Saturday, 23 Sep 2023

Coalitions $50 jobseeker rise more generous than Labors proposal, Pocock says

Coalitions $50 jobseeker rise more generous than Labors proposal, Pocock says


Coalitions $50 jobseeker rise more generous than Labors proposal, Pocock says

The Morrison government's post-Covid decision to lift jobseeker payments by $50 a fortnight helped more people than the Albanese government's mooted 55-plus budget proposal, the key crossbench senator David Pocock says.

With less than a week to go until the budget is handed down, advocates and MPs are becoming increasingly concerned the Albanese government's second budget will not do enough to help those living below the poverty line, or help women re-enter the workforce.

Pocock said the Albanese government risks being less generous than even the Morrison government if it does not raise jobseeker for all.

Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library for Pocock found the Morrison government's decision to lift low income support payments by $50 a fortnight in 2021 helped more people than would the 55-plus boost the Albanese government looks poised to implement in next week's budget.

The Coalition raised the rate of jobseeker, youth allowance, youth disability support pension, parenting payment and Austudy by $50 a fortnight from 1 April 2021, after scrapping the Covid subsidy, which temporarily doubled income support and lifted more than a million people out of poverty.

At the time, there were 1.2 million people receiving jobseeker. The number of people on jobseeker is now estimated to be about 1.4 million. If the government moves ahead with only raising jobseeker for people aged 55 and over, 685,000 people will miss out on help. Currently, people aged over 60 can receive up to $745.20, which is an extra $52 a fortnight than the jobseeker payment for under 60-year-olds.

Pocock said he wanted to give the government the benefit of the doubt leading up to the budget, but it looked like younger people were being left behind.

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