The Minister for Social Services has confirmed today during an Estimates hearing that the Government plans to extend the Jobseeker coronavirus supplement past December but would not confirm the amount and when we will see the legislation.
The Government needs to be clear about what they have planned for the Jobseeker payment and supplement.
It’s unfair that Australians have had to wait to know whether there will be an extension and now uncertainty about the rate post December 31 will cause a huge amount of concern.
The Government needs to get the legislation drafted ASAP, and there needs to be time for proper scrutiny.
The Government has used the excuse of the pandemic to reduce the scrutiny of so much legislation this year and that needs to stop.
There are three sitting weeks left before Parliament finishes for the year and there is no excuse for this to be rushed through at the last minute with a take it or leave it approach.
There has to be time for a Senate inquiry with experts from the sector and economists given the opportunity to give advice.
This does not take away from the need for a permanent increase to Jobseeker. Australians are sick of people stuck in this limbo.
There are absolutely no circumstances in which it would be feasible for Jobseeker to go back to $40 a day.