Newstart indexed by less than 24 cents per day

On Friday, the Newstart payment was indexed by less than 24 cents per day, or $1.65 per week.

The indexation takes effect in the same week in which the Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force figures show that unemployment rose to a 16 month high of 716,800.

Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg say that the best form of welfare is a job. Yet underemployment is at a record high of 1,167,300 and one in five Newstart recipients – or over 130,000 – have a job, but do not receive either enough hours or income to get them off the payment.

It is clear that the current rate of Newstart is so low that it is stopping people from getting work.

People are unable to afford the basics and essentials, let alone items that they need to help them get back to work – like transport costs, clothes for job interviews, or internet bills.

And the economy is weak and getting weaker, and Scott Morrison has no plan to turn things around.

He is more obsessed with devising ways to humiliate and harass people desperately trying to re-enter the workforce, with urine tests, saliva swabs and cashless cards – all of which have proven not to work. People are right to ask, how will these create jobs?

Through the absence of a plan for Newstart, Scott Morrison is suffocating the economy and trapping people in poverty

LINDA BURNEY

MEDIA RELEASE

MONDAY, 23 SEPTEMBER 2019