Aussies on Centrelink payments like Youth Allowance and JobSeeker won't be getting a cash boost in next week’s federal budget, but all is not lost.
The Labor government has promised that, while there will not be any payment increases for those on welfare payments, other short-term measures to ease the cost of living will be announced.
Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic told ABC that, while he understands why some Labor backbenchers have called for an increase to the JobSeeker payment, it was not on the agenda for this budget.
“I certainly respect what is driving the motivation for a lot of my backbench colleagues. I understand why they have got an interest in it,” Husic said.
“We understand longer-term being able to lift the incomes of some of the lowest-income people in the country is really important.
“You just can’t rush something in for the sake of a budget now. This requires a lot of moving parts to be considered and we will look at that. It is something that has registered within the minds of the government.”
What cost-of-living relief will be in the budget?
We will have to wait for budget night on Tuesday, May 9 to find out all the details, but Husic said the government would be providing some relief to struggling Aussies.
“We have short-term measures that we are looking to announce to give people cost of living relief, but there is a longer-term consideration that needs to be given and we will do that in due course,” he said.
So far, we know that Aussies on medication will be able to get more for less after the government announced that, from September 1, Aussies will be able to buy two months’ worth of medicines for the price of a single monthly prescription.
At the same time, young Aussies who take on extra responsibilities caring for their loved ones will see a $768 cash boost to help them study.
The Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce and the Economic Inclusion Advisory Panel have both called on the government to raise the children’s cut-off age above eight years.