Federal Labor is calling on the Morrison government to release modelling of the economic impact of reducing the JobSeeker payment back to $40 per day.
The JobSeeker payment – formally called Newstart – was doubled to $1100 per fortnight in response to an anticipated spike in the unemployment rate in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the government has flagged this increase will only be for six months.
Labor’s spokeswoman for families and social services Linda Burney wants to see the modelling for the impact of reducing this coronavirus supplement.
She said last week the Department of Social Services estimated some 1.7 million Australians will require unemployment support by September.
“Yet the prime minister has been insistent that he will ‘snapback’ the JobSeeker payment back to $40 per day for millions of Australians on September 24,” Ms Burney said in a statement today.
She said this is the equivalent of ripping almost $1 billion a fortnight from household budgets.
“This sudden stop will have a significant impact on the Australian economy,” she said.
“The government needs to be honest about whether the nation is now edging closer to another economic cliff in the form of the prime minister’s promised JobSeeker snapback.”
The government had been adamant in not increasing the dole payment before the pandemic set in, despite widespread calls for an increase including Labor, the Greens, business, economists and the Reserve Bank.
Newstart, as it was, had not been increased in some 25 years, aside from twice yearly indexation against inflation.
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