The Courier-Mail

Is the $50 a fortnight JobSeeker rise too much, too little or about right?

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STEPHANIE: This is a smack in the face to the thousands of people doing it tough right now. With the cost of living continuing to skyrocket, a less than $4 a day increase will barely make a difference to those who rely on it to survive. The government is happy to boast about Australia’s prosperity, except when it comes to this.

HAYDEN: While the increase is welcome, our unemployme­nt payments remain grossly unfair. Politician­s can claim $280 per day to stay in Canberra during a sitting week but a person on JobSeeker benefits receives just $300 per week. Struggling Australian­s need more, but with this slight increase blowing a $9bn hole in the budget over four years, any increase must be met with tough applicatio­n criteria. The government has struck the right balance by requiring recipients to search for at least 15 jobs each month from April, rising to 20 from July 1. MICHAEL: I think, with some hesitation, it’s just about right. The amount of money that has flowed out of the federal Treasury in the past 12 months is astronomic­al. As a nation, we can’t just go on creating money out of thin air. I think it would be near impossible to have any kind of normal life on unemployme­nt benefits, but an increase of $50 a fortnight might bring some relief.

VERDICT: Always a tough juggling act and a little may not go a long way.

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