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Major hit to these Centrelink recipients: ‘Not going to happen’

The Centrelink sign on the exterior of a Services Australia building. A person holding $50 notes.
The Government has confirmed it does not plan to lift Centrelink payments. (Source: Getty)

Centrelink recipients will be left feeling disappointed after the Government ruled out a lift in unemployment benefits.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth today confirmed there would be no rise in unemployment benefits in the October Budget.

The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has called for the JobSeeker payment rate to be lifted from $46 to $70 a day.

An increase of that size would amount to $168 a week.

The organisation received the backing of independent senator David Pocock, who argued providing extra money for the unemployed made more sense than tax cuts for the wealthy.

Rishworth told ABC Radio this morning the Government had been "very clear" about its intentions with JobSeeker payments.

"At the moment, in the October Budget, this is not something that we're going to proceed with," she said.

"We'll assess it, budget by budget."

However, the Minister said she would continue to work with ACOSS and other organisations to remove barriers to employment.

Centrelink robodebt royal commission

This comes as the former government's failed robodebt scheme is set to be investigated after around 400,000 Aussies were unlawfully targeted with false debts.

The automated matching of tax and Centrelink data, to raise debts against welfare recipients for money the former Coalition government claimed to have overpaid, was ruled unlawful in 2019.

The royal commission is expected to cost $30 million, with the final report to be delivered to the Governor-General by April 18, 2023.

The Government wants to know who was responsible for it, why they thought robodebt was necessary, and any concerns raised regarding its legality and fairness.

  • With AAP

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