Unemployed Australians will have to wait beyond the October Budget for a crucial decision on the JobSeeker rate despite calls for a permanent boost to payments. Source: The Age.
The Morrison Government is “highly likely” to extend its coronavirus supplement into next year to sustain income support for those thrown out of work, but it will hold off on the decision until closer to Christmas.
The age pension will receive a boost within weeks, however, with Social Services Minister Anne Ruston revealing the October 6 Budget would include more money to help older Australians through the pandemic.
The timing of the JobSeeker decision will dismay the community and business groups that have urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to lift the base rate above $565.70 a fortnight to keep families out of poverty.
About 1.4 million people receive JobSeeker and another 170,000 receive a form of Youth Allowance, which is effectively an unemployment benefit for those aged under 22.
The Government increased benefits with a coronavirus supplement worth $550 a fortnight in April but it will cut this rate to $250 from next month, sparking warnings from the Australian Council of Social Service about the hardship imposed on families.
Senator Ruston said it was too soon to decide whether the supplement would stay at its current rate, given the uncertainty about the jobs market.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese has attacked the Government for cutting the coronavirus supplement and has called for a higher JobSeeker rate, while Greens leader Adam Bandt wants the permanent rate set about $1100 a fortnight.
Budget wait for JobSeeker boost, but supplement likely for new year (By David Crowe, The Age)