The Greens are pushing to almost double the JobSeeker rate to $88 a day, a figure that would amount to a tax-free collect of about $32,000 per year.
The hike would cost taxpayers about $88billion over four years but the Greens say it could be paid for by scrapping the government’s stage three tax cuts for all workers on more than $45,000.
Under the Greens plan, it would be more lucrative for someone to stay on the dole than take part-time or casual work or a low-paying full-time job.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has hit back at the proposal, saying it would encourage people to stop working in the middle of a labour shortage.
Senator Hanson told Daily Mail Australia: ‘Hard working Australians will look at their neighbour lounging around on more than $30,000 a year funded by taxpayers and will think: why I am still working?
The Greens are pushing to almost double the JobSeeker rate to $88 a day, a figure that would amount to a tax-free salary of about $32,000
‘This will only encourage more people to stop working, when we should be encouraging people to get off the couch and get a job – especially during a critical shortage of workers.
‘Unemployment benefits are supposed to be a helping hand while people look for work, not a lifestyle choice.’
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth on Tuesday confirmed the new Labor government will not be increasing the JobSeeker rate from $46 a day in its October Budget, but hinted it could go up in subsequent years of the Labor government.
‘We’ve been really clear that, at the moment, in the October budget, this is not something that we’re going to proceed with,’ she told ABC Radio.
‘We’ll assess it budget by budget. And if there is room in the budget, of course, that that’s how we have to deal with a whole lot of competing measures.’
The Morrison Government raised the JobSeeker rate by $50 a fortnight – or $3.75 a day – in February 2021
Greens social services spokesperson Janet Rice responded by saying Labor could find more money to fund a welfare increase by cancelling tax cuts which will deprive the taxman of $243billion over ten years.
‘Labor can find plenty of room in the budget to give billions in welfare to people like Clive Palmer, but nothing for Jobseekers,’ she said in a statement.
‘Here’s an idea: instead of handing out over $243 billion in Stage 3 tax cuts for the rich, raise the rate of income support payments for people living in poverty.
‘We are in a cost of living crisis and people can’t even afford the basics to get by.
‘Minister Rishworth is choosing to make life harder and more stressful for people on income support…. poverty is a policy choice.’
The Morrison Government raised the JobSeeker rate by $50 a fortnight – or $3.75 a day – in February 2021.
That increase was well below the $25 a day increase demanded by the Australian Council of Social Services, which would have taken the rate to about $70 a day.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has hit back at the proposal to raise JobSeeker, saying it would encourage people to stop working in the middle of a labor shortage
The group’s acting chief executive Edwina MacDonald said she would be lobbying government for a big increase at the Job and Skills summit which starts on Thursday.
‘To lift people out of poverty and strive for full employment, it is critical that we have adequate income support so that people can cover the basics and search for employment,’ she said.
Even though unemployment is historically low at 3.4 per cent, the number of long-term unemployed people remains high.
As many as 80 per cent of the 890,000 Australians receiving unemployment payments are classed as ‘long-term unemployed’, meaning they have been on the dole for a year or more.
Some 36 per cent have been on the dole for five or more years and 18 per cent have been on a payment for 10 or more years.
Only 40 per cent have a partial capacity to work (due to disability or health concerns), meaning most recipients are perfectly able to get a job.
Senator Hanson wants welfare stripped right back to encourage Aussies to take up jobs.
Her policy is that the dole should only be available for two years out of every five for recipients capable of working.
‘I’d like to see a lot of them get off their backsides and go and start working,’ Senator Hanson said.
‘Instead we’re have fourth generations sitting on the bloody dole in this country and they think it’s a way of life for them.’
Greens promise to legalise weed, ban petrol cars and wipe out student debts: Read the party’s VERY ambitious plan to change Australia
The Greens’ policies include pledges to legalise marijuana, wipe student debt, make childcare free and ban petrol cars.
Here Daily Mail Australia takes a look at their policies that would cost hundreds of billions.
Wipe student debt
The Greens want to wipe all student loan debts, meaning Aussies with student loan debt would not be required to pay it back.
‘Student debt should not be an added burden on people who are already struggling, especially after the impacts of the pandemic,’ said Education spokeswoman Mehreen Faruqi.
The Greens are promising to scrap all student loan debts if the party is able to secure the balance of power at the federal election. Pictured: Leader Adam Bandt
‘Many current MPs, including the Prime Minister, went to university when it was free, but now students are being saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in study debt that often takes decades to repay.’
In 2020-21, the average student debt in Australia was $23,685. The total value of HELP debt in 2020 was $66.6billion.
The Greens also want to make childcare, school, TAFE and university free.
University was free in Australia from 1974 but fees were re-introduced in the 1980s.
The Greens believe drug use should be treated as a health issue, not a criminal issue.
They would legalise, tax and regulate cannabis, fund pill testing at festivals and establish safe injecting facilities in each capital city.
The Greens want to set up a regulated cannabis market with an Australian Cannabis Agency to issue licences for production and sale and ensure quality.
The Greens believe drug use should be treated as a health issue, not a criminal issue
Aussies would be allowed to grow six plants at home for personal use but there would be big fines for selling without a licence.
Adverts for the drug would be banned.
‘The major parties in this countries are intent on pushing forward a policy that criminalises drug users, supports an unregulated and dangerous market and makes people fear seeking help when they need it,’ the Greens say on their website.
Ban petrol cars
The Greens want to immediately ban the construction of new coal, oil and gas infrastructure.
Their target is to phase out the mining, burning and export of thermal coal by 2030.
They also want to stop subsidies for fossil fuel companies, ban political donations from these industries and re-introduce a carbon price.
The Greens would also end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, subsidise electric cars and build charging stations across the country
They would spend billions on renewable energy and storage to make sure Australia’s electricity comes from 100 per cent renewable sources.
The Greens would also end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, subsidise electric cars and build charging stations across the country.
They want to spend $25 billion on more rail and bus services and build a high-speed rail line from Melbourne to Brisbane.
The Greens also want to end land clearing and native forest logging and plant millions of trees.
Make more healthcare free
The Greens want to make dental care free at the point of use under the Medicare system.
They would also spend $4.8billion to provide unlimited psychologist or psychiatrist mental health sessions under Medicare.
The Greens want to make dental care free at the point of use under the Medicare system
Parental leave at $100,000 a year
The Greens want to shake up parental leave to give parents 26 weeks off.
Their plan involves giving each parent six weeks off on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis and another 14 weeks on top of that for a couple to share between them.
The leave would be paid by taxpayers at the carer’s wage up to $100,000 per year, instead of at minimum wage.
There would also be superannuation paid on all parental leave.
Minimum wage hike
The Greens want to make the minimum wage 60 per cent of the median wage.
The median wage for full-time people in Australia is currently $1,835 a week and 60 per cent of this would be $1,101.
This would make the minimum annual wage $57,264 per year, up from $40,175 per year or $772.60 per week.
Slash defence spending
The Greens – who call their defence spokesman the peace and disarmament spokesman – want to slash defence spending to 1.5 per cent of GDP.
They want to cut down on guns and tanks and instead maintain a ‘light, readily deployable and highly mobile force that meets the needs of our place in the world’.
The Greens – who call their defence spokesman the peace and disarmament spokesman – want to slash defence spending to 1.5 per cent of GDP
The Greens also want laws to stop Governments going to war without Parliamentary approval, a move that critics say would damage the nation’s ability to act swiftly in face of threats.
The Greens also want to ‘renegotiate’ the nation’s alliance with the US and ban killer drones.
They want to end the offshore detention of illegal immigrants and increase refugee intake to 50,000 a year.
End racism and sexism
The Greens say ‘racism is widespread in Australia’ and ‘racial trauma is an everyday reality for so many people’.
They would mandate anti-racism training for all federal MPs and Commonwealth employees and spend $5million on an anti-racism campaign.
The Greens also say ‘we live in a rape culture: one that normalises sexual assault as ”boys will be boys”.’
They would mandate that all MPs undertake regular, comprehensive anti-bullying and harassment training and fund a national respectful relationships program in public schools.
Tax the rich even more
The Greens have proposed a billionaires’ tax which takes six per cent of wealth from anyone with a net worth of more than $1billion.
They say this tax on 122 Australian citizens would raise approximately $40billion over 10 years.
They also want a Corporate Super-Profits Tax, which applies a 40 per cent tax to companies with revenue over $100million a year.