Tony Abbott says the unemployed can't wait for the dream job. Photo: Jonathan Ng
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has declared that people on unemployment benefits have "no right" to hold out for their dream job and should take any position they are reasonably able to do.
"If there is a job available you don't really have the option of failing to accept it if the alternative is life on unemployment benefits," Mr Abbott said in South Australia on Saturday.
"A condition of receiving unemployment benefits in this country under both Labor and Liberal governments has been that you've got to look for work and you've got to accept any work that you can reasonably do."
Under changes announced in the Abbott government's first budget, people up to 30 years old will have to wait six months for unemployment benefits and then will have to work for the dole. The changes are expected to take effect in 2015.
Mr Abbott's comments come after the Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews told Fairfax Media that "the best way to get the job you want is to have a job in the first place".
Asked if he supported Mr Andrews' remarks, Mr Abbott said: "People have no right to hold out for the job of their dreams while they are on unemployment benefits. They have to accept any job that they can reasonably do that is offered to them, and frankly that is the least...that people should be prepared to do under those circumstances."
The Prime Minister defended the "tough decisions" the government had taken in the budget as the Opposition, the Greens and the Palmer United Party threaten to block parts of it in the Senate.
"We believe in this budget," he said. "We believe that the measures are absolutely necessary for the long-term strength of our country and we intend to get these measures through."
He said he was "confident" the Coalition would get its budget through the upper house.
"As everyone who leads a government ... understands, you've got to negotiate your legislation through the parliament. Sure, we will talk to the appropriate people in the parliament at the right time but these measures are necessary."
"I am confident that independent and minor parties in the Senate will engage constructively with the government on the budget. I am confident that the government will in the end get the budget through the Senate because, let's face it, there have been many governments over many years that have had to negotiate budgets through the Senate and ... I think it's always been successfully done."
Asked about the Opposition's claims that the average Australian household would be $6000 a year worse off under budget changes, Mr Abbott said he was "confident that the analysis that the opposition put out was misleading in some respects".
"It's mostly based on the Schoolkids Bonus withdrawal and we were very upfront with people before the election that the Schoolkids Bonus was going because it's a cash splash with borrowed money."