The Morrison Government is enhancing our social security safety net by increasing support for unemployed Australians while strengthening their obligations to search for work.
From March the Coalition Government will progressively introduce a series of permanent measures to ensure that job seekers have the best opportunity to secure employment as our nation continues to recover from the economic challenges of COVID-19.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the plan for working age payments is fair and sustainable – for both unemployed people and taxpayers who fund the support.
“Welfare is a safety net, not a wage supplement. We want to get the balance right between providing support for people and incentives to work,” the Prime Minister said.
“The actions we have taken this year successfully cushioned us against the impact of the pandemic and mean that we no longer need to rely on the emergency supports which have sustained us over the past 12 months.”
“Now is the time to set our nation up for the future and build on our successes which will see Australians once again emerge stronger, safer and together.”
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash said the changes to mutual obligations would provide better support for job seekers in their search for work.
“We know that most job seekers are doing the right thing and trying to find employment, however, a small minority are actively trying to game the system The new employer reporting line will be set up from April to help ensure those doing the wrong thing are identified,” Minister Cash said.
“Job seekers who have been unemployed for at least six months will also be required to participate in an activity, such as a short training course or Work for the Dole, in addition to their job search activities.”
Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the Government has stood side-by-side all Australians during the pandemic and would continue to do so through permanent changes to strengthen our income support system.
“Since April 2020 our comprehensive payment system will help to deliver more than $33 billion in emergency income support payments including the Coronavirus Supplement and four economic support payments, the last of which will start flowing to our pensioners from next week,” Minister Ruston said.
“Our Government has always made sure that the rate of income support payments has kept pace with the cost living through twice yearly indexation but this announcement marks the first real increase in the rate of unemployment benefits in more than 25 years.”
Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the $9 billion commitment is the single biggest year on year increase to the rate of unemployment benefits since 1986 and will assist locals in Barker to find work.
“As the economic recovery continues it is vital we get the balance right in supporting unemployed Australians while at the same time incentivising them to find work,” Mr Pasin said.
“We are enhancing our safety net to assist more people into employment because we know the best form of welfare is a job.” Mr Pasin said.
The series of new permanent measures include:
There will also be changes to the Mutual Obligation Scheme:
For more information about the changes, visit http://www.dese.gov.au/covid-19/job-seekers