The Morrison Government is enhancing our social security safety net by increasing support for unemployed Australians while strengthening their obligations to search for work. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that the JobSeeker rate for almost two million Australians will increase by $25 a week from April 1 after the government phases out its coronavirus supplement.
At the moment, an eligible single person with no children is paid $715.70 a fortnight, of which $150 is the coronavirsu supplement.
Of this, $565.70 consists of the JobSeeker payment and $150 consists of the coronavirus supplement.
When the coronavirus supplement ends on March 31, 2021, the allowance will have fallen back to $565.70.
But with the announcement made by the government yesterday, adding the additional money to the fortnightly allowance, from April 1, the new JobSeeker rate will therefore be $615.70 a fortnight or $307.85 a week.
That calculates to just under $44 a day and the social libertarians say is mean. An expert on channel Nine said the weekly rent in Sydney is $460 per week (or $65.71 per day) which is way more than what the government is giving to the most vulnerable.
In their defence, the government says this increase is the biggest single increase in allowance since 1986.
“It is true that it is the single-largest increase in the JobSeeker payment since the mid-’80s, year-on-year, that is true,” Mr Morrison said.
“But I think the more relevant feature to focus on is its percentage of the minimum wage. It brings up from 37.5 per cent to 41.2 per cent.”
In light of the pandemic assistance program’s coming off, there had been pressure on the government to increase the payment.
“People have been saying forever that you can’t live on $40 a day and the committee and the government agree with that and there’s been pressure on the government to increase it,” 9News political reporter Chris Uhlmann told Nine’s morning TV program Today .
“It was doubled last year with the COVID-19 payment – that’s coming down now and is due to run out by the end of March.
“So the government had to decide what to do permanently.”
JobSeekers’ New Obligations
To receive the payment, unemployed people from April 1, will have to conduct 15 job searches a month (currently 8) , and then on July 1, 20 job searches a month.
When someone has been on unemployment benefits for six months (or more), they will be required to enter intensive training programs to become “employable”.
“We will also, after six months of being on welfare, require people to enter into an intensive training stage,” Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said.
“In other words, we’re going to give them the best chance they can to do a short course to enhance their skills or to do some work experience.”
The unemployed when offered a job, will not be able to turn it down without reason. They will be dobbed in. Employers will also now be able to contact the government if an unemployed person is offered a job and turns it down.
“Remember, this is all about getting people off welfare and into work,” Senator Cash said.
“The best form of welfare is a job, and we will do everything that we can to move people from welfare into work.”