The Federal Treasurer has strongly indicated that the JobSeeker supplement will be extended beyond December.
This comes barely a week after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced extensions of both the JobKeeper and JobSeeker schemes to the end of the year, albeit with cuts of $300 to both.
In comments to ABC Insights on Sunday, Frydenberg said he and Prime Minister Scott Morrison had “given ourselves the flexibility to assess the future of JobSeeker” towards the end of this year.
“We're favourably disposed to continuing it, but we've got to do an assessment of where the jobs market is at that time,” Frydenberg said.
“It's about getting the balance right so that there are incentives for people to return to work, and at the same time, providing the safety net, the cushion to the blow.”
After the JobSeeker supplement extension was announced, the Treasurer faced calls to increase the base rate of JobSeeker, with several social groups and unions claiming that $40 a day put people below the poverty line.
The economic crisis will place Australia’s budget in the red by a total of $281.4 billion by the end of 2020-21.
Treasury last week forecast the unemployment rate to hit 9.25 per cent by December. Without the government’s income support payments, this figure would be 5 per cent higher, Frydenberg said.
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