Liberal MP Andrew Laming has attacked businesses over their calls for an increase to Newstart, labelling them as liars.
On Monday, KPMG released its submission to a parliamentary inquiry, which said that the inadequacy of Newstart was preventing people from attending job interviews and that “it is insufficient for the unemployed to actively conduct a job search.”
There have been numerous calls from the business sector for an increase to Newstart, including the Business Council of Australia, Deloitte Access Economics, Ai-Group and Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia.
The KMPG report also concluded that an increase to Newstart would provide much needed economic stimulus, boosting domestic consumption, especially in regional areas.
Andrew Laming described these calls as ‘complete rubbish’ and said businesses were just after ‘a cheap headline.’
Andrew Laming’s comments have also placed him at odds with the following individuals and organisations who have called for an increase to Newstart:
• Former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard
• Former Nationals Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce
• Deputy Nationals Leader Senator Matt Canavan
• Liberal Senator Dean Smith
• Liberal MP Russel Broadbent
• Liberal National MP Andrew Wallace
• Former Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos
• Former Liberal MP Fiona Scott
• The Australian Council of Social Services
• Council of the Ageing
• National Seniors Australia
• St Vincent De Paul
• Catholic Social Services Australia
• Brotherhood of St Laurence
• University of NSW Social Policy Research Centre
• Jobs Australia
• Community Industry Group
• Universities Australia
How much longer can Liberals like the Prime Minister and Andrew Laming continue to bury their heads in the sand?
The economy is weak and getting weaker, the Liberals and Nationals have no plan to turn the economy around, and are preventing Australians from finding work by refusing to increase Newstart.
Andrew Laming on ABC News with Patricia Karvelas, Monday, 7 October 2019:
KARVELAS: Okay. But do you think that the current rate of Newstart makes it difficult for jobseekers to actually even front up to job interviews? I mean, that's what business is even telling us.
LAMING: Definitely not. It isn't preventing them turning up for job interviews-
KARVELAS: So what, business is making it up?
LAMING: That's incorrect. That's right. That's not right-
KARVELAS: Why is business saying it then?
LAMING: Because they can say anything they want in a free country, Patricia, but it's rubbish.
KARVELAS: But what's the motivation for business – the BCA and other groups - to say there should be a rise and Newstart to identify their own work, where they don't think people can front up and be job ready because they’re on such a small amount of money. Why would they sort of fabricate that?
LAMING: Cheap headline. Who knows? You have to ask them, to be honest. These payments can be-
KARVELAS: Well, they’re saying they're not fabricating. I have asked them questions about this. So on what basis do you say that they just making it up?
LAMING: Well, I'll put it this way Patricia. I meet more people without a job than the entire board of the BCA does every week of the year, and I talk to them, and those individuals can get to a job interview with the payments they receive. They can have a $200 bonus if they're in the appropriate age group and I want to go on PaTH. So what am I saying to those that make those comments? Complete rubbish. A cheap headline.
Media release - Tuesday, 8 October 2019