 2GB.

“Why don’t you weigh up to get a job?” Any job? Because we’re here to tell you that there are half a million available right now.’

In response, Mr Heywood called Fordham a ‘bully’ and challenged him to a face-to-face conversation in the studio – while demanding higher Social Security benefits for Aussies on benefits.

Figures show 40,000 Australians have been on JobSeeker for over 10 years, despite over 400,000 job openings nationwide

Figures show 40,000 Australians have been on JobSeeker for over 10 years, despite over 400,000 job openings nationwide

“Ben Fordham is a coward and a bully who has been pot-shotting welfare recipients from the safety of his cozy radio studio for years,” Mr Heywood told Daily Mail Australia.

“This well-paid weakling benefits from demonizing the most vulnerable in our society who struggle to survive on $49.50 a day, less than half the poverty line.

“If Ben wants to shoot his mouth off further, I defy him to have me in his studio where he can look me straight in the eye and tell me what he thinks to my face. However, I doubt he has the guts to do that.’

He also took aim at Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, the unemployed man also called for benefits to continue.

“Albanians’ budget was a disastrous failure from someone who promised ‘Nobody Left Behind,'” Mr. Heywood raged.

“He has ignored the pleas of the AUWU, ACOSS, his own backbenchers and even his own report from the Economic Integration Advisory Committee, which recommended substantially increasing the number of job seekers.

“People are desperate. People have to make unnecessary sacrifices, choose between food, heating and medicine, in order to survive. People live in tents.’

On Monday night, single mom Jessica Blowers tearfully told Treasurer Jim Chalmers on ABC’s Q&A program that she had 100 competitors for every job opening.

“When I apply, I’m told that over 100 other candidates have applied for the same jobs — I’m not sure how to compete with 100 other people for one job,” she said. said.

Ms Blowers said if she was temporarily taken off the more generous single-parent payment rate and placed on the lower rate for job seekers, it would mean she couldn’t pay her rent for a month.

Last Wednesday it was revealed that 40,000 people have been on JobSeeker for 10 years or more, despite a chronic labor shortage in Australia.

The Business Council of Australia highlighted the disturbing statistic, arguing that getting the long-term unemployed into employment is a failure.

Council President Jennifer Westacott said that in such a tight labor market there was something ‘deeply wrong’ with the job placement system that was unable to get people into work.

“This should be aimed at improving the job placement system, to create more incentives for people to enter and stay in the labor market,” Ms Westacott said.

Australia has been facing a chronic labor shortage since the pandemic closed the country’s borders and sent many long-term visa holders home.

Commenting on the 40,000 long-term recipients of a JobSeeker, Sky News presenter Paul Murray pointed out on Thursday that there are 438,500 job openings in Australia.

“Now I have no doubt that some of those people are chronically unemployed for a whole collection for various reasons,” Mr Murray said.

“But I refuse to believe that a football stadium of people (40,000) is unemployed in this country.”

Hiring firm Maxima says industries particularly clamoring for workers include food manufacturing, retail and delivery, healthcare, IT, transportation and warehousing, call centers and mining.

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