Pressure on PM for permanent dole rise

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 4 : 22-Jul-20

The coronavirus supplement for JobSeeker recipients will be reduced from $550 per fortnight to $250 from 25 September. This will reduce the maximum unemployment benefit for a single person to about $800 a fortnight. The revised JobSeeker allowance will apply until the end of 2020, although the federal government has signalled that it is likely to be extended for a further three months. Australian Council of Social Service CEO Cassandra Goldie has called for a permanent increase in JobSeeker when the coronavirus supplement ends. The requirement that JobSeeker recipients must apply for at least four jobs per month will be reinstated from 4 August.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SERVICE

Business in push to fast-track tax cuts

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 15-Jul-20

The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry has used its pre-budget submission to call for comprehensive tax reform, including bringing forward legislated personal income tax cuts. The ACCI also advocates a gradual reduction in the JobSeeker allowance to pre-coronavirus levels, while it says the domestic economy will be vulnerable to further shocks for several years due to the impact of COVID-19. Meanwhile, a Menzies Research Centre paper argues that all of the national cabinet’s decisions on coronavirus lockdowns measures should be subject to a cost-benefit analysis. The report by economists Henry Ergas and Joe Branigan was written before the new virus outbreaks in Melbourne and Sydney.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, THE MENZIES RESEARCH CENTRE LIMITED

JobSeeker’s $200 boost could cost $4 billion for six months

Original article by Shane Wright
The Age – Page: Online : 3-Jul-20

The Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre’s director, Alan Duncan, says the JobSeeker payment should be increased when the coronavirus supplement ends in September. Duncan contends that the unemployment benefit was insufficient prior to the pandemic, and he has suggested that it could be increased by $200 a fortnight; he estimates that this would cost about $3.8bn over six months. Duncan adds that the JobSeeker payment must be scaled back in order to provide people with an incentive to seek work.

CORPORATES
BANKWEST CURTIN ECONOMICS CENTRE

JobKeeper too costly to keep

Original article by Sarah Turner
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 24 : 29-Jun-20

A quarterly survey of economists shows that there is general consensus that while the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme has been effective, it needs to have an end date. JobKeeper is slated to end in late September, and Warren Hogan from the University of Technology, Sydney says the increase in the JobSeeker payment could be extended by six months to accommodate JobKeeper recipients who have not returned to work when the scheme ends. The survey has also found that economists expect the Australian economy to contract by four per cent in 2020, while the unemployment rate will peak at eight per cent by the end of the year.

CORPORATES
UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, SYDNEY

JobSeeker’s block on work to be scrutinised

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 22-May-20

The federal government’s decision to double the JobSeeker allowance will be scrutinised as part of its forthcoming review of the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme. There are concerns that increasing the unemployment benefit to $550 a week has prompted some casual workers to quit their jobs, as they are of the view that they are financially better off by going on the dole. Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy stresses that JobKeeper and the increased JobKeeper payment are temporary. However, he has flagged the possibility that they may be phased out gradually.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Budget impact may be lessened by quicker recovery

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 29-Apr-20

The federal government is hopeful that Australia’s success in containing the coronavirus will result in the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme costing far less than the $130bn that has been budgeted. The government had expected about six million workers to access the payment; Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy has told a parliamentary inquiry that there have been 540,000 applications from employers to date, covering about 3.3 million workers. The cost of the JobSeeker package for the unemployed may also end up being less than forecast.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Government relents on Newstart

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 20-Mar-20

The second phase of the federal government’s stimulus package will include an increase in the Newstart allowance for people who are currently unemployed. The Coalition had previously flagged a higher income payment than Newstart for workers who lose their job due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, it has long opposed an increase in unemployment benefits, arguing that getting a job is the best form of welfare. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has conceded that getting people off Newstart and into the labour market will be difficult over the next six months due to the economic impact of the pandemic.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

No surplus sacrifice for dole boost

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 22-Jul-19

The federal government is resisting pressure from welfare groups and unions to increase the Newstart allowance by $75 a week. The Treasury estimates that this would cost $12.5bn over four years and $39bn over a decade, and it would slash the projected Budget surplus for 2019-20. Labor has also called for Newstart to be increased, although it has not nominated a figure. Employment Minister Michaelia Cash says the government’s priority is getting people off welfare and into the workforce, and notes that Labor has opposed or criticised all of the Coalition’s employment programs.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, NATIONAL SENIORS AUSTRALIA LIMITED, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Labor flags the end of Work for Dole

Original article by Eryk Bagshaw
The Age – Page: 8 : 2-Nov-18

Labor’s employment services spokeswoman Terri Butler has queried whether the $65 million spent each year on the "Work for the Dole" program is money well spent. There are claims that the program does not have a high success rate in terms of participants finding jobs, and that participants have been put into unsafe workplaces. As well as signs that Labor may scrap the scheme if it wins the next federal election, there are indications that it may cancel employment services contracts under the federal government’s $7.3 billion Jobactive program.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT SERVICES ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS

Rise for $38-a-day Newstart ruled out

Original article by David Crowe
The Australian – Page: 4 : 21-Sep-16

It is estimated that about 770,000 people currently receive the Newstart payment, and the Australian Council of Social Service advocates increasing it by $A53 a week. However, Social Services Minister Christian Porter has rejected calls for an increase in Newstart, arguing that while the base payment is set at $A38 per day, the majority of recipients also receive other welfare payments. Porter has also defended the Budget measure which requires people to wait four weeks before being eligible to claim the Newstart allowance.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SERVICE, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN GREENS