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Calls to make increased JobSeeker payment a permanent fixture


With the government preparing to hand down it’s eagerly anticipated mini-budget on July 23, calls are growing to make permanent the increased unemployment benefit payment rate a permanent fixture.

JobSeeker – formally known as Newstart, colloquially known as the Dole, was increased to about $1100 a fortnight during the peak of the pandemic, and ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie says the increase must stay.

“We want that done as a permanent, ongoing arrangement now so that people can rely on it while they are trying to wait for those jobs to come,” Ms Goldie told Money News host Scott Haywood.

Ms Goldie says the government should also prioritise what ACOSS calls ‘jobs rich investments’, things like increased social and low-income housing, as well as energy efficiency upgrades for existing government housing developments.

“It’s going to be tough, budgets are going extremely tight, we want to see economic activity jobs created in those types of areas… and of course really good social outcomes for the long term,”

Click play to hear the full interview: