Immigrants in Australia asked to learn English within 18 months or lose Centrelink benefits under radical new policy
The new policy announced by Australia's One Nation party head Pauline Hanson would result in immigrants being deprived of $550 a fortnight in Newstart payments
Australia's One Nation party head Pauline Hanson has released a new radical policy which requires immigrants on Centrelink employment benefits to learn English within 18 months or lose their benefits. The policy reportedly applies to new arrivals if they want to keep the benefits. If immigrants on the plan fail to learn English within 10 months, it would result in them being deprived of $550 a fortnight in Newstart payments.
One Nation's News South Wales leader Mark Latham, while talking to Daily Mail Australia on Friday, said that the decision was taken in an effort to tackle "ethnic enclaves." Latham said, "Unless you have an incentive, people will continue down the current path which is a disaster for Australia."
Latham, while referring to the 2016 census, which showed that 820,000 people across Australia spoke little to no English, said: "It's a startling insight into how divided and segregated our society's been." He added that the issue of immigrants refusing to learn English has worsened during the past decade.
"A blase attitude, 'You can't pick on anyone who doesn't speak English', that's their right," he said. "It's not a right in Australia. It creates separatism. People don't have a common bond of citizenship, of belonging to the same society."
The former federal Labor leader also said that his area of outer Sydney had become more segregated now. "I've seen changes in western Sydney in the last 10 years that I never thought I'd see, and a lot of it is based around welfare dependency and non-English speaking ethnic enclaves," he said. "It's a product of low-skill migration, it's a product of certain ethnic groups that congregate in the ethnic enclaves."
Immigrants who fail to learn English within 18 months will lose their benefits under a radical new plan.— Robert C. Guzman (@AGConsultants) March 8, 2019
Immigrants on Centrelink will have to learn English within 18 months or they will lose their benefits under radical new plan... https://t.co/GmIlknGrsx
Latham, while speaking to the outlet, said that 18 months was long enough for someone to learn English.
"To get a job, it helps to speak English," he said. "To participate in community groups, lead a good social life, indeed it's essential to speak English."
The right-wing party member also pointed out that Islamic radicalization was more prominent in regions with lower levels of English and higher dependency on welfare.
"If you look at the map of terrorism-related arrests in western Sydney, there is a correlation between ethnic enclaves and those locations," he said, claiming that he wasn't targeting Muslims. He said thatIndian-Fijians of the Islamic faith had been "good citizens" who "worked and studied hard."