Scott Morrison says unemployed Australians are refusing to work because JobSeeker benefits are too high
- Morrison warned if welfare is too high people won’t have any incentive to work
- JobSeeker payments were doubled from $275 to $550-a-week in the pandemic
- He said bosses complained if welfare is too generous then employees don’t work
Scott Morrison has claimed unemployed Australians are refusing to work because JobSeeker’s $550-a-week benefits are too high.
JobSeeker payments, formerly known as the Newstart allowance, were doubled from $275-a-week amid the coronavirus pandemic.
But the prime minister has warned if the welfare payments are too high, people won’t have any incentive to find work.
Mr Morrison on Monday said some bosses complained that if the welfare amount is too generous then employees don’t want to take up extra shifts.
Scott Morrison has claimed unemployed Australians are refusing to work because JobSeeker’s $550-a-week benefits are too high
‘Well, on JobSeeker, we doubled the payment with the supplement because we knew unemployment was going to be rising steadily and it has and that’s been devastating,’ he told 2GB radio.
‘What we have to be worried about now is that we can’t allow the JobSeeker payment to become an impediment to people going out and doing work, getting extra shifts.
‘And we are getting a lot of anecdotal feedback from small businesses, even large businesses where some of them are finding it hard to get people to come and take the shifts because they’re on these higher levels of payment.’
Mr Morrison said the government had to be careful when supporting people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and have little chance of getting another temporary job.
‘And so we’ve just got to make sure that we continue to provide what is a reasonable level of support in the middle of the worst recession we’ve had since the Great Depression,’ he said.
‘But at the same time, we can’t let the help get in the way that we’re giving to people. And so these aren’t easy decisions. They’re very complex.’
Mr Morrison’s comments come a day after the Federal Government denied reports the JobSeeker dole payment would be lifted by $75 per week.
News Corp newspapers, citing senior ministers, reported the JobSeeker payment would rise from $40 a day day to $75 per day when the present enhanced version of the unemployment payment ends in September.
‘There are no such proposals before the government or under consideration for the economic statement next month,’ a spokesperson for Social Services Minister Anne said.
JobSeeker payments, formerly known as the Newstart allowance, were doubled from $275-a-week amid the coronavirus pandemic
‘The government is focused on the next phase of short-term measures designed to address the COVID-19 crisis.’
Treasury has been reviewing both JobSeeker and the JobKeeper wage subsidy.
Senior Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek said people who had been forced on to the dole because of the coronavirus pandemic were in for a shock if the JobSeeker payment returned to its pre-crisis rate of $40 per a day.
‘It is an inadequate payment, it doesn’t allow people to live with dignity,’ she told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program
‘We now have hundreds of thousands of extra people joining the dole queue, people who have been working full time until very recently that would very much struggle if what’s now called JobSeeker went back to the old Newstart rate.’