If you thought this week’s federal budget would announce a decision on the fate of the temporarily increased JobSeeker payment, think again.
The government will announce this year’s federal budget on Tuesday night, which is expected to include tax cuts for anyone earning under $200,000, incentives for first home buyers and *checks notes* nothing about JobSeeker.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has already confirmed to RN Breakfast that there will be no announcements regarding the JobSeeker payment, despite many campaigning for the government to permanently raise the payment.
“We have already said that the ongoing arrangements in relation to JobSeeker payments will be announced later this year,” Cormann said.
“We will be making those decisions after we have had the opportunity to further assess how the economy recovers and how many people and to what extent people are able to get back into work.”
The coronavirus supplement (aka that extra cash that makes the JobSeeker payment somewhat liveable) recently got slashed by $300/fortnight, adding just $250 to the base payment.
As it currently stands, JobSeeker is set to revert to the absolutely abysmal pre-pandemic level of just $40/day on December 31, so… uhh, Happy New Year, I guess?
The pre-pandemic Newstart payment has not properly been raised in 25 years (excluding raising to reflect inflation), despite the fact that the actual cost of living in Australia has skyrocketed.
But despite the efforts of the Raise The Rate For Good campaign, which points out that people relying on the Newstart payment were quite literally living under the poverty line, the government basically said “no <3.”
Basically, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg asserted that the government’s priority is tax cuts, rather than raising the JobSeeker payment, despite evidence that a higher payment could actually benefit the economy as a whole.
But hey, I’m not the Treasurer. *shrugs*
There’s no word on exactly when the government will make a decision on the fate of the JobSeeker payment, but here’s hoping they feel like keeping it at a liveable amount, as a little Christmas treat.
We’ll be sure to update you with more information when the federal budget is announced on Tuesday night.