Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann is calling on the Morrison Government to end its cruel and confusing political games on JobSeeker and reveal its plan for the payment before the Eden-Monaro by-election on Saturday.
Millions of Australians on JobSeeker were left perplexed by the Government’s mixed messages on its plans for the payment this weekend.
On Sunday, senior levels of the Morrison Government briefed media on a permanent increase to the JobSeeker payment.
Yet, in a matter of hours, the Government issued a stunning about-face, pouring cold water on its reported plans for a permanent increase.
Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said she was unaware of such plans.
“Given I am the Social Services Minister, you’d like to think that I’d be aware of it,” said Minister Ruston.
Mr Neumann said the chaos and confusion within the Morrison Government on the JobSeeker over the weekend left millions of Australians on the payment shocked and perplexed.
“This week, a report from the Grattan Institute warned that Australia was headed for a ‘fiscal cliff’ unless relevant coronavirus related supports were continued, including a permanent increase to JobSeeker,” he said.
“The old base rate of JobSeeker, or the old Newstart Allowance, has been widely accepted as inadequate – with many Australians unable to put food on the table, or unable to afford the costs of searching for a job, or attending job interviews.
“Almost two million Australians are now on the payment.
“Since the pandemic, the number of Australians receiving unemployment payments has more than doubled.
“The Coronavirus supplement – which has temporarily increased the JobSeeker payment – ends in September.
“Millions of Australians are anxiously waiting to learn what level of support will be available for them after September.
“A ‘snapback’ to the old base rate of JobSeeker places millions of Australians at risk of falling into poverty. It also threatens the nation’s post-pandemic