Coronavirus recovery plan recommends JobSeeker increase of at least $100 per week

Jun 29, 2020

By SBS Australia 

Unemployment benefits would increase by at least $100 a week and households would receive direct cash cheques, under a newly-released coronavirus recovery plan.

The Grattan Institute has warned against withdrawing fiscal support too soon, echoing an early caution from the International Monetary Fund.

Instead, the institute has recommended the federal government spend between $70 billion and $90 billion on extra economic stimulus measures.

 

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week.

Government accused of playing 'cruel games' with JobSeeker after denying it's looking at boosting the rate

 

The Melbourne-based think-tank recommends the JobSeeker allowance should not "snap back" to its pre-coronavirus level of $40 a day.

But the federal government has denied reports it is planning a permanent increase to the welfare benefits for the unemployed. 

News Corp newspapers, citing senior ministers, on Sunday reported the JobSeeker payment would rise to $75 per day from $40 when the present enhanced version of the unemployment payment ends in September.

But Social Services Minister Anne Ruston was quick to shoot down the speculation labeling the reports "factually incorrect".  

 

Minister for Social Services Anne Ruston.

Minister for Social Services Anne Ruston.

AAP

 

The Grattan Institute also wants JobKeeper wage subsidies extended into next year and ineligible arts, university, tourism workers and temporary visa holders to be included.

It wants access broadened and the payment benchmarked to wages.

Treasury has reviewed both JobSeeker and the JobKeeper wage subsidy, but the findings won't be released until 23 July when Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivers a much-anticipated economic statement.

Labor's Treasury spokesperson Jim Chalmers has accused the government of keeping the report "secret" until after the Eden-Monaro by-election on 4 July.

He said the report was yet another warning against the government's current plan to withdraw economic support in September.

"Vulnerable Australians and businesses are increasingly anxious that they will be left out and left behind because of Scott Morrison's lack of a plan for jobs and the recovery," Mr Chalmers told AAP.

The Grattan Institute has also encouraged the government to introduce a higher, simpler means-tested childcare subsidy that would cover 95 per cent of costs for low-income families and boost female workforce participation.

 

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People are seen queuing outside a Centrelink office in Bondi Junction, Sydney.

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The institute called for direct cash payments for households to boost spending and for governments to spend between $20 billion and $40 billion on services, small infrastructure projects and social housing.

In addition, to get the unemployment rate back down to five per cent or below by mid-2022 - it is currently at 7.1 per cent and rising - governments will need to add to the temporary stimulus by spending another $20 to $40 billion on services, infrastructure and building social housing.

"Assuming interests rates remain low, governments should be in no rush to consolidate their budgets while economies remain weak in Australia and across the globe," the report says.

The post about “Coronavirus recovery plan recommends JobSeeker increase of at least $100 per week" first appeared on the SBS Australia website.

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