JobSeeker payments lifted to just $50 from April 1

WORRIED: The federal government's JobSeeker payment changes from April 1 has been labelled as a heartless betrayal of millions. Photo: Shutterstock
WORRIED: The federal government's JobSeeker payment changes from April 1 has been labelled as a heartless betrayal of millions. Photo: Shutterstock

Backlash is expected from South Australia's country-based welfare providers and supporters following today's announcement of fortnightly JobSeeker payments lifted to just $50 from April 1.

The permanent move hits after the coronavirus supplement is removed next month.

To date there are about 1.2 million people on JobSeeker payments.

The "measly" $3.57 per day has already fired up the Australian Council of Social Service who referred to the federal government's decision as "a heartless betrayal of millions".

Chief executive officer Dr Cassandra Goldie believes the government has turned its back on those with the least, plunging people further into poverty.

"It's a cruel decision that shows a complete lack of humanity and empathy," Dr Goldie said.

"It comes as devastating news for so many and will have serious consequences for people's lives, including homelessness and crushing debt."

The payment is further expected to be complemented with tighter eligibility rules and harsher mutual obligations.

According to the federal government, this includes employers who will be able to report people on unemployment benefits who are offered a job and do not accept.

Individuals may have their welfare payments cut if they cannot produce a valid reason.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told news service AAP today that the welfare rate needed to be weighed against the burden on taxpayers.

"Our social safety net is a social contract," he said.

"It is a contract between the government and Australians, but it is also a contract between Australians, and what you've heard today is about getting the balance of that right."

Meanwhile, Social Services Minister Anne Ruston further told the AAP, various sectors were crying out for more staff.

"Whether it may be a short-term job in agriculture or casual work in the caring industry because modelling tells us that people who report earnings, even just a small amount, are at least twice as likely to exit the social security system," she said.

Minister Ruston's response mirrors today's announcement of SA business survey results which highlights that 35 per cent of SA business owners found it harder to attract labour in the December period.

Also, 58 per cent blamed a lack of incentive due to increased JobSeeker payments for finding workers.

The coronavirus supplement of $150 a fortnight, is due to end on Wednesday, March 31.

This story New JobSeeker payments ignite concern first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.